The tiny street libraries long loved by inner-city residents have found a new home at Lugarno.
Proudly displayed on Forest Road outside the Lugarno Peakhurst Uniting Church the new library boasts of Australian novels, much-loved classics and even children’s DVDs.
People passing by are encouraged to stop and browse the ever-changing selection of books. All are free to borrow and can either be returned or exchanged.
Street libraries are based on The Little Library movement in the US. Founder Todd Bol installed a library inside a miniature model of a school house on his front lawn in Wisconsin nine years ago as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher and bookworm. When it became a neighbourhood hit, he realised that people were craving conversation as much as books.
Since then they have popped up in suburbs across Sydney including at Marrickville, Hurlstone Park, Newtown and Paddington.
Even councils like Waverley and Randwick have embraced the trend setting up their own.
However, the Lugarno street library is believed to be the first for St George.
Lugarno Peakhurst Uniting Church Treasurer Richard Hanna said the idea was first raised earlier this year.
‘’There’s no library in Lugarno as such so we thought it would be a good idea to have something to connect with the community,’’ he said.
‘’I think a lot of people walk past the church and don’t come in but we thought it was a way to connect and do something for the community.’’
Despite only been installed three weeks ago the library is already getting good feedback.
Librarian Lyn Garrard said many people had stopped to take a look.
‘’I saw a lady walking past while I was restocking it and she said ‘I usually drive past but I decided to walk today and have a good look’,’’ she said.
Fellow librarian Pamela Hanna said it was about encouraging community spirit.
‘’We have a playgroup here four time a week and the mothers were interested in the children's books and DVDs,’’ she said.
‘’The DVDs have gone really well.
‘’Just yesterday a grandmother was looking at the DVDs and said she could borrow some when she has the kids for the school holidays.’’
‘’We have people put books in as well.’’
It will now be even easier for people to set-up their own street library thanks to the new Street Library website.
It was launched 18 months ago and so far more than 250 people have registered.
More information: www.streetlibrary.org.au.
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