May 29, 2016

Lovin' Life 29/5/2016: The Local Library.

The weather here has gotten in early on the winter vibe with yesterday being wet, grey and cold.

Umbrellas and fleece jackets were found and cardio was had as we chased each other up, down and around (don't ask) rain slicked footpaths - all the while trying to keep passersby and ourselves safe from the wayward prongs of our umbrella.

As luck would have it, our local library officially reopened yesterday as well.  Completely undercover and accessible by either escalator or lift, it was a given that Preschooler and I would be there.

With the advent of eBooks and so many other publications being available on iPads, I have to confess that I haven't been to a library for my own needs in decades.  When Preschooler SSG came along, we now visit mainly for events and classes that happen to be held at libraries.  Up until now, buying books for him has been my default option because so many of them end up being torn, eaten or drawn all over.

Fortunately, Preschooler SSG is now at an age where he knows what books are and also how to treat them.  His favourite books at home are well read rather than chewed and he takes great delight in choosing books for me to buy when we're out shopping for them.  In the last few weeks, the local library has been collaborating with preschool and facilitating sneak preview visits for the children to allow them to borrow a book to take back to class and also to stay for rhyme time and reading sessions.

So when we visited yesterday, it was I who was taken on a tour by my preschooler.  It really is a beautiful space.  There's plenty of natural light streaming in through the windows and it also feels peaceful being up above the bustle and activity of the street level cafes and shops.  I also love the use of greenery and blonde woods throughout the interior.  It's all so inviting should you need to study or perhaps just want to sit somewhere quietly on a side sofa to read or think.

The grand opening was so well supported by the local community that extra staff were needed to control traffic in the car park.  It was so lovely to see everyone in the area feel so welcome and at home in the space.  Families (obviously), people without children, people who cheerfully took the lifts for safety basically everyone and anyone who loves reading and also being connected with the local area they call home.

There was a jazz band playing the foyer, cup cakes at the front desk and of course, a live appearance by both the Gruffalo and Maisy.

Being led by Preschooler SSG, I only have the children's area to share with you today.  The theme through it is nature and trees, as you can see from the woodwork.

Preschooler SSG enjoying a good read.
Central to the library is this wooden staircase with cushioned seating to the left.

There's a slide with its entrance in the wall to the left of the seats and the pairs of legs upper left of this photo belong to Preschooler SSG and a friend who were in the middle of a chat as they waited for their turn on the slide.  I think the library staff are hoping to encourage patrons to use the seats just as seats and the steps as steps but: three year olds in an open space.  Enough said.

Tucked away in the reading areas are touch screen computers and iPads but what Preschooler enjoyed most were plain old, good old books.

I'm hoping the dedicated library bag system I've just started prevents us from losing too many borrowed books.

While our borrowed items receipt is on the fridge door as a reminder.

I'm hoping to be able to return again on my own sometime to browse the general fiction and non fiction shelves.  Reading an actual hardcopy of a book is going to be a nostalgic experience for me which is a  bit sad in some ways.  Books are one our proudest achievements as humans and for it to  be possible that they're almost redundant in my lifetime is a worry.  Hopefully patronising our local libraries a little more will help reverse this trend.

Do you visit your local library?

How do you feel about the direction reading is now taking in our increasingly paperless society?


  1. I receive books for review so don't really visit my local library any more but have long been a big user of libraries! I love reading and still remember visiting a very old library in my childhood hometown 40+yrs ago to borrow Noddy books!

    PS. I think winter's only just arriving here in Qld!

  2. I haven't been to the library since baby boy came along, but we used to be weekly visitors. I like the rhyme time and so does toddler T. I even started checking out some books for myself, but while we are adjusting to life with two under 2 I haven't attempted the library again, and I don't want a deadline for visiting to return things adding stress. When baby boy is bigger I know they will both enjoy the rhyme time classes again :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

  3. The Library looks fabulous. Yesterday would have been the perfect day to visit with the moody weather.
    I have worked in the Library industry for about 7 years now so it fascinating reading this.
    The message that is being pushed out to Libraries is that we have to make sure we are constantly evolving. They are also encouraging life long learning and seeing the Library as more of a space rather than just somewhere you come to get books.

  4. I love the library! We don't have cool characters and a jazz band though. But I enjoyed my perusing when I was there with the daughter as she did her assignment the other week. I have a few books beside my bed as a result. LOVE!
    Thanks for sharing your library day with us via the Lovin' Life Linky!
    Damn cold in Canberraville right now, that's for sure!

  5. We love the library especially story time! It's hard keeping track of all the books to be returned even though we do have a system in place!

  6. We are lucky enough to have the State Library relatively near by in Brisbane which is an amazing space for toddlers. You're right though, I haven't gone for myself in absolutely ages!

  7. Love the library ( in your old hood) as do our kids. From comfy spaces, free wifi, great books, videos, best staff ever and really great study break activities, like 3D chess and of course free access to all those magazines online. Libraries offer really great stuff for kids in holidays but you need to be quick ( well in our neck of the wood). Some libraries have some fantastic kids' authors come and talk & engage kids(which is better logistically than the kids day at Sydney writers festival if your kids love writing and reading). Mosman had a librarian who belonged to a teen/ young adults book club and I'd pick her brains for great books for the teen/tween. (Sorry for late comment). Den xx

  8. I love the library! Libraries are really stepping up with their architecture and such - the Perth city library has just been revamped as well and it has a green wall and a stunning staircase and views over the swan river :)

  9. I've been dying to go and visit my local library but it's been closed for renovations for a while now. I can't even tell you where I've put my library card!


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