Unique initiative builds rare sense of community

SUE Perry just can’t throw away a book.

A year ago, she had more books in her Alexandra Headland home than space to put them.

She’s always been a great believer in the concept of sharing – and the joy that books can bring to readers of all ages.

So she launched the Alex Street Library – a unique initiative that not only serves to share books, but to build a rare sense of community.

“Our library is now basically owned by our neighbourhood,” Sue says. “That’s really what it’s all about – bringing people together around books, and building a community.”

The Alex Street Library is housed in a recycled cupboard, painted red by Sue herself, perched against a fence near the corner of Admiralty Drive and Ocean Crest Place.

It operates on an honour system – take a book; leave a book – and the spirit of community prevails to such an extent that the library’s supply of books just keeps growing.

Many passers-by drop off books without even taking one. The council-owned Maroochydore library often supplies books, and some have even been sent by courier from interstate donors.

Sue makes no money from the venture. Her reward is the enjoyment she gives to readers – and the sense of community her little library has created.

She says it has brought together people who have never spoken to each other; neighbours who have never previously met.

Sue says businesses are welcome to leave brochures and leaflets on the library’s top shelf, and in keeping with the community spirit she fosters, Sue encourages her patrons to support local companies.

Find out more at the Alex Street Library Facebook page.

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