With love from Kalkee Murray Street Library

With love from Kalkee Murray Street Library

It’s a novel way to connect with the community and already the Kalkee Murray Street Library is getting rave reviews!

And justifiably too. It’s a street library with a difference. Not only can locals choose a free book or a DVD, but they can even take a lemon or two when they walk by the little water-proof purple library on a pole outside Uniting AgeWell Kalkee Community, Murray.

The wooden library with its glass cover and roof painted with fluffy white clouds, on the corner of Spring and Francis streets in Belmont, was officially opened on Thursday, 12 October from 10.30am-11.30am and the community was invited. There were balloons and streamers, and a coffee van with locals invited to have a free coffee and also to help themselves to sandwiches and sweet slices. And of course to chat and check out the library.

The initiative came from the aged care residents who wanted to find another way to connect to the community.

Fiona Allchin, the Lifestyle Coordinator at the not-for-profit aged care facility, says this is just the first chapter in the future of the library. She plans to install a community notice board at the site, where both aged care residents and those in the community can write comments about their favourite books. There are even plans for the residents to write book reviews!

“There are about eight DVDs and 20 books on display at a time, and each of the books has got a sticker on it saying ‘With love from the Kalkee Murray Street Library.’ Each comes with a beautiful bookmark, made by our craft group, bearing the same message,” says Fiona.

Now Fiona says the residents at Kalkee Murray will be forming a Library Committee, where they’ll decide which books from the facility’s own massive library will be shared with the community.

Fiona says they’ll also alternate the free lemons on offer with herbs and cherry tomatoes that residents grow on site. The residents will also pop down to the street library to see what needs replenishing and to connect with the community. “Helping run the library gives residents a sense of purpose,” says Fiona.

The street library has been in operation for two weeks now and the children’s books are proving the most popular. “We’ve already had passers-by saying how much they love the idea,” she says.

The lovely initiative for the community has also been made possible by the community. Waurn Ponds Bunnings donated the paint which the residents and the Men’s Group at the aged care facility used to give the street library its fresh look. The post supporting the library was inserted into the ground by members of the Mt Duneed Men’s Shed, who also invited the residents to come and visit them anytime.

Find out more about life at Kalkee Community, Murray