I’m an avid reader and a lover of books but I still haven’t bought into the whole digital e-book reader technology. I love everything about a paperback – the feel of holding a book, the smell of the print and turning the worn pages (feel free to call me weird!).
Walking around Sydney streets I’ve noticed more street libraries popping up in front yards of homes, schools and public spaces. This is a growing trend which I adore and fully endorse. The wooden boxes house books people have left and lets others take them and leave their own if they like. It’s a swap system with no obligation where you can leave a book at your leisure, but ultimately you want to give back and keep it circulating.
Street Library Australia has valuable information about how they are run and locations across the country. The City of Sydney is also backing the project by running workshops on how to build and install a street library. The concept has been successful globally too, with about 40,000 libraries in more than 70 countries.
This idea creates a sharing vibe among the community and it gives residents a sense of control and input in their area. It’s encouraging reading and literacy among children, especially when schools get involved. Neighbours who may have not known each other before now get a chance to meet and feel inclusive in their suburb.