What are the best libraries in Sydney, Australia?

They give you books for free – did you know that? I know, it seems too good to be true, for sure, but I can assure you that they do indeed. Of course, we all know that we all have local libraries in most decent cities where people enjoy things like access to hospitals, public transport and other essential amenities.

The libraries of my youth

(click on any of the headings for more detail). 

Woollahra Library

In a very posh suburb, I remember mum taking us here for story time when I was a young lass of about 10. I remember it being in an old heritage building and despite being crowned with gorgeous, sweeping views of Sydney harbour, it used to be quite pokey and higgledy-piggledy inside.

Lane Cove Library

I remember this place well as I was very proud of my little green and white paper library card which came complete with a little plastic pouch – it was official – I could borrow whatever I wanted. I remember shunning the kids’ area now for the ‘pre-teen’ section which held (sadly) equally uninteresting tomes.

The PLC library

There was a little spot behind it where you could go and smoke a ciggie – but you had to be completely brazen. Willow and I managed to crawl into this little glass and plant enclosed space where we could light up in peace. That is, until we were busted hard-core by one of the large library mistresses.

The libraries of my adulthood

Bayswater Library

When I was very lonely, I would head to my local library and borrow stacks and stacks of books every single day. With armfuls bulging, I would return home to begin my search for a proper read, tearing through the first (or a sample) chapter to see if the book matched my criteria. If not, it was back to the return pile.

Glebe Library

Again, as an adult, I went here with Mum. A dusty and cavernous place, it was a welcome relief because I had exhausted my local branch for good content. I borrowed books on my mother’s card; the usual stuff about killers, drug addicts, prostitutes and craft – as you do. It was because of my late returning that mum found out you can now renew online.

Kings Cross Library

This is now my local and The Boyf and I make at least one trip there a week. We get music, DVDs, books, cook books and even magazines every now and then. This is the only library I know that does not have a returns shoot – the area is so dodgy that people were just putting foul things in the return shoot instead of books.

Have you explored your local library yet?

You should – it’s free. Go there today or tomorrow and please share what you find!

“People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.”

― Saul Bellow

This is a library in Stockholm

Photo by Samantha Marx

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