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Free Things at Your Library

Home > Melbourne > Free | Community Centres | Libraries
by Rafahm (subscribe)
The secret to a good life: laughter, friendship, food and awesome music.
Published March 14th 2012
To celebrate the National Year of Reading this year, now is a great time to join your local library and see what free stuff is available to you and your family.

However, please note that some libraries may only have some of the things listed here. To find out about your local library and their services, click here.

The State Library - Victoria

Free Console Games – Many libraries are embracing technology, and with it XBOX, Playstation and Wii consoles, which you and your family can access in the library for free. Some libraries have one, two or all three consoles, along with a variety of family-friendly games to young adult games, such as Halo and Infamous.

Hampton Park Library has all three consoles, while Deer Park Library has two Playstation and Wii consoles. Meanwhile Frankston Library will be hosting a Wii Game Competition on April 21st at 10.00am for free.

Free wireless internet - Most, if not all, libraries now provide free wireless internet access. Bring in your laptop, Ipad or phone and gain access for up to one hour or two hours, and if you need more time, most libraries will happily give you additional access.

Free Movies and TV shows - Libraries now host a popular range of movies and television shows and are very good at keeping up to date with the latest movie releases. From movies like Twilight – Breaking Dawn Part and Midnight in Paris, and TV shows like Fringe and Castle. It's free (as long as you return it on time) and you can borrow them for up to one or two weeks (depending on which library you use). The only downside to watch for is that there may be a long waiting list on a newly released DVD or TV show.

Participate in the bilingual storytime at Springvale Library

Free events and programs – Almost every library offers a storytime program for young children but there are also many other programs it offers for children, teenagers and adults alike. Join the chess club at Sunshine and St Albans library; bring your children along to a bilingual storytime in English and Vietnamese at the Springvale Library on Wednesdays, 9.45am; attend a Consumer Rights Information Session at the Dandenong Library on March 22nd at 6.30pm; or attend an author chat and meet St Kilda local Kate Holden, author of In My Skin and The Romantic, who will be at Kew Library March 29th at 7.30pm.

Free access to online newspapers and magazines – Most libraries will have a database, known as Press Display, which allows you to read an enormous variety of state and national newspapers from over 60 different countries, including Australia. Most libraries will also be able to provide you with free online access to magazines, such as Choice magazine, while the Good Reading magazine is available from Bayside Library. Moreland Library has also gone one step further and is offering free podcasts where you can listen to local authors, poets, historians and community experts.

Download Free Music – I really did mean it when I said libraries were embracing technologies. If you're a member you can download songs for free, and to keep, from your local library website, although you may need to check if your local library offers this service. Of course there are conditions, for example, for Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation members you can only download a maximum of three songs per week. The City of Stonnington Libraries and Whitehorse Manningham Regional Library also offer this service.

Free Exhibitions – Libraries are wonderful places to go for free exhibitions, while they might be smaller, the art work is certainly worth seeing. From the 9th March – 1st July, the State Library will be hosting the exhibition, Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond, showcasing the exquisite 11th century Persian manuscripts that speak of love. Meanwhile another exhibition, Local Heroes, will be sharing the emotional and moving war stories of locals at the Portland Library from the 17th February - 31st March, with many more exhibitions to follow.
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Why? Free
When: Check your local library's opening hours
Where: Various locations
Cost: None
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