Street Libraries

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Expressions of interest are now closed

What next?

Keep an eye on this page to see us unveil the new Street Libraries over the coming weeks!

What are street libraries?

Street libraries are small book exchanges located in neighbourhoods on local streets, hosted by individual households to encourage a love of books and reading. The libraries are also a great way to connect and share in the neighbourhood.

There are 11 registered street libraries in the City of Maribyrnong.

Street libraries pilot project

Council will provide up to 10 street libraries in the Yarraville area as part of this pilot project.

The street libraries will also link to walking routes developed by Walks Victoria to promote and support people walking in their local neighbourhoods.

View the frequently asked questions below for more information.

If you don’t live in Yarraville, but are excited about the idea of a street library, email communitydevelopment@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au and we’ll be able to keep you updated on street library developments in the area. Otherwise, visit the Street Library Australia website for information on how to set up your own street library now - it's full of tips and tricks on getting one up and going, and lists libraries around your area.

Frequently asked questions

How long will the process take?

The Expression of Interest (EOI) process will run until the end of May. After we have reviewed the EOIs, we will pick the 10 most suitable sites for the project. We will contact all applicants to let them know the outcome of their expression of interest during the week starting 4 June.

Once we have found suitable sites for the street libraries, we can provide a ready-made street library for you to install. If you agree to be part of this project, the installation of the street library will need to take place by Friday 15 June.

 If these timelines aren’t suitable, contact us to find out more details about how you can install your own street library.

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Who will maintain the street libraries once they are up?

Maribyrnong City Council will help identify locations, build the libraries, and provide books for the libraries, but the maintenance will be up to you. The structure will be low-maintenance, but make sure you keep a little eye on what’s coming in and out of your library.

If you receive a street library, you can keep it indefinitely. It’s yours to share with your neighbourhood.

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Where do I get books for my street library?

If you have enough books lying around you can stock your own street library. A well-used street library should have a regular turnover of books to keep the collection changing frequently. Make sure you observe what’s coming in and out – we’re wanting to know what’s being shared and how it’s working as part of the pilot process.

If you don’t think you will have enough books to stock your library, please make a note of it on your expression of interest.

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Are there any restrictions around what I can do with my street library?

Only a couple. Obviously, there can’t be anything illegal happening in your street library. But, we’d also ask that the content of your street library be kept appropriate for the whole of community. Anything discriminatory in nature, or anything that could be seen as propaganda would not be suitable for your street library – both as content within the library or for the decorating of the library.

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What maps will my street library be appearing on?

We are working in conjunction with the libraries in the City of Maribyrnong and Victoria Walks, so we are putting together a walking map to showcase the locations of the new street libraries that allows people to explore both the libraries and the neighbourhood. The street library locations will be highlighted on this map and circulated through each of the participating websites and social media outlets. The street library will also be registered on the official Street Library Australia website, alongside other registered street libraries around the country. We will also explore other promotional opportunities that may widen the above distribution.

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What about other Council requirements?

As long as the street library is on private land, Council won’t impose any restrictions as the responsibility for maintenance is with the resident. Just be aware that there may be impacts if you have a heritage overlay as you may require a permit. Colours and placement of the street library may be important in those instances. This will be your responsibility to be aware of, so please get in touch with Council if you have any concerns about this.

If you are providing your own street library, you must ensure that it is built well and structurally sound.

You will be required to enter into an agreement with Council to acknowledge that you understand your rights and responsibilities.

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What will Council provide?

Council will be working with Braybrook Men’s Shed to get some custom-made street libraries built. They will be standardised two-tiered libraries in the style of a house. They will be painted colours chosen by the builders at the Men’s Shed and will be provided to participants as is.

You are more than welcome to put in an expression of interest for the project and provide your own street library. Just make sure you read the details around possible Council restrictions and call us with any questions.

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