Book vending trial to aid early literacy

education, childhood, people, homework and school concept - bored student boy reading book or textbook at home

BERALA won’t be getting its own library but it will get the “next best possible thing” – a book vending machine.

Cumberland councillors voted unanimously for a trial of a book vending machine at Berala Community Centre, as well as providing the centre with targeted children’s literacy and learning programs, and other activities which are run at libraries.
Council staff and library committee have been working in collaboration on the available collection of books with the launch of the new service anticipated for June.
The trial comes after a proposal early last year by Cr Helen Hughes for a mobile library in the area was shot down, and the council’s library committee was asked to look at how library services could be provided to the Berala community.
The book vending machine will provide a collection point for a selection of items and collect reservations and return items.
Cr Hughes referred to a report from last year that looked into the role of public libraries in helping solving the State’s early literacy crisis which stated that “NSW is facing significant and concerning decline in childhood literacy levels” but said the proposal provided hope.
The report also stated that: “Providing high quality early literacy activities to children throughout libraries – community spaces that are free, welcoming and accessible – is a critical and cost effective strategy to redressing the State’s literacy declines”.
Cr Sabrin Farooqui also welcomed the trial and said Berala was in need of more resources for education and more education programs, while Cr Hughes said that more engaging activities were needed … “we need to get children interested”.