Word on the street

Pakenham resident, Ann Selby, has created Cardinia Lakes'' first street library. 208266_02

By Jessica Anstice

Cardinia Lakes’ first street library has popped up in Windermere Boulevard – providing books for children, adults and families.

Pakenham resident, Ann Selby, recycled a dollhouse, turned it into a mini library and planted in her front yard.

It’s a simple concept and the idea is that people can take a book – without the need to check in or out – or they can leave a book.

“I’d seen them before when I’ve walked on the Warburton Trail and I wanted to have one so I told my son and daughter-in-law that’s what I wanted for Christmas,” Ms Selby said.

“They found the dollhouse from hard rubbish late last year, they painted it and then I did all the other bits and bobs.

“I’m working from home at the moment so that’s why I thought I would do it while I have the opportunity.

The little weather-proof box is the first in Pakenham to be registered with Street Library Australia – an organisation that plans to have 5000 street libraries across the country by December 2021.

“I just really like the movement and here is a perfect spot because so many people walk past when going to the quarry and the school is nearby so everyone walks past here all day – there’s families all the time,” she said.

“I don’t want it to just be for me, I want it to be for everyone to take ownership of so that people stop and grab a book.

“I like to think people will use it as somewhere to come and pick one up but also to think that instead of taking things to the op shop they come and share it with others in the community.”

Windermere’s new library box was launched on Tuesday 5 May, with a range of children books, including classics such as Dr. Seuss and adult novels.

Anyone is welcome to donate their good reads and expand the recourse base of the neighbourhood library.

“I’ve had people donate books, both children and adults, and I want to have a collection of teen books too,” Ms Selby added.

“It’s not just for Cardinia Lakes – I don’t mind where people come from as long as they come and enjoy it and look after it.

“There’s a lot of people who live on their own and I know people are really struggling with home schooling and working but there’s still plenty of people who don’t live with anybody else, so to have a book to take home is nice.”