Melbourne Odds and Ends

Little Free Library

I first came across the idea of the Little Free Library on Alys’ blog. When I read her post Little Free Library Debut I was smitten, just like she was when she saw her first one. (Alys is renovating her Library at the moment, which you can read about, as well as the fairy garden that sits next to it, and her peaceful Buddha gardens.) I thought the idea of having a neighbourhood book swap was the most wonderful thing. However, I never quite got to creating one outside our home. So imagine my delight when I saw this, only a street away.

The Little Free Library in Ascot Vale

Yes, a Little Free Library of our own! We have much loved and well used public library just up the street, but this is a bonus.

It was begun by a group of young girls. You can read their full story in this article in the local paper.

A GROUP of Ascot Vale girls have set up a community street library to encourage more people to get to know their neighbours.

Group founder Sophia, 10, felt the need to reach out to neighbours after hearing stories of her Dad’s childhood spent with friends.

And that story makes my smile just a little broader.

With the Little Free Library they have created a little neighbourhood oasis. It has three library boxes ~ for Grown Ups, Young People and Little Ones ~ each at the right height. There’s a sign post and a notice board, and a night light! As well there is a little seating area under the shade of the tree. All this hosted by the Church of Christ.

I visited today, taking a book and leaving one. It’s a simple idea with deep roots, helping to build community and connections.


Now, which book will I choose? Which one would you take home?

24 replies on “Little Free Library”

I love book exchanges too! I chose Janet Evanovich’s “Sizzling Sixteen”. It is a while since I have read one in the series, and they always make me laugh! I will select “My mother’s diamonds”, if it is still there, and let yo know what it is like.


Isn’t that lovely? I don’t do much reading for pleasure these days (whole days editing take away the joy of leisure reading). These days I’m an audio-books fan, but I love the idea of sharing books like this and especially that this LFL was instigated by young people.

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Yes, the whole concept is wonderful. The Little Free Library had a copy of Kate Nowberry’s “The fish ladder” which I read as an audio book. I mention it because it may be something you would enjoy listening to. It is a memoir of her journeys along various British rivers, as she recovers from the death of her father and the still birth of her child. Sounds rather grim, but is a very gentle, insightful book.


I wish I lived in the kind of neighbourhood where this would take off, but I strongly suspect that most of my neighbours have a hard time getting through The Land newspaper! I hope it’s wildly successful, it’s so well executed.


The design of this is so appealing–they did a great job of making it welcoming! I’m not sure which book I’d choose-I’m not a fan of Patterson or Flynn or Deaver. I read the Thirteenth Tale but don’t remember it well . . . did you choose one?


I was surprised by the variety of interests. I was strongly tempted by the biography of Kurt Vonnegut, but really wanted something easy to read. I selected “Sizzling sixteen” by Janet Evanovich, something I knew I could read in a couple of hours, and did! I will give it back tomorrow.


Great idea – we don’t have enough passing traffic outside our house otherwise I’d think about starting my own. I don’t know which I’d choose – I’d have to skim through a few pages and read the blurb on the back first 😉


Yes, it certainly needs to be in a place where people walk past, and can stop to browse. Lots of people walk by this spot on their way to the little shopping centre and tram stop just up the road.


Anne, I could have sworn that I replied here but alas I must have composed the comment in my head. I’ve been known to do that. ;-0 Thank you for the link back. That is thoughtful of you. These are delightful boxes, all the more sweet with the three different sizes. What fun. I suspect they’ll get lots of visitors. I’m amazed at how popular mine is, even now with the unceremonious plastic bin of boxes. I can’t wait to share it when it’s finished. With your artistic skills, I can imagine all sorts of beautifully themed libraries at your curb. Have you given it any more thought?

I think I would choose Air Mail as I love anything to do with real mail. 🙂


It’s great to know that your Little Library is well used. Do you have returning customers? I hope this one is as popular. As I said to Kate, I noticed that the book I left had gone, so someone else is using it. I will see if “Air mail” is still there. 😀


I would probably look first in the “young persons” as I rather like teen type books…and I also quite like picture very young peoples books…sometimes I have had a great idea for art.

We have a container library on Te Wero Island in downtown Auckland – which is open most of the day, there are chairs, and couches both in it and out (one side of long wall has been taken out… You can hire the small space for community groups – I know our local area has spinning and Knit in Public days there…
aha, finally found a picture of it…of course, it might be different to this now, it’s been hanging around at the wharves/harbours for a while


I love that! And what a good use for an old shipping container.
Children’s books are wonderful. Reading to children was one of my very favourite things to do when I was a teacher. Yesterday, as I walked past the Little Free Library i saw a mum and her toddler looking into the Young Ones library. The child was fascinated.

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