For many Cowra residents, it’s easy to take a visit to the local library for granted.
However, for those who live in remote areas of New South Wales and South Australia, that’s a whole different story.
The Cowra Library has partnered with Books for the Outback as a donation drop-off point, with books delivered to people who live and work at stations in some of rural Australia’s most remote areas.
Cowra Librarian Terry Mills-Edwards said she approached Luke, who ran Books for the Outback, several months ago and thought it was a good cause.
âWe’re, after all, about bookings, reading, lifelong learning and education and recreation, so that was a perfect cause,â she said.
“We are more than willing to support him in his efforts.”
Six boxes of books were loaded Monday morning, and Ms Mills-Edwards said there was a wide variety of donations, including some from her own collection and that of Orange City library director Roslyn Cousins.
âI bought a few books when I was in Queensland during that first period of foreclosure and those books were included in this collection as well,â she said.
“We also have people who don’t come back to pick up lost items, so they’re also included in the Books for the Outback collection.”
Cowra resident Robyn Guihot helps Luke by collecting donations before they go to areas such asWhite Cliffs, Camerons Corner, Inaminka, Wanaaring and South Australia.
The next stop is Tibooburra.
âThen we’ll go back and get the next size trailer he loads and run a backcountry run, probably through Inverell, Moree, other areas, and then do the hot spots in April,â he said. Mrs. Guihot.
“He hopes to do different stations than he did last time.”
Ms Guihot said she got involved after hosting a “free COVID library” in her garage throughout the pandemic.
âI was asked if I had any excess donations and I said yes, so now most of them are going to Luke,â she said.
“As soon as he arrives in town, everything is ready to go get another lot.
“The main thing that I think is very important in Luke’s credit here is that it’s self-funded. He’s a very generous gentleman.”
Ms Guihot said Books for the Outback provides an invaluable service to those in remote locations.
âThese people are extremely isolated with limited facilities available, they can come to town every six months,â she said.
“Children’s books are extremely valuable because, they may not have the Internet, they may have limited Internet, which is used for business.”
It’s a service, Ms. Mills-Edwards said, that she wanted to have access to as a child.
âI grew up in a remote station in New Guinea,â she said.
“I had a book, Famous Five goes to Treasure Island, finish it, start, finish, start, finish, start.
“So I understand how isolation can affect your mental health.”
If you would like to donate to Books for the Outback, you can drop off books at the library, Signs R Us, or Cowra Paint Plus, who generously donated labor to create a tarp for one. Luke trailers.
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