Yesterday we launched our very own Children's Street Library. A Street Library or Little Free Library is a small box you put on your street to share books with your neighbours. It's a wonderful way of supporting the circular economy and building connections within your community.
To begin the process we spoke with our neighbours and friends on our street to share our ideas. Otto and I visited six or so Street Libraries within walking distance of our home to see what they look like and to see what books they stock. We wanted to make ours a Children's Street Library because we have a lot of children's books, there are a lot of children in our area and, because the existing Street Libraries in our area mainly have adult fiction.
Although there are many DIY options, we ordered a ready-built wooden Street Library. I painted our Street Library solid colours with outdoor paint. I knew some of the children in our street were interested in art so I approached their parents about painting the Library. Two gorgeous girls (in Yr 6 and 7) painted the Library with their own designs. I showed the girls a couple of existing Street Library designs that I liked for inspiration (mostly with botanical themes) and the end result was perfect. We have strawberries and sunflowers in our garden with lots of bees so this was so spot on! We used outdoor Modge Podge as a sealant, this was recommended by our hardware store but I'll be slightly nervous when it rains.
The Street Library had to be super child friendly so height was a consideration. Otto has just turned three and he can easily reach and open the door, but I wish ours was just a little lower so that it was more toddler friendly.
While keeping the Street Library firmly aimed at children we've also included some cook books and natural parenting/education books. Although our Street Library has been open for just over 24 hours I've been so excited by all the activity. Most of the books that have been shared so far are young fiction for Otis' age (9yrs) and toddler board books.
It was wonderful to see Otis check on the library this morning and find some new books there that he would like to read! I like that my children are active participants and they can see how rewarding the process is.
I've even found a good new book to read (Sleeping naked is green by Vanessa Farquherson).
I love that our Street Library has a nice large window so people walking by can see clearly what is in it. Let me know if you have any questions about Street Libraries, I would love to help in any way I can!!
If you are looking for more Street Library inspiration here are a few with botanical themes that I love:
So many flowers.
This is gorgeous.
An owl theme is a little curious and mystical.
Who doesn't love bees? I think this one is at an early education centre.
I love how colourful this is!
You may also like my original post about Street Libraries here.