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Free Books

The little Free Library in Coburg is along the Upfield bike track between Reynard Street and Moreland Station. It is a very well done; a neat little red school house style with a pitched roof and glass doors

.Little Free Library

The setting is completed with a matching red seat, a sign and a small garden, wedged in between a fence and the bicycle track. Guerrilla street architecture is practical way to help the whole community; public seating may be a useful as free books.

The sign reads: Little Free Library – Borrow, donate or exchange – Have fun – In memory of David J. Cumming – “Uncle Dicky”

I’ve no idea who David J. Cumming was but the little library is fun tribute to his memory.

little free Library

The collective noun for books is a ‘library’ and, although the Little Free Library is not a circulating library that circulates its collection by lending books, nor a research library that holds a collection, it is still a library. It is a street distribution/exchange library, that informally distributes books between people privately without records. Imagine encountering a free library a couple hundred of years ago, or in a totalitarian regime, an anarchic intellectual paradise.

It is an interesting cultural note that books are becoming increasingly difficult to sell new or old. New forms of book swapping are emerging: Book Crossing, Book Mooch and Little Free Libraries. http://www.bookcrossing.com http://bookmooch.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_swapping

According to Little Free Library Map there are also ones in Seddon, Kingsville and Hawthorn, and Thornbury. I didn’t find the one that was, according to the map, on Kendall Street in Thornbury near the Merri Creek. I wasn’t surprised, I’m sure that some come and go without being recorded, like many things on the street. http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

2 responses to “Free Books

  • bob cumming

    Hi Mark,

    West Preston / Thornbury – Check out the front garden of 62 Kendall St – a bright yellow 4-drawer filing cabinet on its side. That’s where I first saw a little free library and got the idea. I pursued the idea further via the website little free library.org.

    Others I’ve seen or are aware of around Melbourne are:
    – Westgarth – approx 400m east of the station – near a pedestrian crossing over the railway.
    – Somerville Rd Yarraville
    – Melbourne Central – 2nd floor – behind the clock

    I’ve started a list of these in the back of the log book at the Coburg little free library.

    Bob Cumming
    Coburg Little Free Library Host

    • Mark Holsworth

      Thanks Bob for the additional information I must check out the other free libraries and thanks your work with Coburg’s little free library. Cheers.

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