“When I used to read fairy tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one!” — Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
If you walk past the Bindoon Library, don’t be shocked if you find yourself immersed in an amazing fairy tale wonderland now that their Reading Nook has opened. Using the colours and themes of Carroll’s beloved tale of Alice and her trip down the rabbit hole, local artist, Gina Sanderson of Chittering Acres, has completely transformed the entrance to the Library. Once a rather dull and lacklustre space, it is now an area that makes people want to stop and stay awhile.
Library Officer Annie Hudson had wanted to transform the space for a while and when an opportunity came up to apply for an Encouraging Promising Practices grant from the State Library of Western Australia, she had the project ready to go. “The grant was to support projects that extend the capacity of small regional public library services to increase access to and engagement with library services and materials. It was the perfect match for a project designed to give the community a space to sit and read, use the free WiFi when the library is closed, or just for somewhere pleasant to sit and wait.”
Roughly 95% materials used for the nook are upcycled, and include plate flowers, pallet art, and teapot totems as well as two unique bench seats also built by local artisans. The kid’s seat was made by Mynetta and Don Nugent and the adult’s seat (made from an old bed frame) was created by Nick Piccirilli. Both were then given an ‘Alice make over’ by Gina, who also teamed up with Debbie Powdrill to create the adorable mushrooms that dot the garden.
Once the Nook was complete, a Grand Opening was held on Saturday, 19 June. Over 40 people attended the event, including Shire of Chittering councillors, executive managers, and – much to Annie’s delight, two special guests from The State Library of Western Australia. Janet Deegan, Public Library Liaison Librarian and Steve McQuade, Manager Public Libraries and Literacy made the trip up to Bindoon for the morning.
After seeing the Reading Nook, Mr McQuade said, “One of the roles of the State Library is to support public libraries. Public libraries are the beating heart of their communities and this nook at Bindoon Library will help to keep that heart beating.”
The Reading Nook is a permanent fixture that will continue to amaze and delight for years to come. All of the artists/creators involved are upcyclers and if you’re interested in having a piece of the magic in your own garden, they are happy to be contacted for sales enquiries.