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Street Libraries in West End

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by Tinamaleela (subscribe)
I love hiking, travel, photography, art, and Brisbane's culture and lifestyle. (PS - If you enjoy reading my articles, please click on the 'like' button or make a comment.)
Published November 17th 2021
Borrow, read, return, repeat
The idea of street libraries has taken hold in Australia with over 3,200 libraries and growing. Mind you, this number reflects only those that are registered on the Street Library website.

Besides being convenient for those who live near one, street libraries encourage literacy and bring communities together with the sharing and appreciation of books as well as providing common grounds for interaction.

When I sought out street libraries in the West End area in November 2021, I found seven, including some that flew under the radar of the Street Library map. It would be worth checking out your own suburb for these hidden libraries (besides what you can easily find online).

Here is a list of West End's street libraries - open all hours to browse, borrow, donate, or swap:

28 Bristol Street - This registered street library sits unassumingly on a fence surrounded by lush greenery. The mint green housing with painted shoots of young leaves help to blend the library into the surrounding garden.

Bristol Street Book Library. Image by writer.


84 Ryan Street - A beautifully designed multi-shelved library with a generous amount of books from which to select. On the ceiling is a convex mirror providing a cool fisheye view of the library.

Ryan Street Footpath Library - probably designed and built by an architect. Image by writer.


street library libraries west end community diy
Would this be what a fish would see? Image by writer.


27 Harriet Street - Built in the shape of an oriental pagoda, this library is closely guarded by a fig tree whose roots are buttressed against a wall.

street library libraries west end community diy
Imaginative custom-designed street library. Image by writer.


street library libraries west end community diy
Now how do you train a fig tree to grow this way? Image by writer.


12 Hoogley Street — The front doors of the registered street library come from a cabinet built by Mr Merton, a German cabinetmaker and builder of Hoogley House.

street library libraries west end community diy
'Come look at my books' this library seems to say."


street library libraries west end community diy
Inside the Hoogley Street library. Image by writer.


48 Turin Street — The library can be found next to the driveway and is fitted with solar lighting. There is no external signage but this is a registered street library. It was started as a library offering children's books, adult fiction, CDs, and DVDs.

street library libraries west end community diy
A DIY library built with the help of a neighbour. Image by writer.


20 Princhester Street - This is another registered library. It is positioned next to the fence and set into a flourishing kerb-side garden. The library structure has been a wonderful community effort - the house and shelves were built originally by a Greek Papou for his beloved granddaughter (now grown-up), the paint came from a neighbour, the stand from another.

street library libraries west end community diy
Princhester Street Library. Image by writer.


42 Mollison Street - A sturdily-built library installed on the premises of House Conspiracy, a venue and incubator for emerging artists.

street library libraries west end community diy
Conspiracy House Community Library. Image by writer.


As far as I'm aware, these are the current street libraries in West End. Please add a comment below if you know of any others in this suburb. I am sure that over time, more will be added to the list.

Have you ever borrowed, swapped, or donated to a street library? What do you think of them and would you consider installing one yourself?

How to find a street library near you

Search the Street Library map on www.streetlibrary.org.au to find libraries in your area.

How to join the Street Library movement

Start your own little lending library by purchasing a DIY kit or come up with your own design and build a custom-made library. Register your library with Street Library to allow others to find it more easily.
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Your Comment
Aren't they wonderful. Our writing group donated some of our anthologies for the local street libraries just this week.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9506) 13 days ago
For me, this is the ultimate in recycling. Sharing stories, and books is a great community initiative. You never know what you will find
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|3618) 12 days ago
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