Joy of Reading . . . Sharing books with the community through their Lilliput library are Amelia (left, 11) and Olivia (6) Brotherston. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

Amelia and Olivia Brotherston are spreading the magic of reading through their Lilliput library.

The small cabinet library is stationed at St Mary’s School in Gore and is open for use by members of the public.

The community library encourages people to swap, give or take away books from the library, free of charge.

Amelia said the idea for the project began as a part of a school homework assignment.

“At St Mary’s they have the faith, hope and love challenge, which inspires us to do things that will help benefit the community.”

In previous years they would volunteer for the SPCA.

However, due to lockdown last year they had to find other ways, she said.

“We did some research and found out about the Lilliput libraries.”

The Lilliput library started as a project by Poems in the Waiting Room in Dunedin.

There were more than 100 community libraries spread throughout Otago.

The school girls built the small-scale library with their grandfather in a couple of months.

Amelia said she was “happy” to know people used the library.

Olivia said she had counted four new books in the cabinet and had seen five to six people look in there in the morning.

St Mary’s teacher Denise Hall said the school was proud of the girls’ initiative.

“I’ve seen quite a few people stop by and take a look at the Lilliput library.

“We are very proud of the effort the girls have put into the project. They have truly put our school values on show.”

The girls’ mother, Karla Brotherston, said they had written a letter to the Gore Library to ask if they had any books to donate.

The girls were ”super stoked” to gain support from the library, she said.

“They donated 150 books and Amelia and Olivia are overjoyed with this donation.”

The Lilliput library at St Mary’s was registered as number 266 on the official Lilliput libraries list.

Plans to increase the number of Lilliput libraries in Southland were a “work in progress”, she said.

“The girls would love to get more libraries stationed around the community.

“If we could get some in East Gore, Mataura and this side of Gore, that would be a great achievement.”