New policy to encourage more street libraries

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Hornsby Shire Council fully supports the installation of street libraries and has adopted a draft policy that will allow them to be placed on public land.

Street libraries are small structures that allow for free exchange of books – people take a book to read and leave one there for others.

“They’re a great community-building initiative and we would love to see many more of them being established,” Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock said.

“Our first preference is for them to be placed on private land where they can be most easily maintained by the community-minded people who erect them, but we realise that is not always possible.

“To that end, we have worked with our insurers to make sure public liability coverage applies to residents who install street libraries in accordance with Council’s policy.

“The conditions of the policy are not onerous and their main goal is to ensure that the street library is not hazardous or obstructive.”

Councillor Michael Hutchence is among those looking forward to seeing more street libraries in the Shire’s streets.

“All of the councillors are united in the belief that these libraries are a great resource for our community,” Councillor Hutchence said.

Council is also working on its own initiatives to directly increase the number of street libraries in the Shire and there will be more details on this in the near future.

The draft Street Library on Public Land Policy will be on public exhibition for 28 days.

There are over 750 registered street libraries in Australia. Visit to find out more about them.

Caption (R-L): Mayor Philip Ruddock and Cllr Michael Hutchence trying out the Girl Guide street library in Mt Colah.