The Footpath Library gathers new and excellent quality secondhand books and distributes them to people  experiencing homelessness, through mobile services in Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.  We collaborate with other providers in the homelessness sector providing a truly unique service – The Footpath Library is the only free mobile library for people experiencing homelessness in Australia.

We maintain a high standard of physical and content quality, only giving books to our clients that we would be happy to give to a friend or relative.

Books help keep people healthy and happy and truly are food for the mind and soul!

Sydney Mobile Library

For 13 years our Martin Place mobile library has operated weekly, providing free quality books, reading glasses, hot drinks, hand-knitted beanies and scarves, warm smiles and conversations.

An average night sees us serve around 60 hot drinks and give away about 30 books and 20 magazines.

We collaborate with other outreach providers and our small team of regular volunteers are well known to our readers, who look forward to their friendly faces every Tuesday night.

To volunteer please go to our Volunteer page.

To donate towards our Martin Place service please go to our Donate page.

“A lot of times when people talk about the homeless, they’ve got to be fed, and that’s all they talk about, but there’s more to it than that.”

For more information, please email Angela.

The Hub (Sydney)

In 2022 we are trialling The Footpath Library Hub in Rozelle, collaborating with providers such as NSW Births, Deaths and Marriages (for birth certificates), Legal Support, Haircutters, a Women’s Money Clinic and Counselling referrals (through Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre), to provide access to services many people at risk of or experiencing homelessness find difficult to reach. Of course, we also give away good quality books, reading glasses, refreshments and big smiles!

The Hub takes place on the first Wednesday of each month at the Hannaford Centre, Rozelle.

Edith came for a haircut, and we connected her with the CWES Money Clinic as she had mentioned money challenges previously. Edith was very grateful for the opportunity to discuss her options with a professional as she does not feel financially secure and worries about this since all her family are overseas and she has no back up or support here.

Camilla was very grateful to get a haircut as she had not had one in over a year because she could not afford one. She made an appointment with the Rozelle Centre for counselling support. Her words as she left were – “thank you for today, it was good for the soul.”

Larry (70) was very happy to be able to organise a free birth certificate so easily. He had not been back to an optician and knew he needed glasses so was very grateful for the glasses we had available. He could not believe how clear his newspaper now was! Larry sat and chatted, drank tea, had a sandwich and got a haircut. He kept saying how happy he was to have found such a great service.

If you have a few hours to volunteer once a month on a Wednesday and would like to help us connect people to vital services, please go to our Volunteer Page.

To donate to our Sydney Hub program, please go to our Donate Page.

Little Street Libraries

In May 2020 when Sydney and Melbourne were in COVID-19 lockdown and our services were suspended, The Footpath Library collaborated with Street Libraries Australia to instal branded library boxes in areas of Sydney and Melbourne’s CBD, where our readers were known to gather, so that they could continue to access free good quality reading material. We were all reading in lockdown weren’t we?!

These little libraries continue to be popular and are stocked on a fortnightly basis by volunteers.

Melbourne Mobile Library

Our Melbourne services were suspended for many months during the city’s prolonged COVID-19 lockdowns. Since June 2022, our services are back up and running at Queen Victoria Markets and St. Kilda. We are also collaborating with other services to research new outreach locations and in-house libraries for people at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

If you would like to volunteer in Melbourne please go to our Volunteer Page.

To donate towards our Melbourne mobile library service please go to our Donate Page.

For more information, please email Katrina.

Perth Mobile Library

Our Perth mobile outreach libraries have continued to be strong and popular during the last two years. We collaborate with Perth Homeless Support Group on Sunday mornings at Moore Street, to provide books, reading glasses and knitted goods; we also collaborate with other providers in Mandurah and Fremantle to operate in-house libraries.

If you would like to volunteer in Perth please go to our Volunteer Page.

To donate towards our Perth mobile library service please go to our Donate Page.

For more information, please email Camille.