Lismore, New South Wales

About the community

The Lismore Community is situated approximately 600 kilometres from Sydney CBD. The area covers 1,290 square kilometres. The residential population is 42,210 with 3,164 children aged 0 to 5 years (ABS Census 2006).

Lismore and the Let's Read program

In Lismore, Let's Read is delivered through the Richmond Tweed Regional Library. Let's Read has been promoted through various activities including family fun days in Lismore and Goonellabah communities, Indigenous Literacy initatives during Naidoc Week, the Lismore Show and stories in the local newspapers. Families recieve Let's Read literacy bags at childcare centres and preschool families and informatiopn about their local library.

Community stories

Successful partnership benefits the community

Over the past two years Lismore Library has been working in partnership with the YWCA Goonellabah, integrating the Lismore Let’s Read program into their Kids 4 L.I.F.E.,  Books for Bubs and HIPPY (The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) sessions as part of our outreach programs in the Lismore community.   

The benefit of our involvement is twofold as it promotes early childhood literacy and numeracy in the wider community and it encourages patronage of our two local libraries.  At these quarterly sessions we provide information about the wide variety of children’s activities and resources available for the children and their families, with special mention of our extensive Gnibi collection. 

Each session is themed, with a visiting elder from the Bundjalung nation as the special guest. Thus far we have learnt about our local Aboriginal culture from Uncle Anthony Gordon, Aunty Monica Kapeen and Uncle Ricky Cook.  

There are arts and craft, dance and movement activities incorporated into the session, with a main focus on introducing the Bundjalung language to the children and their families. We read stories to the children, talk about our resources that their families could utilise if they become members of our libraries. We explain the Let’s Read packs and publicise any coming events such as the school holidays program.  At the end of each session we present each child with their own story book to take home.

For the most part the sessions are held at the Goonellabah Public School in the Transition to School Program.  The children have visited both Lismore and Goonellabah libraries which were hugely successful, with one session resulting in 13 new membership applications being processed that afternoon. 

As a result of our involvement, some of families from these sessions have been observed visiting both libraries and we have been requested to research specific information on local creation stories in our collection from a local elder’s family. 

September 2018


Library program, 2016

Lismore Library worked in partnership with a YWCA program targeting young mothers and babies at Goonellabah Library over a 6 week program. Families were organised by the YWCA.

This program introduced participants to the library and its many free resources for families to use and enjoy together, encourage the love of books and reading. It also introduced reading together to young mums and encourage them to use the free library facilities for books, music and play

Lucy Kinsley | Librarian | Richmond Tweed Regional Library

April, 2016 - YWCA Kids for Life Early Literacy Program

Assisting in the transition from preschool to primary school with literacy skills is the main focus of this program.

Aboriginal specific storytime sessions were conducted through the Goonellabah Public Library facilitated with library and YWCA NSW staff and Aboriginal storytellers. Lismore Let's Read attended the Jarjum Preschool that involved parents and children. Activities included Aboriginal music by the Ngunya Jarjum Cultural Projects Officer, storytime with Richmond Tweed Regional Library staff, the Indigenous Let's Read tip sheet were handed out as well as Lismore Let's Read book packs. The Goonellabah Transition Program included, Aboriginal music, storytime with RTRL staff and musical instrument making. Once again, Indigenous-focused tip sheets and book packs were given to children and their parents to promote the importance of early literacy in the home.

October, 2013

Lismore Let’s Read invited their local African community to the Lismore City Library for a library tour, What you Library offers You session and Storytime. Lismore City Library staff spoke with parents and grandparents on the importance of literacy and allowing children access to books in their library. Parents were informed of the Baby Bounce program and Storytime/Craft sessions held weekly at the library.

After the library tour for the visitors children participated in Storytime, craft and songs. Upon leaving the library all visitors were given a Lismore Let’s Read bag and staff explained how the program works and how important it is for children to have books in their home.  Parents were thrilled at the quality of the books.