A new mini-library has opened in St. John's, offering users the opportunity to take  or leave  a beloved book in a newspaper box.

Elling Lien, former editor of The Scope, started up Open Bookshelves using the publications boxes as locations for the open-network library.

Lien said the idea is based on the Little Free Libraries concept commonly seen in the United States, and public bookcases in Germany. People in St. John's  can fill out a form at the Open Bookshelves website and leave their books in one of the boxes.

"I really love these boxes. They had an illustration of a squid on the side done by a local illustrator and I just really loved these things, these objects that you could place in these public locations and have people open them and look inside. You know, it's kind of magical," he said.

Lien said the boxes aren't dumping grounds for anyone looking to get rid of some old books. 

Rather, the Open Bookshelves website allows people to choose a book that means something to them to add to the boxes.

Two locations are currently set up — near the Georgetown Bakery at Hayward Avenue and Maxse Street, and by the War Memorial on Duckworth Street near Fixed Coffee and Baking.