Street libraries add community connection

Article image - Street libraries add community connection Residents of Hobsonís Bay are invited to host a library in the front yard.

Through its Street Libraries pilot program, Hobsons Bay City Council, Victoria, is inviting 20 residents in Altona North and Brooklyn to host a free street library outside of their house to share the joys of reading with their neighbours.

Street libraries are small, enclosed boxes designed as homes for books, located in front yards or attached to property fences that provide free book exchanges.

Councillor Tony Briffa said, “Street libraries provide a fabulous opportunity to connect with your neighbour and bond over a book that you love, characters you are entranced by, or a non-fiction that has left you amazed.

“They also build lifelong learning and are a fun addition to neighbourhood character.

“They can lead to an even richer love of reading and books, which often brings people to their local library.”

Councillor Sandra Wilson said the pilot program is a partnership between Council, Hobsons Bay Libraries, Hobsons Bay Men’s Shed Network, Walker Close Community Centre and local artists.

“Successful applicants will take part in a free workshop where the folks from the Men’s Shed will help build and design the street libraries. All materials will be provided and Council staff will be available to install the street libraries.

“Once built, decorated and installed, the street libraries will be officially launched on Neighbour Day on Sunday 31 March with a free community celebration and walking tour of the street libraries.

“In Victoria, there are close to 200 registered street libraries with seven already in Hobsons Bay, including a very handy street library at the Seaholme train station.”

The Street Libraries pilot program builds on the successful Tree Library community project in Altona Gate Shopping Centre, which was part of Council’s Cultivate Leadership 2018 program.