In a push to encourage more Forbes residents to enjoy reading, Forbes Shire Council has installed a bright red “Street Library” in Nelson Park.
Local resident Kathy Prow initiated the project with Council after seeing the street libraries in other locations around NSW.
And the first has been installed just in time for Christmas.
Mrs Prow explained that the concept of street libraries is that they are a beautiful home for books, planted in a public place.
“People can simply reach in and take what interests them; when they are done, they can return them to the Street Library,” Mrs Prow said.
“They can also swap the book they take with one of their own, or even just donate a book or two for others to enjoy.”
Mrs Prow, a teacher by profession, is passionate about reading and literacy.
When she first saw a street library on the South Coast, she thought this would be a good thing for our town, for every town.
With the first street library situated in a popular playground, next to the pre school, she hopes parents will make use of it and set the reading example for their children.
Mrs Prow sees the street library as an extension of our local library – available out of hours and in a range of accessible locations.
It is what the community makes it: with donations of books already in place but room for more.
In time and with community support, it could boast an incredibly diverse collection of good reads.
Mrs Prow hopes there will be more street library locations in future, particularly where they are available to tourists and visitors to town.
Those can then be deposited in another street library in another location, they’re becoming more and more popular across the country.
“I’m just so excited,” she said when installation was completed.
“I’m delighted that it’s here.”
Forbes Shire Council General Manager Steve Loane says that the installation of the first street library is part of Council’s ongoing commitment to supporting community initiatives.
“We congratulate Mrs Prow on her idea - our support of this project is in line with great events such as Reading Down Town Day, that really foster an ethic of learning in young and old alike,” he said.
“Reading is so important for children and modelling an enjoyment of reading by adults can only encourage young people to do the same.
“This street library is the first in town and there are more planned - stay tuned!”