Street Library

Sharing the Joys of Reading Locally and Socially

Start Your Own Bookshelves Revisited Street Library

Starting a Street Library means you'll be putting together a box of books to share locally, letting your neighbours know and encouraging them to contribute more great reads too.


We hope that this will mean that there's plenty of brilliant books out there, for free, and opportunities to connect online, while we're all socially distancing. 


When you've started your box, you'll need to find a sheltered outdoor public area to position it (make sure the box is waterproof!) and let your neighbours know about it. You may have a street WhatsApp group for communicating with them - if not, there's a leaflet template below for you to use. 

Please share pictures and stories about your Street Library with us, using #BookshelvesRevisited.

What you’ll need to create a Bookshelves Revisited Street Library


  • A waterproof box - large plastic moving or storage boxes are ideal (or get creative!)

  • Books

  • Paper

  • Printer

  • Plastic sleeve (to stick on top of your box with a sign to let your neighbours know they are welcome to borrow the books inside)

  • Sellotape

  • Glue

  • Bookshelves Revisited Book Slips

  • Bookshelves Revisited Leaflets

  • A sheltered but obvious spot in your street or area to situate the book box


Assembling Your Street Library

3 Important Tips

  • Keep it clean - Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly when adding to the box and when borrowing, do the same. You can also gently wipe book covers with alcohol based wipes if you think it’s necessary. If you have a spare packet of alcohol based wipes, you could pop them in the box too. 

  • Add in recommendation slips - With echoes of old-school library book borrowing, recommendation slips help you and fellow readers to reflect upon who has borrowed books, their reviews and maybe other books they would recommend for future reading. Slips help to share thoughts when face to face contact is limited.

    Also when the social distancing measures have been lifted, reviews might be a talking point amongst your neighbours. Who knows, in the future, this could lead to a community book club or more regular sharing and discussions? 

  • Think bigger than books - Remember, you don’t just have to pop books into your lending box, copies of magazines work really well too, especially if there are articles you think others may benefit from reading. Pop a recommendation slip on the inside front cover and highlight your pieces of choice.


Create an Online Community to Share More

Continue the Conversation Online

  • If you can’t wait to hear what your neighbours are thinking about their latest street literary acquisition, why not set up a Facebook page for your Bookshelves Revisited Street Library scheme, for your road or area? Encourage neighbours to add in comments and follow on recommendations (“If you loved that book, why not read XXX?”)

  • If you’re homeschooling children - You could start a separate children’s book box and encourage your kids to borrow and write a review of their book. Taking a trip to the Street Library once a week on your daily walk could become part of the homeschool routine. 

  • Use your community Facebook Page - Share other reading related goodies - post links to recent podcasts or articles that might be of interest too. 

  • Please post your photos, suggestions and library learnings on social media using #BookshelvesRevisited - So that together we can inspire more people to share books and support neighbours in tough times.