Save the Thornleigh laneway library!
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The Thornleigh laneway library was established in February 2017. A place to come and share and circulate unused books, to give kids the chance to take home books to devour and re-devour and for adults, we might not be able to afford books or get to the library, a chance for some literary respite.
The library is set up tucked away against a residential fence, in the laneway between Adamson and Lockerbie st Thornleigh. It is not inhibiting access and keeping books away from the elements. It has been full all of the time with new books left and older books taken. Our local artist - Paul Heppell (aka Birds in suits and creator of the lovely banner image) also developed two comic strips for the kids about living in the area.
We have at least 100 people walk past each morning and afternoon.
Today we received a visit from the council telling us someone had complained about adult books being available alongside children's books and the matter of the library being on council land. We were told to remove it and that if we didn't we would be fined $500. No appeal process, no contact details with the council, no right of reply.
if I had been able to respond I would have echoed the words of Author and creative Neil Gaiman 'Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend'.
Surely Hornsby Council is in the business of urging its residents to engage with each other, to share resources, to provide books for people who might otherwise be unable to afford them and to share a bit of joy in the suburbs?
Please let it stay.
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