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Mini Neighbourhood Street Library

Perpustakaan Mini Jalanan

A makeshift outdoor shelf with books outside a home.
Image source: Carol Low via KL Book Appreciation Club (KLBAC) facebook

Location: Shah Alam, Selangor

Carol Low, former Malaysian national rhythmic gymnast, has built a mini outdoor weatherproof 'library' outside her home in Shah Alam. Her small but ambitious goal was inspired by the street library movement she saw on the internet, where little boxes of books are planted in public areas or neighbourhoods and people can take a book or leave a book, as they wish.

The library is built for the community in her neighbourhood, catered for the old and young. Being a book-lover herself, her intention is to encourage the habit of reading in the community after realising the culture of reading amongst Malaysians is generally not well-inculcated and may have declined over the years due to the emergence of other forms of entertainment.

She stresses the importance of reading and how it is an opportunity of learning and knowledge-sharing. As opposed to passive consumption of media, reading requires an active consumption of information, which helps develop values of empathy, increase concentration and comprehension and provides insight into different lives and worldview. It also reduces stress and improves one's wellbeing.

Cheers to Carol for this wonderful initiative! We hope to see more mini libraries in our neighbourhoods and streets! We also hope this story inspires more individuals to initiate small but valuable projects and to effect change in their communities in whatever ways they can.

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