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Street Libraries

Home > Melbourne > Free | Libraries | Outdoor | Unusual Things to do | Walks
by Neil Follett (subscribe)
I'm a retired photographer living in Lilydale mainly researching and writing on Australian aviation history. Now writing more on general subjects.
Published July 25th 2021
Your very local library
As you wander around your neighbourhood, you may have noticed an occasional box or small glass fronted cabinet full of books.

street library
The first street library that I saw.

Some have a sign simply denoting it is a street library.

Street library sign.
Street library sign.

Others have a detailed notice explain all about street libraries.

Street library.
Street library.

Street library rules
Street library rules.

Street Libraries are a home for pre-loved books, planted in your front yard. They are accessible from the street and are an invitation to share the joys of reading with your neighbours.

Street library.
Some have messages.

They are a fun and free way for neighbours and passers-by to make connections and share and spread the joy of reading. They work by people leaving books in the library that they no longer need and would like to share with others. Someone else can pick up a book and take it home to read and enjoy.

Street library.
Landscape Drive, Mooroolbark.

Street library sign.
Words of wisdom.

Street libraries are registered with Street Libraries Australia. To date, there over 3000 registered in Australia, 650 in Victoria and 525 in Melbourne.

Street library.
Felix Crescent, Ringwood North. This one is in a park.

Park seat.
It has a park seat to borrow and read.

It shouldn't be too hard to find one. If you look at the website of Street Libraries Australia at, you will find all the information you need. You may even like to start one yourself.

Street library.
Glenburnie Road, Mitcham.

On the site, there is an option that lists the street address of where they all are. You will be surprised that you could have one in your street, or around the corner. All the ones depicted in this article have been discovered while engaging in street walks.

Street library.
Melview Drive, Ringwood North.

You can purchase ready-made street libraries, (supply your own books), purchase ready to assemble flat packs or just build your own.

Street library.
Naar Maem Drive, Croydon Hills.

Anyone may contribute or take books. If you take a book (or two) from a library, you do not need to return that exact book. However, in order to keep the little library full of good choices for the whole neighbourhood, the next time you pass by the library bring a few books to share. Little Free Library book exchanges function on the honour system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside.

Street library.
St. Andrews Drive, Chirnside Park.

You can even return your borrowed book to any street library.

Street library.
Regency Rise, Chirnside Park.

One street library I passed in Mooroolbark was a designated Children's Street Library. A laudable initiative.

Street library.
Children's street library Hayrick Lane, Mooroolbark.

I have so far not borrowed a book, but I have noticed that many of the books available are by well-known authors, so quality literature is assured.

Street library.
Lilydale Aged Care

Another great advantage is you can borrow a book that you would not normally buy if you are not sure if you would like it. There is no library to join and no need to worry about late returns and overdue fees.

Future street library material.

Your next street walk could be a literary experience.
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Why? It's an unique experience
When: anytime
Where: All over the country.
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great idea isn't it. Have just made my own street library using a glass fridge. Good article.
by Susan Jackson (score: 2|864) 317 days ago
This is an awesome idea.
by Gayle Beveridge-Marien (score: 4|10118) 499 days ago
We have 2 on the street near our school. Very good initiative.
by Mindo Koerber (score: 2|539) 124 days ago
The libraries are just so lovely, have seen a couple around East Ringwood as well.
by don_t (score: 1|88) 499 days ago
by Lucy on 11/11/2016
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