Happy birthday Living Library

The Lismore Living Library will be celebrating its third birthday next Friday, November 6.

Book co-ordinator June Crawford said it had continued to be popular because it was an accessible and enjoyable way to learn.

“It gives people the opportunity to meet in a friendly environment, with tea and biscuits, and to choose a 'book' that they don't know much about and to just sit and talk. Word of mouth (publicity) has been very good for us because people come in and say, 'I knew nothing about this... it's very interesting'. So it's a learning process where the whole community benefits,” June said.

June has been a book herself about 20 times over the years and said her title would be Who moved my roof? because of her experience working with homeless people.

“I think we're all entitled to have a safe and secure home and it's not always the fault of the homeless person (that they've got nowhere to live)... There has been a lot of interest in the community about homelessness lately and a lot of mixed feelings. In my work I've walked and talked with them and learnt that nothing is easy and things don't change very much,” she said.

It is also June's job to organise the 'books' for the monthly Living Library and also for the programs that go out into schools and aged care homes.

“When we go into schools, the response is just amazing. The questions they ask; they are so eager to learn. It's absolutely wonderful.”

June said she currently has about 60 'books' on the shelf including a white witch and a woman who described herself as a “lesbian/feminist/

vegetarian/atheist”.

“It's a matter of being very inclusive of all walks of life and having a story to tell. Whether they are recovering from cancer or suicide, but of course there are happy ones as well,” June said.

June said there was a lot of interest from people wanting to learn more about people who had migrated and settled here.

“Particularly of the Sudanese community, who are delightful people... but if we don't have a chance as westerners to sit and talk to them, we don't know what's going on in their world. Lots of people from all over the world have a lovely story to tell about how they grew up.”

Mayor Jenny Dowell and Lismore MP Thomas George will be there to cut the cake and the Hearing Voices choir will be singing. The party starts at 11am at the Lismore Library.


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