Deb Frecklington at the launch of the Maidenwell street library.
Deb Frecklington at the launch of the Maidenwell street library. Nigel Squibb

Books give old fridge new life

IF YOU happened to be visiting Maidenwell on the morning of Saturday August 18, you may have noticed a fridge outside the Trading Post sporting a large red bow and surrounded by colourful children's drawings.

For this is no ordinary fridge, but Maidenwell's newest attraction - a community Street Library - number 1151 in the Australian Street Library Network and the first registered in the South Burnett.

A Street Library is, essentially, a home for books that is accessible from the street, and an invitation to the community to share the joy of reading.

The idea of a Street Library was first raised at the May 2018 Maidenwell Community Group (MCG) Meeting and embraced wholeheartedly by the group. The fridge was soon donated by the Trading Post and a competition launched for Tanduringie State School students to design posters reflecting the theme of the Children's Book Council of Australia's 2018 Book Week Theme 'Find Your Treasure' to decorate the new Library.

MCG member and organiser of the project Megan Theobald explains "I saw a couple of stories on the ABC about street libraries earlier in the year. I did some research and found out that Street Libraries are a growing trend in Australia but that the closest one to us was in Woodford. I saw an opportunity for a project that would not only let the Maidenwell community share in the joy of reading, but also be of added interest to visitors to the South Burnett”.

At the launch, Tanduringie Principal Paul Thorpe endorsed the project and quizzed two of the school's Reading Cup Champions Charlotte B & Charlotte W about what they were expecting when they competed in the State Finals in September.

The gathering welcomed Leader of the Opposition and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington who spoke about the importance of reading and presented certificates to all students who entered the competition before announcing the winners - Sophie Pincott (Prep/1/2), Isabelle Winks (3/4) and Lachlan Cullen (5/6) - who also received a $50 Scholastic voucher donated by the MCG each as part of their prize. Sophie, Isabelle and Lachlan then assisted Mrs Frecklington to cut the ribbon to open the library and reveal their designs to the applause of the crowd of community members present.

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