Chifley Kinder Haven is embracing the Street Library Australia movement. As part of this, they have created a miniature library which is accessible from the street, to boost community engagement.
The aim of the Street Library is to emphasise the importance of books and literacy from a young age.
How it works:
Operating on ‘a book for a book’ basis, street libraries are wooden boxes that allow passersby to reach in and take any book they choose as long as they replace it with another.
Centre manager Shawnee Lee says: “Our library is a nice way of getting the community to know us on an educational and personal level.”
The centre built their little library with help from their handyman and the children’s hand prints add a colourful and decorative touch. It has been measured so that even the tiniest of book lovers can access the library.
“Our centre is in a triangle of three levels of schooling – the local high school and primary school are just across the road, so this is a great opportunity to facilitate those relationships between the centre and the schools,” Shawnee Lee says.
The Importance of the Street Library
Shawnee Lee felt there needed to be more of an emphasis on books and literacy in early education. “We really wanted to start encouraging a love of books amongst the children from a very early age at our centre”
Literacy is a core value at the centre, with the staff and children celebrating annual Book Week and their book corner being a main feature inside the centre.
“This library teaches the children that it is very important to respect books and that books and our imagination can transport us to another place,”.
So far the initiative has generated a lot of interest amongst the community. “Everyone’s very excited,” “We’re putting a lot of trust in the community. It’s up to them to love and respect our library.”