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Puzzles pulling community together: Lloydminster woman opens puzzle library

A Lloydminster woman has started a new project in the hopes of connecting people and keeping them busy during the winter season.

Michelle Rusteika opened a puzzle library, a container filled with boxes of puzzles, in front of her home. The library works the same as a little library allowing residents to take a puzzle or leave a puzzle when they can. Rusteika says her family was trading puzzles on a smaller scale with co-workers earlier on in the pandemic.

“Way back in March or April, we were pulling stuff that we had stored in the closet for years. Then we started trading at work a little bit where once you completed it you take it to work and trade it with somebody else. It kind of came out of that too where it was how can we keep this going.”

She says the idea to open it up to the wider community started with a conversation at around Christmas time.

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“We talked about wouldn’t it be nice if we could trade puzzles with other people to try something and get something different.”

It’s only been a few days, but she says the interest has already blown up with people messaging the Facebook page and residents donating their puzzles to the library. Rusteika has since put out another container dedicated for donations which will then be quarantined and sanitized before being put back out in the library.

She says the puzzle library along with the Sweet Pea Library located nearby are community builders that brings neighbours closer together.

“Through all of this COVID stuff, it seems like people are really looking for that connection. You want to be connected to people because we are stuck in our houses and want to feel like they are doing something for your community and connect to people. It seemed like a good idea and we can still do something we enjoy doing and help other people enjoy something they enjoy doing and stay connected at the same time.”

Rusteika says she isn’t sure how long the puzzle library will be around for and it completely depends on the interest and use by the community. Residents interested in picking up a puzzle or donating one can find the containers in front of Rusteika’s home at 5504 30 St.

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