Books will come to life next Friday when Murwillumbah’s Living Library meets for the first time at the Coolamon Centre in Tumbulgum Road.

Locals with interesting tales to tell will act as ‘books’ to be ‘read’ by borrowers.

The Living Books have chosen a title for themselves, then tell their story to another person – called a book ‘Borrower’ – sharing their experiences in a safe environment in an informal one-on-one 30-minute session.

The Living Books are simply asked to be themselves.

Area Librarian Jo Carmody said the Murwillumbah Living Library offers you, the borrower, an opportunity to understand the lives of people in their community better.

“It is just like a regular library with one difference – in the Living Library the ‘books’ are people,” Ms Carmody said.

The Living Library project was founded in Denmark by the Danish youth non-government organisation ‘Stop the Violence’ as a means to increasing understanding between cultural groups.

It has been taken up around the world and Lismore launched the first of its kind in Australia in November 2006.

Tweed Shire Council’s Cultural Development Officer Lesley Buckley said the project’s goal was to strengthen community, democracy and social justice through celebrating and promoting diversity, encouraging understanding and respect, breaking down barriers and building bridges, and challenging stereotypes and prejudices.

Titles on offer at the first session on 26 February are:

  • The Game of Breathing – living a creative life with Aspergers Syndrome
  • People Helping People – living large with no money, community exchange
  • A Life of Travelling – living in other cultures
  • Survivor – living during tough times, a life built on art and sustainability
  • Too Young – becoming a mum at 16, learned to cook, became a dairy farmer, community volunteer
  • Vision Impaired Print Maker, Second Sight – print maker using tactile surfaces as printing plates, getting through life crisis
  • From Test Tube and String – journey through 43 years of medical laboratory anecdotes beginning in 1942, 60 years of marriage, living in the Tweed
  • Never too old to make your vocation your vacation – businessman with a passion for outdoor recreation
  • Opening Maria Montessori’s Golden Gate to the future
  • Curiosity motivated this Cat – following paths mapped by an enquiring mind
  • Not the triumph but the struggle – Torres Strait connections – Sydney, near fatal accident, survival, rehab, involvement in sports administration including Melbourne Olympic 1956
  • Oh! I See – art of seeing is generally taken for granted by most, for those with defective eyesight vision can be a goal
  • Taylor Made – Two generations of community involvement
  • Mum I don’t want to die – Daughter’s battle to live – double lung transplant
  • Changes in society – women/society from 1940s to now
  • Eco friendly homes and gardens – eco-designing your home and garden.

The session on Friday 26 February is from 10.30am to12.30 pm at the Coolamon Centre (old art gallery) in Tumbulgum road, Murwillumbah.

Bookings are not necessary. For more information, call the Murwillumbah Library on (02) 6670 2427. For further information about Living Libraries visit www.livinglibrary.org.au.