A freelance writer living with my family in glorious Newcastle. I love up-cycling, re-cycling and if I'm desperate, bi-cycling.
Published November 5th 2012
Need some inspiration but the pockets are bare?
Every week it seems, some journalist somewhere is questioning whether eBooks are going to kill the publishing industry and ultimately the production of paper books as we know them. Librarians everywhere could potentially be shaking in their soft-soled boots. However libraries have, and always will serve a greater purpose to their community than providing books (although that purpose is still a greatly utilised one).
Local libraries in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Council precincts are no exception. These libraries provide great opportunities for connecting through a wide range of fun activities. A quick look on their website will tell you they provide local history and research help, writing and internet know-how courses, author talks, baby and toddler reading times, book clubs and much more.
Apart from anything else though, I still go to hold those precious things called books in my hands, to look at their pictures, enjoy their function. Best news of all - that plethora of learning and enjoyment is all for free. Libraries provide the thrill of finding a treasured book to develop your skills - why not learn Chinese? Ever thought about growing some organic veggies? Fancy yourself a bit of an artist? Now could be the time to investigate that. Or why not try a skill you have never even considered, like calligraphy, the art of making sushi, fixing a leaky tap? Books on all of these subjects lie waiting for you at the local library. I love to go and browse in my favourite sections - the DVDs (movies and TV series), cooking, craft and art, the art of writing, magazines (so many to choose from), film and cinema, furniture recycling and restoration. Some libraries have an abundance of books to choose from, other libraries are smaller, but I find that each one has its own little culture and advantages. When I am working from home for example, sometimes I just grab my iPad and head to Swansea library where there are ample seats and tables to work from. I can grab a takeaway coffee from down the road and settle in with beautiful water views to inspire me. I notice they also have a Wii available for play now too, if that's more your game.
I also enjoy the hustle and bustle of Charlestown of an afternoon, the long lines of DVD movies to choose from, plus there is an outdoor section with table and chairs for quiet revision. Wallsend library has barely an equal, a new building with so many books, magazines, graphic novels, DVDs and rooms for hire, comfortable seating. I really could spend a whole day here (with mandatory coffee from over the road at the shopping centre).
Membership to the libraries are free. Lake Macquarie libraries have free reservations and don't charge overdue fees if you forget the due date, however Newcastle City libraries do charge fees. Charlestown Library shuts at 3pm Saturdays, Wallsend and City libraries close 2pm Saturdays, Swansea closes at 12 noon Saturdays.
This was brought to my attention the other week!
Thank You. I am the Branch Librarian at Swansea Library and we are so pleased you enjoy spending time here. We think it is a pretty special place to work. Next time you are in, please introduce yourself and say hello.