Book Sharing Initiative: Cool Book Swap Fridges

**contributed by Nova Gibson

Last year I did an online PD course through the National Library. We were asked to identify a need and come up with a plan to mitigate that need. After discussions with staff at our school, I discovered that many children were arriving at school with inadequate oral language which impacted negatively on their reading and writing. I discovered also that fewer than a third of our students are regular users of the public library. Conversations with parents and children showed that barriers are fear of lost books and subsequent fines, distance, and parents’ working hours.

I had always been passionate about pop-up libraries and wondered if this concept could be part of the solution. I approached the three pre-schools bordering our school and asked if they’d like a pop-up library. They were enthusiastic about the concept and these have been going well for over six months. I have also organised the painting and placement of four ‘Cool Book Swap’ fridges in the community. These broken fridges have been saved from the landfill and repurposed as pop-up libraries on streets in our community of Massey/Henderson/Ranui. Our facebook page has photos https://www.facebook.com/PopUpLibraries/
The pop-up libraries all have a ‘minder’ who will inform me if stocks are getting low and I will buy books at the Salvation Army op shops to refill the libraries. Books have also been donated.