By Mariko Smith

Friends of Mount Colah (FOMC) is working on a number of exciting initiatives to launch in the local community which relate to our objective of creating opportunities for community building. Inspired by the world-wide “street library” phenomenon, FOMC intends to establish one in Mt Colah, with a potential location being Mount Colah shops, near the train station and bus stops as well the local school.

The humble street library creates a lovely social hub, promotes good ol’ fashioned reading and book reuse/recycling.

A ready-made, plain wooden box purchased from has been kindly donated to FOMC, and we are thinking about putting a call-out for expressions of interest from local artists for one successful applicant to donate their time and effort to paint a masterpiece as decoration on our very own Mount Colah street library. It is another way for FOMC to encourage community involvement and promote some great local talent.

We’ve been aware of some hiccups that other community libraries have experienced regarding concerns about how to operate them in public areas – but through people power and local media publicity, it has been encouraging to see that local authorities like Hornsby Council have come to recognise the value of street libraries in our communities.

It’s important in the spirit of this type of grassroots community initiative that communities feel a real sense of empowerment in being able to effectively operate these street libraries, unencumbered by too much bureaucratic red-tape.