The neighbourhood of Legacy launches a new concept of ‘little community libraries’

In order to make the community a vibrant and inclusive place where people are connected, Alexandra Velosa and her team recently launched an initiative of new community libraries — that have an exciting twist.

By Calgary Citizen Staff | October 13, 2021 |11:23 pm

Alexandra Velosa // Legacy, SE Calgary

Photo: Submitted

Meet Alexandra Velosa! She’s the president and one of the founders of the Calgary Legacy Community Association (CLCA) and a mover and a shaker when it comes to fostering community, pride, and spirit within her neighbourhood of Legacy in SE Calgary. 

They might be a newer neighbourhood, but Alexandra tells us that the residents of Legacy are incredibly engaged. Throughout the pandemic, she has played an integral role in keeping the collective community together, yet 6 ft apart, through live (distanced) events, celebrations, community Bingo and more! 

In addition to that, in order to make the community a vibrant and inclusive place where people are connected, they recently launched an initiative of new community libraries — that has an exciting twist. 

We sat down with Alexandra and learned what it is she loves about her community of Legacy, the story behind these new little libraries, and how she’s working with the CLCA to build a legacy for their tight-night neighbourhood family. 

How long have you lived in Legacy? What’s kept you here? 

“I moved to Legacy over 6 years ago. Initially, I was motivated to live here given all the green spaces and walking paths available in the community. But soon, I realized that our community was not just connected by pathways, but also by families sharing values and wanting to build together a community that we all feel proud of. That sense of community motivated us to start the Community Association and work with a group of talented and enthusiastic people that makes up the CLCA.”

What makes it feel like home? 

“I truly believe that it is the people who make a community special. What makes Legacy a unique and amazing neighbourhood in our city is the heart of Legacians. The community has always come together in many ways to support each other with little acts of kindness or standing behind those who are facing challenging times. As a new community, Legacy has been growing every year, but the community spirit keeps growing even faster, and we just keep adding new families to our big Legacy family.”

Tell us about the people 

“Legacy is a multicultural, friendly, and dynamic community. People in the community love the outdoor spaces that make our community unique and enjoy the multicolour playgrounds and beautiful pathways that we have around. I have friends who have moved to Legacy after learning and experiencing our community spirit, but I’ve also made new friends in the community that are now considered extended family.”

How are you involved in your community? 

“I am one of the founders of the Community Association (CLCA). Even before getting officially incorporated, our group started working on ideas and initiatives to bring our community together. Despite the challenging times, we’ve been creative, looking at opportunities to engage with our community and be part of many celebrations as a big Legacy family. Together with the CLCA board we work hard to bring fun activities and programs that help us ‘build our community together.’

What activities, programs, events, landmarks, or special elements make your neighbourhood unique and special?

“We host annual events and celebrations that we’ve been able to maintain live, even during COVID restrictions. We celebrate — together or from a distance — special dates like Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas among others. We’ve hosted events with more than 2,000 attendees and also commemorated together days like Remembrance Day from the safety of our own homes.”

What’s the story behind Legacy’s ‘Little Libraries’

“We learned about the YYC Active grant offered by the Federation of Calgary Communities to activate spaces in the city and we were thinking about something that would resonate with our community and allow us to continue building our community together. That’s how the idea of the little libraries was born; with a bit of a spin to make them unique and valuable pieces for everyone in Legacy. 

Legacy was already home to three little libraries prior to this, and they were well used and loved by everyone. What the CLCA wanted to do is to bring a couple of more libraries unique in their concept. 

First, we were thinking about a library that could carry books in every language, allowing people to exchange books and resources in other languages aside from English. We called it the ‘Multicultural Library.’ We decided to use the Multicultural library as a place for people to connect by exchanging their favourite recipes and that’s why the library offers that space. Living in such a multicultural neighbourhood we wanted to create a space to share and embrace the diversity of our community. 

The second library was inspired by the people in our community wanting to exchange puzzles, so we created the ‘Play Library.’ This one carries games and puzzles so people can enjoy new games and build new puzzles with their families. It’s about sharing and creating fun family moments!”

How do you hope to see your neighbourhood grow? 

“I hope that our community keeps growing together as a BIG family. Neighbours continue caring for each other and we all continue embracing and being proud of our community.”

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