With a focus on inclusion, Sudbury sees a new ‘little free library’ in time for Pride month
Filled with very specific books, a new little library on Boland Avenue is aimed at making everyone in the community feel included.
“I figured June is such a good month to launch this library because it’s a good month to speak about diversity inclusion,” said Taryn Green, who put up what's known as Little Free Libraries.
“It’s a month for Pride. It’s also National Indigenous Awareness History month and it’s also Juneteenth month in June and then also in July it is actually disability pride month. So a great opportunity to discuss beauty and diversity and uniqueness that disability brings to our communities.”
Anyone walking by can pick up a book for free.
“I think that sharing these diverse voices -- and including LGBTQ community voices -- is really important to show the community that they are an important member of society," Green said.
"Their voices deserve to be heard. We should be making a place for all voices and I think books are a great way to really start that conversation.”
There are several Little Free Libraries available throughout the City of Greater Sudbury area. Green said many of them are celebrating pride and inclusion for the month of June. However, she plans to keep the selection on her property diverse for as long as she can.
“I’m a member of the disability community and in the last year I’ve been passionate about learning more about diversity inclusion," Green said.
"As I’m learning more and reading these really empowering powerful stories and books by others in the disability community, I thought I’ve been wanting to do a little library for a long time and I was originally just going to focus on children’s books, but then after doing this kind of self discovering, I wanted ... to be able to support diverse voices and support these authors.”
With so many events disrupted to the COVID-19 pandemic and many people feeling isolated, Green said she hopes this little library of resources can serve as an outlet for the neighbourhood.
“Bring them home and have these very rich and powerful conversation within their homes. With their children, with their partners, with others in the family and friends,” she said.
Although a great way to help celebrate inclusion and pride month in a COVID safe way, it isn’t the only option in the city. Sudbury Pride is making sure that no one misses out this year.
“Especially here in northern Ontario, it’s really difficult for members of the community to feel that they are accepted,” said Katlyn Kotila the communications lead for Sudbury Pride.
“We don’t have a lot of really openly public LGBTQ+ representatives, role models for youth to look up to, and oftentimes it can feel really isolating. And so it’s important that we celebrate this and spend this time to really build that community and make sure people know that they are loved, that they are supported, and that there is a community who is there for them.”
There are several online workshops starting this week and officials are looking for ways to hold a pride march in some way, shape or form, in July.
“The theme this year is ‘not this again,’ but we’re trying to find creative solutions to continue to offer opportunities for the community to get together and really celebrate and build a vibrant community here in Sudbury while still maintaining health and public health guidelines,” said Kotila.
Although youth in the community might miss some in-person events, she said they will still be recognized and celebrated.
“What we’re doing is were putting together care packages for them that will be safely delivered to their homes with pride goodies, merch, flags and then letters of support from people in the community, sharing their stories and showing love and support so that youth can feel that they are a part of the community still and to show them that they are loved and accepted just the way that they are,” she said.
Although it’s not ideal to hold celebrations on a virtual platform for the second year in a row, officials said it’s still important in the community.
“I think that any way that we can try to do this is important. Nothing is ever going to be perfect and there are always ways that were going to be able to continue to improve ourselves,” said Kotila.