In this electronic age, the future of the humble book is often debated, with many saying that their glory days are gone. Little Free Libraries have proven that humanity’s love of a paperback is boundless, with over 80,000 of these tiny libraries in over 90 countries sharing millions of books every year. The concept is simple – a free book exchange with the philosophy of “Take a book, share a book”, generally hosted by book enthusiasts that are then embraced and adopted by the community at large.
With an area of over 1200 square km, the Shire of Chittering only has one public library, situated in Bindoon. Library Officer, Annie Hudson observed that few people from the outlying areas utilised the Bindoon Library but was certain that there were book worms amongst them. With a healthy supply of donated books from a generous community, she set out to install Little Free Libraries across the Shire. Instead of the traditional small cabinet perched atop a post, Annie decided to go a different route with her library design. “Using outdoor bench seats with storage inside of them not only provides a weather-proof area to keep the books in, but it then also provides people with somewhere to sit and read, as well as giving them the opportunity to enjoy the views of our picturesque Shire.”
So far there are five Little Free Libraries across the Shire. The Wannamal Rest Area and the one outside of Immaculate Heart College in Lower Chittering were the initial pilot libraries and after a successful start, John Glenn Park in Muchea, the Julimar Rest Area on the border of Upper and Lower Chittering, and the Carty Reserve Rest Area in Chittering were added. There are also plans in the next financial year to install another in Mooliabeenee.
These Little Free Libraries may be looked after by the Bindoon Library but Annie says that anyone is welcome to build their own. “As most voracious readers can attest, there’s no such thing as too many books! If anyone is interested in having their own Little Free Library on their street, then they’re more than welcome to pop into the Bindoon Library to get some information. There are some amazing creations out there, including a Little Free Library in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho that was built inside of a 110 year old Cottonwood tree stump. Given the number of creative people who call Chittering home, it would be wonderful to see what people came up with here.”
If any of the Little Free Libraries require attention, please do not hesitate to call Annie on 9576 4610.