This is not just a library but a huge learning centre. For those frequenting other libraries, this one comes as a complete make-over. First, the 10 minute walk by the waterfront is mesmerizing and then the enormous two-storeyed structure is enthralling. And this is just the beginning!
At the entrance there is a big screen with clips of the library. You are welcomed by the warm staff at the customer service desk and the aroma of hot coffee from the cafeteria. The first level has a huge collection of fiction novels. New releases are displayed separately and the rest are arranged alphabetically by author's name. At the end, there is a dedicated kid's area which has books and games for kids, a moving-image floor to play upon and tiny chairs and tables for the tiny tots.
The second level has books on cooking, self-help, health, science, and business, as well as the non-English books collection. There is a computer room, silent study room and reading hall.
The thiird level takes you by surprise as the first thing you would notice here is the table tennis table. If unoccupied, members can play for free. The other side has more books; arts, history and biographies, to name a few. Following it is the section of music CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Comics and graphic novels can be found here.
In addition, you'll find gaming consoles and DVDs for Wii, XBox, NDS and PlayStation. There are three meeting rooms, a music room, a recording room and performance space. Two unique highlights of this library are the 3-D printer and tablet-on-hire(not for loan) facility.
Every level has ample reading space and there are lots of tables and chairs. The recliners have charging points in proximity, so you can read or even work on your laptop/tablet/mobile. There are helpful staff members who can guide you as the library can get a bit overwhelming. Catalogue search and book lending machines are distributed on every level and every window will give you a superb view of the harbour.
view of Melbourne star and Docklands from the library
The library hosts reading and story telling activities for kids and there is also a story telling session for adults. There is a yoga class and exhibitions and lectures by curators. For details on events at the library visit the website. The Collins Street exit of the library opens on to a small park with fountains and play area for smaller kids.
Being a member is very easy. Either fill in an online form or visit the library to complete the procedure. They will only require a photo identification and address proof and then you are good to go. Get your card and enter this wonderful world of knowledge and entertainment. If you are already a member of City, Southbank, North Melbourne or East Melbourne libraries, then use the same card to borrow books.
A cozy sofa, a good book, a hot cuppa of coffee and a picturesque setting, all together, is too tempting to be true. But at the Docklands library this wish does come true.
So when are you planning your visit? If you have already been there, leave your comments and tell us about your experience.