Community engagement through Pop Up Library

community engagement - waverley popup libraryBackground:

After the success of MyRedfernRocks, I wanted to do something tangible and interesting to connect with my new home suburb of Waverley.

As the council in the area together with an anti-development group had the community Twitter angle sewn up, I decided to create something that tapped into my love of collaborative consumption while supporting the Open Shed ‘Spring Clean with Heart’ programme.

The result was the Waverley Pop Up Library.


The aim of the project was to:

  • Create a connection with my new community
  • Encourage collaborative consumption and sharing in my neighbourhood
  • Support the aims of the Spring Clean with Heart campaign run by Open Shed and OzHarvest
  • Promote reading and literacy in the local area



Having a very handy engineer for a partner certainly helps with these sorts of projects. Recycled wood and Perspex was sourced and a pop up library was built, painted and installed for my birthday in November.

I participated in ‘Spring Clean with Heart’ and identified books that would be suitable for the Pop Up library including business books, fiction, true crime and children’s literature.



The Waverley Pop Up library has proven to be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. Books are regularly swapped and people regularly stop to remark about the Pop Up Library concept.

Something that was unexpected is the amount of children who make use of the library. Books are regularly borrowed, swapped and returned and the volume of books has actually increased.

The library continues to delight neighbours, even if they choose not to swap or donate books. The idea of sharing across the community appeals and creates conversation from and between people that live in the local street.

Indeed the major challenges appear to be making sure the live-in Labrador doesn’t bark too excitedly and scare potential borrowers, and managing the volume of books required to keep people interested.

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