“A room without books is like a body without a soul” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

So we built a room to house books.

It is our great pleasure to contribute the Little Cooper Street Library to out neighbourhood.

On my request, craftsman Mark Patton built and installed it during 2020 COVID 19 and my tiny wish for our community is here.

I am so grateful to Mark for making this beautiful installation, so we can all share and enjoy preloved books for free.

The Little Free Library movement was founded in 2009 in Hudson Wisconsin by Todd Bol and Rick Brooks.

In Australia the not-for profit movement is called Street Library and Sean Killen is one of the first librarians.

There are three inclusive goals:

  1. To encourage literacy
  2. To encourage community
  3. To reach 5000 street libraries by December 2021

To date there are 1,970 street libraries in Australia. The Cooper Street Library is number 1,971.

The rules are really simple:

-Take a book

-Leave a book

Street Library is voluntary and free for everyone to participate, contribute and initiate. It belongs to everyone.

Why is this so important?

I love books, I love reading and I believe knowledge is the best gift.

I also believe in the commons– that is the importance of community and not capitalism.

My parents, who were migrants came to Australia and adapted from a commons lifestyle to one that required them to work, to make money to pay for things. They often tell stories of their Calabria, that was all about sharing resources. “What about the mafia?” Exactly, the mafia existed because of greed, and captialism.

Now we find ourselves in a pandemic where capitalism doesn’t work so great, and on the flipside the kindness movement is bringing back the sentiment of the commons.

Right now our neighbourhood is buzzing with activity, because of the COVID 19 restrictions. The libraries are closed. Borrowbox is the only way to borrow an ebook or an audio book, instantly to any device.

But sometimes you want to experience a book with all your senses, because it is a precious thing, like a discovered treasure. When you read a real book it becomes like an extension of yourself.


3 thoughts on “The Little Cooper Street Library

  1. Hi Fortunata
    What an exquisite library and what a precious gift.
    I was thinking of your request for a name for your library and I thought of two:
    Books 2 you little library (b/c you are number two Cooper st)
    Flying the Coop little library (because you live in Cooper st and the aim is for the books to leave the library – as well as the notion of freedom that books and reading give us.
    Lv t

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful words Maria! Good luck with your street library in Cooper St.


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