“Kids are our future and you have to do everything you can to support them.”
— Tammy Hickey, Library Services Team Leader, Paroo Shire Council, Cunnamulla, Queensland
The library at Cunnamulla in Kunja country, 750 kilometres west of Brisbane, has been getting deliveries of books from ILF for 11 years now. And Library Services Team Leader Tammy Hickey is as enthusiastic as ever when it comes to making sure the books are distributed not only to families living in the town but also those in the outlying communities.
As soon as the books arrive, Tammy puts aside enough books to take to the small townships of Eulo, Wynadra and Yowah. The rest she sets out on a big table in the middle of the library.
Then she gets to work on the computer, letting Indigenous families in and around Cunnamulla know via email and social media that they are welcome to pop into the library anytime and choose some books to take home for their children. She also posts a sign on the library’s noticeboard.
“The older kids come in after school and pick their own books out,” Tammy explains. “And both the parents and the children are always in awe of the quality of the selection of books sent to us.”
If there are any “leftovers”, these are dropped at the doctor’s surgery in town so local families can have access to them there.
Every Monday, Tammy also runs “Music and Playtime in the Library” for under-5 year olds. This includes a dedicated storytime session, with readings from books sent by ILF to the library over the years. Tammy says the kids never tire of hearing their favourites like Where is the Green Sheep? (Mem Fox), Noni the Pony (Alison Lester) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle).
“We canot stress enough the importance of ILF in our community,” Tammy says. “The ONLY reason we now have books in homes is because of ILF … That is why we love ILF so much.”