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How to start a Street Library

Since Sydneysider Nic Lowe started Street Library in November 2015, his “Borrow a Book, Lend a Book” initiative has since blossomed all over Australia. As of July 2016, there are currently 100 free Street Libraries in Australia but Nic doesn’t want to stop there – he wants to see 400 more pop up in our neighbourhoods in the next couple of years.

 

How to start your Street Library

The concept is pretty simple: You build a little box for books on your front yard and people can borrow them without checking them in or out. They don’t need a library card nor will they get a fine for not bringing the book back. When your neighbours have finished reading it, they can either return it to your Street Library, drop it off at another one in the network, or pass it on to friends.

Street Libraries come in all shapes and sizes, but you can get started with this simple design.
 

MATERIALS

  • 2400mm- 90mm x 90mm post
  • 600mm – 45mm x 150mm piece of wood
  • 60mm lag screws
  • 75mm exterior lag screws
  • Drill
  • Books

METHOD

  1. To start, you will need a post. While any kind will work, we recommend you look for recycled hardwood
  2. Cut the post to 1500mm long
  3. With the remaining piece make side angle braces. Cut each piece 270mm long, with cut 45° angles on the ends
  4. Cut a wide platform out of the 45mm x 150mm piece of wood
  5. Mount the angled braces to the post with 75mm exterior lag screws and then attach the platform using the 60mm lag screws. First, pre-drill a slightly smaller hole to make it easier to install the lag screw. Use 75mm lag screws to enhance the holding power
  6. Dig a 600mm deep hole and install the post. Make sure to use a level and pack the dirt hard with a shovel to secure the post in position
  7. Drill six holes through the bottom of your Street Library. The holes need to match up with the post platform. Use the exterior 60mm lag screws to attach the platform to the library
  8. You can choose to paint or embellish it or leave it natural
  9. Now it’s time to fill it with books!
  10. Take a picture of you and your friends standing beside your very own Street Library and register it via streetlibrary.com.au

 

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Veda Dante

Veda Dante is an accomplished journalist, consultant and content creator who has nearly 30 years’ experience writing about everything from tourism, hospitality and health to architecture, pools and luxury goods. When she’s not producing copy for clients, this self-confessed word nerd is usually writing and photographing the Byron Bay region for her blog www.livebyron.com.au

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.