Joy of reading . . . Putting a book in their Lilliput Library are Fiona Gemmill and her daughters Matilda (left, 13) and Lily (11). PHOTO: MICHAEL CURREEN

Good books and bright colours are set to pop up all over the Gore District as a community project comes to fruition.

There are plans to install seven new Lilliput Libraries in Gore, Mataura, Mandeville and Pukerau by the end of December, Gore District Libraries library assistant Teresa Blackbeard said.

Artistic . . . Putting the finishing touches on a Lilliput Library is Gore High pupil Angel Quinton (16). PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Started in Dunedin by Ruth Arnison, Lilliput Libraries are decorated cabinets where people can take or leave books to share.

With more than 300 now located around the country, the concept is gaining popularity.

Among the few already in Eastern Southland is the Lilliput Library installed by the Brotherston family outside St Mary’s School last year, Mrs Blackbeard said.

‘‘Karla Brotherston went on to organise funding and materials for another seven to be built to bring life and community spirit to the Gore District.

‘‘When she relocated to the North Island early this year, I took on the project to see it to completion.

‘‘Our goal was to build community spirit through the sharing of good books, neighbourly interaction and cheerful beautiful artwork dotted around the district.’’

Built by the Mataura Menz Shed with materials donated by local businesses and sponsorship from the Mataura Licensing Trust, the seven new Lilliput Libraries were decorated last month by the Riversdale Arts group and Gore High pupils.

Creative . . . Preparing two Lilliput Libraries for their guardians are Riversdale Art group members Lois Bishop (left) and Viv Fraser. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

‘‘Bright colours, attention to detail and unique interests shine through on the Lilliput’s door, sides and even on the top,’’ Mrs Blackbeard said.

With books for the new Lilliput Libraries being donated by the Gore District Libraries, all they needed now were ‘‘guardians’’ to look after them.

‘‘Installed atthe front of their property, they keep an eye on them, tidy it up, remove advertising material and old books and top up with more books when needed.’’

Anyone interested in becoming a guardian could contact the Gore library, Mrs Blackbeard said.

Already a guardian, Fiona Gemmill, of Gore, has had a Lilliput Library outside her house at Kakapo St since July.

Though it had only been a few months, she was noticing people had been taking and leaving books.

There is a map online of all the Lilliput Libraries, and Mrs Gemmill thought it could end up ‘‘like geocaching’’, where people made it their goal to visit each one.