Free novels in cafés for National Year of Reading

Arts & Culture, Books — By on May 12, 2012 10:37 AM

By DAVID BALFOUR.

The Coventry Library in Stirling has placed free books in cafés across the Adelaide Hills this month as a part of National Year of Reading.

Kelly Morris, co-ordinator of library programs at the Coventry says  the initiative is an effort to encourage people to get stuck into books as a part of their new Café Library program.

”Probably about 50 percent of the people out there don’t use the library, so it’s a way of capturing them,” She said.

She said patrons were free to take home the books they find at local cafes.

“Take it home, read it, give it to a friend, travel it around,” she said.

“It’s got a little thing at the back which says ‘Write a note to the next reader of this book’….they could write ‘don’t bother’,” she jokes.

According to Kelly, the library receives thousands of donated books every year, some of which they might already have multiple copies of.

“We have so many that the book sales are overflowing…so we thought we’d do this,” she said.

She said booklovers could find the giveaways in Stirling, Aldgate, Mylor, Birdwood and Gumeracha.

Sarah from Aldgate Providore and Café says the Café Library program has been a success, with people taking books “a couple of times every day”.

She says the Café Library box has already been emptied out twice since it was put there a fortnight ago.

Kelly says some books in the Café Library program have been donated by local publishing house Wakefield Press, as a part of recent efforts to promote South Australian authors.

Local authors have also recently been given their own section at the library.

“If we put them into the collection, they generally get lost because some books are going to get borrowed way more than others that you’ve never heard of before,” Kelly said.

“So we what we’ve done is stuck them all into a boutique collection…if you want to read your neighbour’s book, come here and select an SA author book.”

Other new National Year of Reading programs at the Coventry Library include free audio book downloads, and the Library Lions program, a story time for children with special needs.

“Just encouraging people to read is pretty much what we mean to do,” says Kelly.

Photo by Sian Cain.

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2 Comments

  1. Good story, thanks David Balfour and team. We (Wakefield Press) posted it our at Facebook site, and it’s got an excellent response.

  2. UniSA student says:

    Thanks guys – great to hear!

    It certainly sounds like a fabulous initiative!

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