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Townsfolk need books not water

Friday, 25th February, 2011

By Craig Brealey

The "Tibooburra Book Exchange and Yacht Club" needs your help to boost the township's stock of books.

It seems the "yachties" and the rest of the townsfolk have exhausted the supply of literature in the book exchange which opened only last year.

Nobody really sails a yacht in the Corner Country but, believe it or not, there are more than a few kayakers about.

Local shopkeeper and executive member of the Tibooburra Village Committee, Vicki Jackson, said the yacht club was formed a few years ago when the town held a festival with a boating theme and a good half a dozen yachts were built and raced down the main street.

There was no water, of course, and it wasn't wind but leg power that pushed them along.

But that seemed to awaken a desire for more water sports and now, every Sunday, some of the locals grab the kids and take them kayaking in the local dams, said Mrs Jackson.

Oddly enough, it was an over-abundance of water from the sky that caused the Village Committee to send out an SOS to Broken Hill for more books, said the owner of the Corner Country Store.

"The book exchange has been used quite a bit lately," said Mrs Jackson.

"Everyone got caught in town because of the weather."

It was then that another curious thing happened, she said.

The book exchange had a lot of children's books because there is a child care centre next door. But the kids' books were also being borrowed by some of the older blokes in town, Mrs Jackson said.

"We found that a few of the older adults, men mainly, who are not fluent readers because they probably didn't get much schooling, were actually coming in for the easy to read books. 

"Now they are getting better and what they want is a nice thick novel or a true story.

"They have become our biggest users and when we started we didn't really put them in the picture."

The book exchange is run by volunteers and it never closes, Mrs Jackson said.

"It's never locked, nothing ever gets stolen, there's a lounge and a coffee table and everything's always kept clean and non-one leaves the lights on," she said.

So, if you want to help this unique enterprise, drop your books into the office of Federal MP, Sussan Ley, in Argent Street.

Ms Ley's office is situated opposite the police station and the books may be deposited during business hours.

The BH Library has already donated three boxes of books, locals have given another two and they were all sent up to Tibooburra yesterday, according to Ms Ley's office.

Mrs Jackson said that even the transport had been arranged by the Tibooburra locals.

"We're doing a bit of car pooling," she said. "Everyone's on alert in the town that if the're going into Broken Hill they can bring the books back with them."

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