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Southbank Library at Boyd

Home > Melbourne > Architecture | Books and Writing | Libraries
by Quill Pen (subscribe)
I run a Software Consulting firm where I create websites, mobile apps and ofcourse software. At all other times I could be spotted trekking around Melbourne. Visit me at
Published August 18th 2012
B is for Boyd, B is for Books
Kindles, Ipads, Nooks and crannies I don't want any!
A good old book is what I find there for me!
Refuge it gives me from worldly cares many!
And so Boyd is where you will find me!

Do you identify with these musings which I have so amateurishly expressed in verse then you belong to that dying breed which calls itself "Bibliophiles" of which I most definitely am a warrior. E-reader aficionados who prefer e-ink please continue reading at your own risk because I could tell you what this is all about but then I would have to... if I find you at Boyd.

Boyd is Melbourne's youngest cultural and community hub located at the heritage-listed site of the former JH Boyd Girls' High School on City Road in Southbank. Architected in 1884-85 by Henry Bastow the school was the only one to have a three storey central block in the 19th century.

Boyd Facade
Boyd Facade

Of interest to me was the newly established Southbank library in the hub. A sense of moving to a different realm envelopes you when you leave the chaos of City Road and enter the Tudor Revival styled building executed in Hawthorn bricks.

View from City Road
View from City Road

The library is almost sound proof and you enter a hallowed space dedicated to mankind's greatest invention. Patrons maintained a religious silence - such was the aura of this place.


For those of you who have been to that excuse for a library on Flinders Lane, Boyd would certainly outrank it by virtue of its adherence to sheer library ethics. You wouldn't find people sprawled on the floor, mobile phones do not ring, Wii and Xbox junkies don't prance around, conversations are hushed to maintain the sanctity of the library, you don't have to pull your hair out trying to figure out the library cataloguing system and lastly you wouldn't be left wondering which breed of cat scratched the DVDs on display.

I found books arranged in an intuitive fashion and whole shelves dedicated to magazines from China, India and the US.

Book Racks
Book Racks


A little research told me that the Dewey system of classification is not being followed. In a similar vein DVDs and CDs are neatly arranged and you have one complete shelf dedicated to each foreign language on display.

More DVDs
More DVDs

And of course everything in the library is new. The layout of the library is cosy and exudes warmth. There is a small reading area with a few couches and the regulation Internet surfing stations as well.

Readers Corner
Readers Corner

Internet Stations
Internet Stations

The collection is decent and we found quite a formidable collection on art history which I haven't seen anywhere else in the city.

There is a car park behind the library and a lounge just beyond the library foyer where you can comfortably ensconce yourself and read away while sipping a cuppa from the Kere Kere cafe.

Besides the library the Boyd precinct also houses Community meeting rooms, Creative Spaces artist studios and Family services.

So what are you waiting for? Boyd is beckoning. Leave the chaos behind and come discover Melbourne's coolest new library.
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Why? Melbourne CBD's newest library
When: Mon-Thurs 10-7, Fri 1-6, Sat 10-4, Sun 2-5
Phone: 9658 8300
Where: 207 City Road, Southbank 3006
Cost: Free to hire
Your Comment
An incredible article about the wonders of Boyd library. I have fond memories of Boyd, having moved to Australia in July 2012, shortly before your article was written, and temporarily taken up residence in a serviced apartment on King and Power. 4 children under 5 years old, and no vehicle, meant we were off to do some exploring by foot. Boyd was a warm and welcome refuge for us, as was the cafe nearby. I'd love to go back for a little visit; I wonder what my kids would remember.
by Dayna Chu (score: 3|1485) 2359 days ago
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