Meet Forest Lake resident Melissa Riley, an avid book-lover, librarian, and the proud owner of the Street Library on the corner of Hampstead Street and Moore Place.
The little red library box is fully stocked with a range of books for children, youth and adults. Anyone is welcome to visit the library and borrow or donate a book.
Melissa’s friends bought the street library for her as a graduation gift in September last year when she completed her Bachelor of Information Studies majoring in Librarianship through Charles Sturt University.
She always loved the idea of having a community street library, but never thought it would be possible until she purchased her first home in Forest Lake last year.
“I’d obviously mentioned it to my best friend at some point, and she’s ridiculously thoughtful,” she said.
“The library was decorated by a friend of mine called Saffy, so it has some very pretty paintings on all four sides as well.”
Melissa usually restocks the library herself with books purchased from Lifeline or The Really Good Book Shop in Browns Plains, but she also welcomes visitors to leave donations in the box.
“It gives me the opportunity to share my love, because I love books,” she said.
“They’re all used books – I don’t put any new books in there, because I think it’s great to give used books a little more life.”
She also keeps a notebook inside for people to leave reviews on books they have borrowed.
“Thanks for the books! We have been enjoying the Captain Underpants books,” one family wrote.
“I love this library so much – the Mr Men’s books are always the best,” another wrote.
Melissa said the street library was a great opportunity for families and locals to benefit from the written word.
“It fosters a connection, so you can meet your neighbours and have a chat,” she said.
“I haven’t met that many people, but with the notebook I’m able to make some connections. They’ve left me notes, and it’s lovely.
“I just like the idea that people will know this is the house of someone who loves to read, and is willing to have a chat about books.”
Melissa’s street library is registered through the official Street Library website at https://streetlibrary.org.au/library/one-moore-little-library/.