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Our Community Library

Page 2

Tricia Natoli

As Nic describes them:   Accessible from the street, they are an invitation to share the joys of reading with your neighbours. Street Libraries are a window into the mind of a community; books come and go; no-one needs to check them in or out. People can simply reach in and take what interests them; when they are done, they can return them to the Street Library network, or pass them on to friends.

Back to Daylesford. After paying $10 for the former fridge (and the roof given as a bonus), without too much trouble the EFH and man-in-charge at the shop somehow got the dog, his new bed and the library plus roof, and ourselves, all squeezed into the TARDIS-like car. (The dog bed, by the way, was an amazing find, the top of a baby pram for $2).

Now the real work started. First the garden fence had to be chopped to make space, then timber bought to make sturdy shelves inside. Getting rid of the rust and repainting came next. Fixing the roof to the top of the former fridge took some ingenuity but luckily the EFH had the know-how. $120 worth of ropes, pulleys and star pickets later, the library was waiting, ready for books.

First stop, my own bookcases, all the books I will never read again. These clearly are not enough so we go on the hunt. We strike gold in Maryborough, the Scout Op Shop sells books for $5 a bag. Two bags later we have the beginning of enough “stock”, but first we had to let people know about it.  We write and print a flyer, we do a letter-drop in our neighbourhood. In the middle of April a party celebrates the opening of the Drummond Street South Street Library. Quite a number of people attend, from an eighty-year-old gentleman to a baby, who crawled around. We meet some of our neighbours, the Street Library is launched, and I learn some lessons.

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