The beautiful public library on your right is a Carnegie Library in Vancouver, Canada. Ovver 2500 Carnegie Libraries were built in the late 19th and early 20th century (specifically, between 1883 and 1929) because of money given by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, mostly in the US, Great Britain, and Canada. As an immigrant from Scotland, who grew up without a lot of money, Carnegie knew that making books accessible to everyone in the community was a wonderful gift. I was lucky enough to grow up having a beautiful Victorian-era Carnegie library as my local library, and it instilled in me not only a huge love of books and reading, but of Victorian architecture and dark, atmospheric places (it was a rather gloomy, Gothic looking place inside, but I loved that).
I've been thinking about Carnegie and his libraries today while thinking about this year's voting for the Aviva Community Fund. Aviva Community Fund is an annual drive funded and created by Aviva Insurance, and its purpose is to help you help your community. People have been submitting their best ideas for change and improvement in their communities, and now it’s time to vote on which ones you think are the best. If you live in Canada and are registered on the Aviva Community Fund website, then you’re eligible to vote both in the Idea Entry and Semi-Final phases of the competition.
How do you get involved? Listen up, Canadians: it’s simple! Just go to the website, register and sign in. Then just click the “Vote Now” button. If you registered on Facebook through Facebook Connect, then use the FB voting app, which is on the FB Aviva Community Fund page, or the FB pages of most of the competition ideas. You can vote during the Qualifying Rounds, and the Semi-Finals - you can casr 15 votes in the 3 initial rounds and another 15 during the Semi-Finals - but one vote per idea per day, of course.
I think this is a great idea because some of the most life-enriching, transformative projects are those that happen on the community level. My favorite community oriented causes involve libraries and reading programs, because ever since I was little, the local public library has been an amazing resource for me not only with regard to books and reading, but for social programs, drop-in programs for my kids, and an amazing source of research opportunities, too. So do make sure you register and vote for your favorite projects. You can also Like Aviva Community Fund on Facebook, and Follow @Aviva on Twitter.