Australian Street Libraries: Research finding summary


Dr Peter Chen of the University of Sydney has undertaken the first ever study of Street Libraries and Street Librarians in Australia

This document provides a summary of findings into Street Libraries and Street Librarians in Australia. It has been written for participants who kindly contributed to the information collected for the study, either as part of the two focused discussions, and/or who completed the questionnaire.

It is FREE to download.




While the practice of communal exchange of books is not new, street libraries as commonly seen in Australia – the small fence line box – are relatively new phenomena, predominantly modelled on the Little Free Library® initiative in the United States. In Australia, the number of street libraries has rapidly increased over the last six years following the establishment of Street Library Incorporated and the active promotion of the idea through that non-profit organisation, as well as social media and conventional media reporting of the phenomena.

The research estimates 4,993 of these libraries were in service at the start of 2021, projecting continued strong growth in the number of libraries in future years.