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Street Libraries are a growing phenomenon in Australia, with over 300 in the country, and 142 in NSW. They are little homes for books which are installed in the front yard of a home, community centre, school or other publicly accessible place. Books can be borrowed, exchanged or given to the Street Library for others in the community to share. A symbol of trust, a Street Library shares and encourages the joy of reading for the whole neighbourhood!
Imagine having a Street Library at your childcare centre or school – your students and parents could have free access to children’s picture books, novels or even parenting guides! Reading is a fundamental skill for children, which parents have a great role in. Being read to develops a child’s aptitude for learning, basic speech and communication skills, logical thinking skills, concentration and the knowledge that reading is fun!
Your students can help decorate a library for your school or childcare centre, and could also choose where to put it. Nuwarra Public School had an art competition to select which classes painted their junior and senior libraries, and students are encouraged to borrow books from the library during break times. Nuwarra Public School’s library is an internal installation for the students, while schools like Australia Street Infants School have planted their library on the periphery of the school so members of the public can borrow and share books too.
Street Library Australia has lots of information about building a Street Library, buying a pre-built library, where you can find Street Libraries all around Australia and how to connect your community through reading!
Here are some schools and childcare centres who already have functioning Street Libraries:
Castle Hill Community Preschool
Nuwarra Public School
Australia Street Infants School, Newtown
Platinum Pre School, Clovelly
Kids Cottage Early Years Learning Centre, Oatlands
Yowie Bay Public School