TWO street libraries will be constructed by volunteers at Central Tablelands Woodcraft to encourage book sharing and reading among the community.
The street library movement started 10 years ago in the US when The Little Library founder Todd Bol installed a library inside a miniature model of a school house on his front lawn in Wisconsin as a tribute to his mother, a former teacher and bookworm.
When it became a neighbourhood hit, he realised that people were craving conversation as much as books.
The movement soon arrived in Australia and street libraries are now appearing across the country.
It is a simple concept: The street library is usually a small wooden cabinet with a clear door.
People simply leave books they no longer need in the library for others to borrow and return.
Designs include phone boxes and tree houses but the idea behind them is always the same, to make books available to everyone, no matter how rich or poor, or where they live.
Councillor Jess Jennings saw the rise of the street library movement during a visit to the US and thought the concept could also work in Bathurst.
He approached Central Tablelands Woodcraft about getting on board with the idea and council has agreed to fund $700 worth of materials to get the club started.
That’s enough for two street libraries, but Cr Jennings hopes more will follow.
“The first two might go into Kelso and South Bathurst but I will also talk to Bathurst Library to get some data on the distribution of its membership which might help with those decisions,” Cr Jennings said.
“We obviously want the first two to be a success so we don’t want them hidden away where no-one knows they’re there.
“It’s a community movement and once we make a start there could be others to follow.”
Paul Rodenhuis from Central Tablelands Woodcraft said the club would settle on a design for the Bathurst street libraries after some research.
“They have to be displayed somewhere, basically on someone’s fence, and we hope people will take ownership of them,” he said.
“I think it will be a fairly simple wooden structure with a perspex door that people can see through.”
The $700 from council was funded through Section 356 donations.