HV Little Library #neighbourliness
📷: Residents of Block 2 Holland Ave coming together to learn basic sewing skills from their neighbour at the HV Little Library.
At the void deck of Block 2 Holland Ave, what started out as a small bookcase with some donated books has become a full-fledged free library and a welcoming community hangout. The place is now called “HV Little Library” and was set up by resident Kae Chee. HV Little Library (https://www.facebook.com/HVLittleLibrary) is not funded, and operates on donations and good faith. From the books, decorations, plants, and furniture – everything in the library was donated by residents, including those who do not stay in the area. People enjoy popping by: to chat, teach or help out in projects.
Community interactions such as these contribute to a more resilient society. A BBC article titled “Why your ‘weak-tie’ friendships may mean more than you think” collated research findings that showed how casual acquaintances can boost our sense of happiness, knowledge and a feeling of belonging. Unlike strong ties with family or a best friend, weak ties are with people from the larger community. The article cited a University of Essex investigation in which students recorded casual interactions, such as exchanging smiles, saying “hi” or having a brief chat within their network of weak ties: on days with higher interactions, the students felt more happiness and a greater sense of belonging.
Dr Gillian Sandstrom, the senior lecturer who ran the project, recalled her own experience of passing by a hotdog stand every day. “I’d always smile and say hi to the hotdog lady,” she said. “We never even had a conversation, but I felt recognised, I felt connected – and that made me feel good.”
We can all build a happy network of weak ties by interacting with the people in our neighbourhood. Small exchanges lead to a sense of belonging and to thriving communities — like the one at HV Little Library in Holland Ave and the many other community activities springing up organically in our heartlands.
🔗Find ground-up community libraries near you: https://www.littledayout.com/where-to-find-ground-up-community-libraries-in-singapore/?fbclid=IwAR2wfvWaE9PCSVWgmuaEWIWX1PlnVCsOkZhWq9CO5QZdw_Q4CZxqgCK17Wc