This article was submitted on 30 May 2016 by Bek Brown, an inspirational Street Librarian from Glandore, South Australia.
He was a wordsmith, my Dad. And a wonderful story teller. As a child I would sit as his feet as he read to me and my brothers…creating worlds within worlds where anything was possible. He also loved all things quirky and different. He loved things that stood out from the crowd…
He would often cut articles out of the paper and stick them on my fridge. Things that he thought would interest me or make me laugh. The article about the little library was one of those. It was situated in Lochiel Park in SA and had a picture of this fabulous cupboard made from recycled material and packed with pre loved books.
About six months later my Dad died suddenly. Unexpectedly. Our lives were turned upside down and inside out.
One day, not long after his death, I was standing at the fridge, trying to remember what I had come to get. The article caught my eye. I took it off the fridge and started to read…it stated that little libraries can be a lovely way to honour a late loved one. Immediately I knew that this was something I wanted to do for Dad. Not only in his memory but to honour the way he had been such a community builder and to continue that legacy…and because he loved stories.
I wasn’t sure where to start but I knew I wanted it at the Glandore Community Centre near where my parents lived. I contacted the council and they put me in touch with a fabulous woman who managed the centre. She was enthusiastic from the start and suggested that we get some of the men in the woodworking group to put it together. It was a real community venture! When it was done we had a little launch. I invited all the locals and friends of Dads and we stood under a canopy of trees next to the little library and my mum and I said a few words and everyone brought a book and we had scones and cream and it was perfect.
The plaque on the little library says “in honour of Alan Dutton – a wonderful dad and husband who knew how to tell a story and taught us the value of words”…
I hope this story inspires you…if you have lost a loved one who sounds a bit like my dad then this could be a really special way to honour their life.