Word Fest Toowoomba – Street Libraries

Thanks to the vision of book lovers to recycle their books, and to the physical creations to house these gems, Toowoomba has a wonderful selection of FREE books available 24/7 in community locations….and mostly on the fences of local city streets. Some little street libraries promote the reading tastes of the owners, some are built by organisations to cater for different reading tastes or age groups, and some just serve as a repository for loved or rejected books which others may see as treasures.

In 2022, thanks to the assistance of Cracker Print and Paper’s design team and general support, Word Fest Toowoomba took on the task of compiling a brochure to guide tourists and locals alike to the various street libraries around the community.

Although there are many businesses and organisations such as doctors, hospital and The Lighthouse where books are on hand to share and take for free, the advantage of fhe Street Libraries is their accessibility all day, anyday or night.

One such community-minded household, which has come on board since the brochure was published and quickly ran out of copies, sits at 21 Ascot Street at Newtown and is the result of UniSQ library resource officer, Sharon Geitz and her handy husband, Gary, who have created a home for books and seed exchange. With the brief that the library on their front fence needed to be made from recycled material, the challenge was on. The results speak for themselves!

Congratulations to ALL the Street Library makers and custodians!

The fact that their talented daughter Bronte works at Dymocks bookstore in Grand Central means there are always books in the house, and filling the street library was a doddle. From this humble beginning, neighbourhood dog walkers and locals have exchanged books and seeds, cared for the integrity of the little home for the books and the neighbours have all benefitted from the initiative.

Of course, mindless vandalism by a very small minority, has seen heartbreak for those like Peter Howard at Rangeville where recent arson saw the damage to his Street Library and fence. Rallying to quickly rebuild has the hallmark of everything neighbourhood communities stand for, and with donations of lots of books, this spirit will not be hampered.

Please get in touch if you know of new additions or removals, or would like to know more. Jump on to our Wird Fest Toowoomba Facebook page or contact admin@wordfesttoowoomba.com.au

Word Fest Toowoomba’s 2023 program of wonderful storytelling, books, authors and a variety of charity fund-raising events around the theme of WORD OF MOUTH, as well as the map and details of the Street Libraries can be found online on the website at http://www.wordfesttoowoomba.com.au