By Steph McNicol
THE pandemic has brought out Mitchell residents’ creative ways of staying connected without contact, including a free library in Kilmore and a spoon village in Broadford.
In late August, Kilmore resident and home daycare owner Renae Dargan decided to set up a free library exchange in her front yard, where she invited people to take books and bring some of their own to exchange.
Ms Dargan posted her idea to several community Facebook pages, and in a short time it had plenty of support, and the library many visits.
“The inspiration for the street library originally came from a fellow family daycare educator who had put one in. I did some research and looked into it and thought it was such a great idea; it sparked the desire to then put my own street library in,” Ms Dargan said.
“I purchased a kit online and so the journey began. I run a family daycare from my home and wanted not only something that would benefit the local community but the families that attend daycare each week.
“The library was put in three weeks ago and already it has been very popular. The motto behind the street library is ‘take a book, give a book, share a book’.
“People can come and just take a book or two they like, they can also leave a book if they have some to leave. I want the community to feel like it is as much their free library as it is mine, and to get involved with it.”
The library is located at 7 Northview Road, Kilmore, and is easily accessible to anyone.
“I think keeping the community connected is so very important, more so now than ever before; so many people within the community are possibly feeling isolated due to restrictions of COVID-19,” Ms Dargan said.
“However, being able to go for a walk, getting some fresh air and maybe stopping by for a book or two on their travels may just be the thing to lift someone’s spirits and brighten their day.
“The street library will continue to run well after restrictions are lifted, the street library will remain accessible to the community for the young and old and everyone in between.”
Ms Dargan urged people to be fair to others and considerate when taking any items that had been left at the library – crayons, small toys or colouring books.
For more information, visit Daycare Street Library on Facebook.
Broadford resident Jess Frost said her two children had loved adding their creations to the spoon village in Broadford, behind the skate park.
“They loved making them and decorating them. Then they had even more fun being able to take them for a walk and finding spoonville and looking at the spoons that were there and adding ours in too,” she said.
“Being stuck at home isn’t much fun for the kids and the community at the moment, but being able to have a bit of fun and get involved with the kids without getting altogether as one group is such great idea.”
Visit the Spoonville – Broadford 3658 Facebook page for more information.