The next chapter for street libraries

Vanessa Soady and children Zach, Xander and Arielle at the Street Library in Pierre Close, Mt Colah. Photo: Mick Gallagher
Vanessa Soady and children Zach, Xander and Arielle at the Street Library in Pierre Close, Mt Colah. Photo: Mick Gallagher

Last year I wrote about the worldwide street libraries (AKA ‘little lending libraries’) phenomenon which promotes the joy of reading and has inspired members of Friends of Mount Colah (FOMC) to consider installing one in Mount Colah’s shopping precinct.

Although we’re still working on our little library’s launch, FOMC has also been supporting other locals keen to participate in this social movement. Recently, the Mount Colah Aurora Girl Guides has built and set up their own street library near the Guide Hall at Pierre Close.

At the time of writing, Hornsby Council is recommending to adopt the Draft Street Libraries on Public Land Policy and related notification form for public exhibition. I’ve been following the progress of these documents since Council decided back in June 2017 to develop guidelines, in response to some hiccups that local community libraries had experienced regarding operation in public areas.

It was great to read that the objectives of the draft policy is ‘To encourage the development of a network of street libraries across Hornsby Shire’. Although Council would prefer street libraries to operate from private property as a risk management measure, to its credit it has drafted this policy to allow for placement on public land (subject to a number of provisions guided by advice from Council’s insurers to mitigate public safety risks).

At this stage, consultation has mainly been with the insurers, and the next step will be to ensure the community adds their feedback so that the final policy is compatible with the grassroots spirit of the initiative. I strongly encourage community members to prepare submissions to Council.

Check out Council’s website and also www.streetlibrary.org.au


If you’d like to find out more about Friends of Mount Colah, send us an email at friends.of.mountcolah@gmail.com or Facebook us at: Friends of Mount Colah

Leave a Reply