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Twice Upon a Time

January’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Alexandra Yarrow, to support Twice Upon a Time, a project to provide books to children from families in need.

“The pride children experience from owning books further promotes lifelong learning,” explains Alexandra. “We will provide free or gently-used books to children initially through a pop-up shop in Heartwood House's lobby, and later from an independent storefront on-site.”

“We envision Twice Upon a Time as a complement to excellent public library service. Many families bring their children to the library, but many do not, because they are afraid of potential fines or costs for lost material, or other perceived or real barriers. And even if families visit the library, studies have shown that children do better in school when there are books at home.”

“Our project is inspired by the Children's Book Bank, a charity operating in Toronto’s Regent Park since 2008,” Alexandra explains. She and her team of dedicated volunteers will collect the books through donation bins and community-based book drives. To learn more or to get involved, visit

Alexandra is an acting manager at the Ottawa Public Library.

Funded by Ottawa, ON (January 2014)