The Wathen Road Little Library, St Andrews: a little library making a big difference

On a quiet leafy road in St Andrews is a library, quite different from any other libraries in Bristol.

For this library is a little one and sits outside someone’s own home. Created by local residents, Colin and Cara Medus, parents to two teenage boys, the Wathen Road Little Library is open to anyone who wishes to stop by to borrow, give or swap a book.

The idea for the creation of the Wathen Road Little Library came following a holiday book-lover Colin and Cara had with some relatives in the Peak District. There they went walking in Teggs Nose Country Park and stumbled across the “Library in the Landscape”.

Colin loved the idea and he and Cara talked about how they could create a little library of their own in their front garden. Over the following weeks they talked about it a few more times but then didn’t think about it much more.

But then at Christmas Cara presented Colin with a mysterious large box covered with a blanket. Not having a clue what the box might contain, Colin uncovered it to find that not only had Cara remembered his enthusiasm about the little library they had discovered on their holiday in the Peak District but that she had created a little library of his own!

The little library needed a bit more work to finish it off but then Colin launched it as part of Window Wanderland in February this year and it has proved a hit with local residents ever since!

Colin has been pleased to find that their Little Library has been a lovely way of bringing the community together: “We have found our little library to be a great talking point with our neighbours and people walking along the street. The idea of it being a way of getting rid of some of my books has rather back-fired and people keep donating interesting books which I want to read!”

As well as a positive asset for the local community, Colin also envisaged the Wathen road Little Library as a way of raising money for The Bridge Trust Ltd, a charity he supports which does work in India and Zambia. Much to his delight, a number of people have already donated to the charity since him and Cara launched their little library.

Before opening the library, Colin and Cara did some research and found that libraries such as theirs are a big thing in America. It gave them the idea of calling it a “little library” and given that they live on Wathen Road, the “Wathen Road Little Library” seemed a perfect name.

Since it opened, the Wathen Road Little Library has had a steady stream of users. Colin explains: “We regularly see people stop and take a look and they are obviously using the library given the turnover of books we are seeing. This week we have seen around 10 children’s books donated which is great. Depending on what has been donated or taken, I try to refresh the library each week by rotating the books.”

An avid book reader, Colin has been a member of the same book club for over 13 years: “I like to keep a pile of unread books from which I can choose the next one to read. Currently I have over 30 in the pile! I only ever have one book on the go at any one time.”

Do stop by the Wathen Road Little Library when you are next out and about in St Andrews. There are children’s and adults books waiting for you to read!

Colin has set up a Facebook page to promote the library and to share his enjoyment of books: