International Literacy Day is celebrated on 8th September to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies, so this month we’ll make mention of a little organisation doing that across neighbourhoods in Australia called Street Library.
Street Library was founded by Nic Lowe whose vision came about from wanting to have an Australian-based free library movement to encourage literacy and community progress. Based on Little Free Libraries in America, Nic saw what they were doing and thought what a great idea to expand in Australia, and so a group of people got together to make it happen. Nic built and installed the first Street Library outside his home in Newtown.
Street Libraries are wonderful little homes for books that are accessible from the street and an invitation for sharing the joys of reading with people from all walks of life. One can simply reach into these little ‘homes’ and select what interests them. When done, they are returned or can be passed on to a friend knowing the ‘checking in’ or out of the book is not needed.
By participating in the Street Library movement, people – known as street librarians – can help to encourage reading, sharing and that a sense of community. The average little home for these books holds between 20 – 40 readers, plenty of room for your most enjoyed books to fit in.
Officially beginning in Sydney, New South Wales in November 2015 the idea has swiftly expanded. Street Library has three main objectives:
1. Encourage Literacy – “The more you read, the more you will know.”
2. To motivate people and bring neighbourhoods all over Australia closer together. By taking a book and leaving another one in its place, a cycle of generosity is shared.
3. To have registered by December 2021 – 5,000 Street Libraries.
Street Library aims to be self-sufficient by selling libraries to those who do not want to build their own and also host workshops for those who want to learn to build.
Street Libraries are a symbol of trust, hope and a passageway to literary happiness. Their motto is:
“Take a Book, Give a Book, Share a Book.”
So, this Thank You Thursday, we’re thanking Nic and the team behind Street Library, as well as all the ‘street librarians’ out there that host and helped establish a home for books in their local community.
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick.
* Photo courtesy of Sydney Morning Herald: The first street library outside founder, Nic Lowe’s home.