Street library to encourage love of reading

Dungog Shire Community Centre's Community Development officer Karyn Marsh with the reading box.

Dungog Shire Community Centre's Community Development officer Karyn Marsh with the reading box.

Dungog is joining in the international movement of establishing street libraries with the arrival of the first Book Box in Dowling Street.

The Dungog Shire Community Centre  added a book box to its community garden a few weeks ago and it’s already proving popular with families.

The box is accessible all day every day with people encouraged to take a book, return the same book or keep it and perhaps donate another book in its place.

“The concept is all part of the reduce, reuse and recycle idea where if you enjoy a story book, you love it and then share it along by donating it to the book box for someone else to read and love,’” said the centre’s manager Sarah U’Brien.

“We hope this is just the first of many street libraries across the shire. We chose to put it in the community garden as we are planting the seed and hope to see it grow”

The centre’s community Development officer Karyn Marsh said local libraries donated the books and the turnover has been steady since the box was installed with children keen to visit after school.

Mrs Marsh said the book box ties in well with the children’s early literacy program currently running with Books for Babies initiative and Doug the Reading Bug..

“If we read to a child at a very young age it encourages their imagination, develops their language and makes them interested in reading themselves,” she said.

Doug, The Reading Bug

Doug the Reading Bug is the mascot of the Born to Read project which encourages parents to read to children from birth.

He runs Children’s Story Time at libraries and schools across the shire: often as pyjama parties.

The early years brain research shows that a person’s learning pathways are established in the brain by the age of three.

The power of reading to children should never be underestimated. Reading and sharing stories with young children is vitally important in helping children develop life long skills for learning.

Doug's message is simple 10 minutes a day, talk, sing, play - share a book today.

 Doug is available to visit your school, group or event, including Children’s Story Time. Contact the Dungog Shire Community Centre on 4992 1133.