Couple launch quirky street library in Madeira Road in Margate

Simon Phillips, friend of Stephanie Nsom and Lakruwan Senevirathne, helped them set the street library up

A husband and wife who launched a street library outside their house in London have started one in their new home town of Margate.

Stephanie Nsom and Lakruwan Senevirathne, who run community group Colourful Margate, opened the quirky facility in Madeira Road this week.

The idea is to help residents gain easy access to free reading, bring communities together and encourage people to use public libraries.

And there are no rules. All it involves is bringing spare books to keep it stocked up and taking books for free.

Mrs Nsom says street libraries are popping up all over the world in colourful and quirky forms.

Stephanie Nsom and Lakruwan Senevirathne have opened the street library in Madeira Road in Margate

“We strongly believe in community street libraries as they help to nurture the love for reading,” said Mrs Nsom. 

“Hopefully, it can be an inspiration for more street libraries to pop up in our neighbourhoods.”

The scheme involves unwanted books being recycled and shared among residents.

Mrs Nsom says it means elderly and less able people will have access to reading material and young people will belong to a community that demonstrates a commitment to reading.

She added: “Residents will become more aware of public libraries as welcoming, community assets that can be accessed and enjoyed by all.

“Margate will be the flagship area for Thanet as a reading hub and it is hoped that this scheme can be initiated across the district.”

The couple, whose Hither Green street library led to others being opened in nearby neighbourhoods, commissioned the Broadstairs Town Shed team to create the Madeira Road library.

For information about Colourful Margate click here and for the shed team visit https://www.broadstairstownshed.org.uk/