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Little Street Libraries

Home > Adelaide > Books and Writing | Family | Free | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do
by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Published February 16th 2017
Curiouser and Curiouser
I love Little Street Libraries. Every now and then I'll see a colourful box in front of a house, or within a playground area and know that it's a free community lending library.

Little Free Library
Little Free Library, Flinders Park (Špaula mcmanus)

Street Libraries are a brilliant place to donate, browse, borrow and share books. And, it's free. There's no membership and there's no limit to how long you keep the book - in fact, you can keep the book or pass it on to family and friends if you wish.

Books are brain food. They keep our minds healthy and happy.

Nic Lowe, Founder of Street Library Australia, said the street library movement's motto is 'Take a book, give a book, share a book.'

These Little Street Libraries make our streets and neighbourhoods a bit more interesting, especially for our children and grandchildren. Kids love checking out the library boxes. They can choose a book and take it home. There's nothing like relaxing with a book on your lap - opening it, turning the pages, immersing yourself in it and then finishing it. Then, returning it to the library and borrowing another - it's an experience that a lot of kids in this digital age are missing out on. It makes my heart happy to see these Street Libraries popping up all over the place.

Little Free Library
Little Free Library, Port Adelaide (Špaula mcmanus)

The Street Library concept has taken off all over the world - it's estimated that there are 40,000 street libraries in more than 80 countries.

These Little Libraries encourage the love of books and also the joy of anonymous giving and sharing with no reward. They are great life lessons for the whole family.

It's not just children who benefit from Street Libraries. People living rough and those in need are huge beneficiaries of the suburban book boxes. One of the Street Libraries stocks free personal and sanitary items for those who really need them. I love the community spirit and the honesty and trust that's wrapped up in these little book boxes.

Little Free Library
Little Free Library, Gawler (Špaula mcmanus)

The Library boxes are just wonderful. One day there can be very few books in there, the next day - just like magic - there can be dozens of books! The range can be anything from kids classics to adult thrillers, non-fiction books, magazines and sometimes DVD's. It's different every day.

Currently, there are nearly 20 Street Libraries in Adelaide. They extend from Gawler north of Adelaide, to Piccadilly in the Adelaide Hills, Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula and everywhere in between.

They're all different. They're fun and funky and have huge appeal for the kids - the Street Libraries are definitely encouraging a love of books in the younger generation.

Little Free Library
Little Free Library, North Adelaide (Špaula mcmanus)

Is there a Street Library in your suburb? If there is, please let us know in the comments! If not - why not consider starting one of your own? There are 2 websites where you can get hints and tips for building your own Little Library. The Street Library website and the Little Free Library website.

If you are handy with a hammer or know someone who is - why not get started?

If you'd like to find a Street Library, here's a list of the ones that I've found out about........ so far!

Why not write the addresses down, pack the family into the car or head off on foot with the dog in tow and explore the suburbs to locate the libraries. It'd be a fun (and free) day out for the whole family and the best part is - you'll definitely find a book to take home with you to love and enjoy and then swap back again.

Little Free Library
Little Free Library, Glandore (Špaula mcmanus)

Bowden: Gibson Street (Plant 4 complex)
One of the largest of the Street Libraries in Adelaide.

Campbelltown: Lochiel Parkway.
Adelaide's first free Street Library! The library has been built in the same design as the local houses.

Cape Jervis: Main South Road
This cute little library can be found outside the General Store.

Coromandel Valley: 442B Main Road
This little library is located near the public art at the oval alongside the Coromandel Community Centre.

Flagstaff Hill: Ridgway Drive
You'll find this one near the golf club. Take the kids for a walk and pick up a book.

Flinders Park: corner of Greville Avenue and Grant Place
My favourite (so far). A delightful toadstool shaped library with little reading stools surrounding it. The playground is fantastic too!

Gawler: 70 Hill Street.
This Street Library was originally a TV cabinet and was converted into two libraries - one for the adults and one for the children.

Glandore: Naldera St.
This little library was built in honour of local man Alan Dutton who was a great story teller. "Dad's Little library" can be found under 2 shady trees in the grounds of the Glandore Community Centre.

Inman Valley: 1714 Inman Valley Road
This free little library is named "Ots Cottage" and can be found outside the Inman Valley General Store.

Normanville: 54 Main Street
The Normanville Natural Resource Centre received funding from the Yankalilla Community Library to create 4 free little libraries for the local area. This one is a small replica of Storm Boys cottage - inspired by the Colin Thiele classic book of the same name.

North Adelaide: LeFevre Terrace - Helicopter Park / Glover Playground
This library in Adelaide's funnest playground even has its own Facebook page!

Norwood: 19 Edward Street.
In honour of Sienna who loved books and stories. this little library can be found at the Margaret Ives Children's Centre.

Piccadilly: 169 Piccadilly Road
This little free library is another one dedicated to the memory of Sienna. This library is located at the doctors surgery where Sienna and her mother spent a lot of their time.

Port Adelaide: Mundy Street
Named "Hart's Mill Little Free Library" it can be found next to the playground and Folklore Cafe at the Harts Mill end of the wharf at Port Adelaide and also has a Facebook page.

Second Valley: Finniss Vale Drive
This cute library is at the local store near the caravan park.

Wayville: Maple Avenue.
This little library has books of all kinds and also stocks a range of free toiletries and sanitary items for people in need. The Library is refilled every week.

Wayville: Adelaide Farmers Market.
Market-goers can swap books each time they visit the market when they visit for their organic fruit and veg goodness.

Little Free Library
Little Free Library (Špaula mcmanus)

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Your Comment
Also at the playground at Rosewater oval :)
by chris (score: 0|9) 1998 days ago
Brilliant Paula - such an innovative and rewarding way for the community to connect!
by Jenny Pickett (score: 3|1735) 2000 days ago
So glad you won, Paula - you definitely got my vote!
by Elaine (score: 3|8949) 1982 days ago
What a great idea. Nice article.
by Irenke Forsyth (score: 3|2599) 1986 days ago
Congratulations winning first prize.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 1982 days ago
Thank you for the lovely article. The City of West Torrens has 8 Little Libraries, with at least 8 more to follow this year. The map showing their locations is here:
Our Little Libraries were made possible by the Lions Club of Richmond Inc. who provided the funds and the Camden Community Centre Men's Shed who manufactured a number of different Little Library designs.
by apasc (score: 0|8) 1996 days ago
Congratulations on winning a prize in the competition.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9635) 1982 days ago
Well done Paula, I'd been wondering about these mystery boxes.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11309) 2001 days ago
Love this, wish we had them in the U.K., what a fab idea 😊
by Rachael Sneddon (score: 1|62) 1982 days ago
What a wonderfully innovative idea, Paula - great article!
by Elaine (score: 3|8949) 1992 days ago
Delightful idea and article, well done Paula! Will now keep an eye out for them.
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1497) 1982 days ago
Yes, Terre (cafe) on Willunga's High Street, have a free library on some shelves near the entrance. The food and ambience there are very good too.
Normanville's "Storm Boy Cottage" Little Free Library is a delightful example of this innovation.
by letgy001 (score: 1|47) 1992 days ago
New ones are coming to Willunga - I think that one is already open, and soon to come to McLaren Vale! This one will be inside The Vintage Bean Cafe.
by arhod (score: 0|7) 2001 days ago
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