A Street Library to Chat About

Madeline, Blake and Jax from Chatterbox Albany Creek are excited to share their childcare centre’s new Street library, built by the local Men’s Shed with the community.

There is no doubt that the Street Library revolution is bringing neighbourhoods together. Now another library is joining the movement in our local area – the Chatterbox Street library.

 This library is primarily for childrens’ books, however families with older siblings and adults are also welcome to contribute to the library as well.

Keen to involve the local community in a project for their centre, the team at Chatterbox Early Learning had an abundance of books that had been donated by families that they wanted to share with the community. However, the logistics of a conventional library was too difficult, so a Street Library became the perfect solution. 

‘We noticed that we have many people walking past our centre on a daily basis, such as the Albany Creek High School children, people walking their dogs etc. They always look in with a smile and a wave at the children, so we wanted them to feel a connection to us. We thought a street library would be a great way to connect them to us,’ said Kristine Landsberg, Educational Leader at Chatterbox Albany Creek.

Following on from the latest AEDC data, it is shown that there has been an increase in vulnerability in the language domain in the community of Albany Creek. Keen to address this alarming statistic, the team at Chatterbox hope that their Street Library may encourage reading with young children and other members of the community. It is hoped that this in turn may help to increase language and literacy levels in the community.

Centre Manager of Chatterbox Albany Creek, Alex Walford with members of the RRCMS John (Chairman), Peter and Valentina with Chatterbox students Jax, Madeline and Blake

From our previous Street Library stories, we know that behind every great Street Library, is an even greater builder  – and this could not be truer for this Library! The team at Chatterbox Early Learning saw the great work the Ridley Road Community Mens Shed do in making wooden toys and products for the community, so they thought they would be the perfect choice to collaborate with. 

The library was a combined effort by at least four of the Ridley Road members who devoted their time and skill for its construction – a construction that will give the harsh Queensland climate a run for its money. As John from the Ridley Road Community Mens Shed tells us, practicalities had to be addressed when it came to the construction.

‘We built the library from Marine Ply to withstand the rain, the pine doors have clear perspex insets to allow the books to be viewed and the library itself is mounted at waist height to be easy access by the children and the roof.’

‘Also, as the library takes advantage of the shade from a tree, we couldn’t forget  the  mess the birds can make. Therefore, the roof is made of waterproof material so even the bird poo slides off!’ 

Although permanent signage will arrive shortly, the street library is now fully up and running. Why not drop by and have a browse, create a conversation and get the whole family reading. For more information about the Street Library movement, or to find a library near you, visit www.streetlibrary.org.au

The Ridley Men are highly skilled in wood-working and are on the look out for projects of this nature. Community organisations are  invited to contact the centre with requests. In addition, small repairs and restoration of wooden items are also a community service offered. For more information, contact  ridleymen@gmail.com or check out their story here.


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