Living books at Lismore’s library are Robin Kitching, Tamaso Lonsdale and Stuart Gibbons.
Living books at Lismore’s library are Robin Kitching, Tamaso Lonsdale and Stuart Gibbons.

Walking, talking books eat cake

You can’t turn their pages or take them home, but over the past four years, living library books have been getting more and more popular in our local libraries. At the Lismore City Library this Friday, November 5, living books will be hanging around the bookshelves eating cake as they celebrate the fourth birthday of Lismore’s Living Library. If you haven’t experienced talking to a living book before, library staff invite you to come along to the downstairs meeting room between 11am and 1pm, join the festivities and ask a living book a question or two.

Lismore living book June Crawford said over the past four years living books have been available for people to ‘borrow’ on the first Friday of every month. You just need to come into the library and check the living library catalogue for the day, then borrow the book for a half hour informal chat. Topics discussed by living books have included different religions, lifestyles and cultures, disabilities, surviving cancer and life in Aboriginal communities.

June Crawford has been a living book at the library many times and has been frequently ‘borrowed’ to talk to people about homelessness.

“I had 20 years of experience in the field,” June said. “People who had sons or daughters on the street who were upset would ask me questions and I would ease their minds, telling them there were people out there who care.

“It’s about sharing your experiences in life, to touch people’s heart and souls… and sometimes the book learns more than what they teach.”

June now visits nursing homes as a living book to share her life experiences with others and has been talking to people about being a carer for homeless animals with the Animal Right and Rescue Group.

“All the living books say that each conversation on the same topic is different,” June said. “ I feel I have progressed myself by sharing my knowledge with the community and making them smile.”

Talking to a living book is a social opportunity to meet other people in our community and experience something you may not have had in your everyday life. For more information, you can contact Lismore City Library on 6621 2464.


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