Mannuem Community Street Library aka The Arthouse/Outhouse

133 Mannuem Road, Mannuem Qld 4610

The Arthouse/Outhouse is a complete experience with unique murals, books, board games, kids colouring-in and a letter-writing service to build community connections.

Mannuem Community Street Library has been my passion project over the past 6 months. I wanted to make a community street library dedicated to the memory of my Mum. Mum was a collector of recipe books and sports biographies – interesting combination, I know. Whilst the sports biographies were read, many of the recipe books she bought were still in “as new” condition having never been used or even opened after she bought them as “must haves”!

The Arthouse/Outhouse houses the Mannuem Community Street Library and sits at the front entrance to our farm. It was the outhouse in the backyard of my Mum’s place. She lived in the same little street in Beaudesert for 54 years until her passing.

The old hardwood outhouse was in pretty good shape, despite its age and never having had a coat of paint. It was moved almost four hours to our farm in a shift that was a bit nerve wracking at times.

It has taken around 6 months to prepare the toilet, litres and litres of undercoat, external and internal paint. The wall murals alone took months of painting what was in my mind and my heart. I have taken much of the inspiration from the landscapes of the Mannuem district on my daily walks.

Originally, I was going to leave the inside of the outhouse in its original rustic state. However, in the end, I wanted it to be welcoming, inviting, clean and crisp, so just kept on painting a soft blue interior with white trim. I’m not an artist but every brushstroke has been filled with love and I hope you love the final result as much as I do.

My husband did an amazing job of preparing the forever site, fencing around it, putting stumps in, doing the final shift, adding the internal shelves and outside step.

This is a place where everyone is welcome to come and take give or share a book or board game. Each week, a book of the week will be featured. Colouring-in pages are available for young children to take one home each time they visit.

There is also a letter writing service encouraging children to write a letter and put it in the red mailbox. Their letter will be read with a reply ready for their next visit to the library. I hope that children can discover the lost art of letter writing and the joy of receiving a letter in the mailbox just for them.

I hope the Mannuem Community Street Library builds community connections and gets people talking. Everyone is welcome, not just from Mannuem but wherever you live. We will continue to grow and develop the site over time.

Located at:133 Mannuem Road, Mannuem Qld 4610

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