With school holidays here and ever-changing weather, we’ve never been happier to stay local (and indoors) and enjoy the benefits of some many local libraries.
Whether you have an advanced or reluctant reader, libraries have something for everyone:
a) Cost-effective! (AKA, free!) Which really helps when your children are obsessed with dinosaurs one minute and astronauts the next! Now you can indulge their weekly obsessions and the only thing that has to leave your wallet is your library card!
b) Freedom of choice- It’s not every day we can say to our kids ‘Sure, you can go inside, and pick anything you want off the shelves!’ (Otherwise cue them picking a toy that’s bigger than the family car) but in a wonderful place like the library, it’s encouraged, and includes, books, CD’s and DVD’s. Win-win.
c) Rain, Hail or Shine: A perfect wet weather option, and Libraries often they have a car park or bus stop within 100m of the entrance.
d) Bilingual books galore: And these range from picture books, DVD’s to middle-grade books. (Best to do a search online first, so you know exactly which library branch to go to).
e) Older Kids faces: (Priceless) When they find out their FAVOURITE movie, was actually taken from a book, and that book has a complete series waiting to be discovered.
f) Additional Perk: Explaining to my children the notion of ‘borrowing’ and seeing firsthand the novelty of each book being enjoyed longer than usual, as they know they have to return it soon so another little boy or girl can enjoy it too!
PRO TIP: Not sure your child will last 2 minutes in a library? A few classic ‘bite-sized-bookish’ cartoon episodes all centred about the library can be found online when you enter the below titles:
- Bluey: (Library) Ep 30, Season 2.
- Paw Patrol (Moths at the library)
- Peppa Pig: (The Library) Ep 4, Season 3.
- Playschool: (A visit to the library)
- Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom (Books) Episode 25, Season 1
- Dora the Explorer (Dora’s Night Light adventure)
- Maisy mouse: (Library)
- Spongebob Squarepants, Ep 20, Season 11
- Bubble Guppies, (Check it out) Ep 10, Season 2
- Sofia the first (The Secret Library) Ep 6, Season 3
- Sesame Street: Cookie Monster In The Library, The library song, Honk if you like libraries!
FINAL TIP: You will need to sign up to be a member of the library of your choice, all free and can be done in person when you go. (We’ve listed which council each library is part of, so you know which library card you need )
Notes on Storytime: Naturally one of the biggest drawcards for younger kids to a library is their ‘Story Time’ and weekly librarian led activities. Make sure to call ahead and check if these services are still running as COVID may have impacted these.
Ryde Library (City of Ryde)
1 Pope Street, Ryde
This has a lovely kids section, with floor to ceiling windows on one side, and a very cool galaxy roof that twinkles. Storytime was currently suspended when we visited, but with plans to resume early 2021, but there are some awesome Science Kits to discover for kids to borrow and take home. Chat with the friendly librarian to find an experiment or activity that best suits your child’s age and interests.
Getting there: This library is located at Top Ryde shopping centre, so if travelling by car, the best park in the shopping centre’s car park which has 2 hours free parking and make your way to the outdoor Piazza area.
(And the closest entrance to the library is right next to Guzman Y Gomez. Have a pram with you? No problems, just use their lift tucked around to the left, otherwise, it’s just one floor up the spiral stairs to go up to level 1).
North Ryde Library (City of Ryde)
201 Coxs Road, North Ryde
This library is cosy and perfect for a quicker stopover, but definitely worth a visit for this incredible toy library! A maximum of 3 toys can be borrowed per library card for 3 weeks each, with 1 renewal available for extension.
(No reservations for this, so first come, first served!)
Getting There: Parking and Coxs Road shops are smack bang in front of it.
West Ryde Library (City of Ryde)
2 Graf Avenue, West Ryde
It’s not hard to see why this has been nicknamed the best local ‘kids’ library with a large area entirely dedicated to kids to the left-hand side of the library, two kid-sized microscopes and a whole wall of science kits. The Ryde City libraries all have a bespoke adult-sized comfy armchair, but there’s also a range of super-sized colourful chairs here, mini tables, and beautiful murals on the walls.
Getting there: The library is located on Graf Avenue which has limited 30 min parking outside, our recommendation is to park in the nearby West Ryde marketplace car park on Anthony road (it’s also undercover).
Eastwood Library (City of Ryde)
Corner Hillview Road and, W Parade, Eastwood
Getting there: Right across from Eastwood station (just watch for buses when crossing the road) or there is street parking along W Parade.
Gladesville Library (City of Ryde)
6 Pittwater Road, Gladesville
A smaller yet colourful library with the kids’ area directly on your right when you enter. Can be a handy spot to quickly collect come books/dvd’s for the afternoon.
Getting there: There’s a very handy parking bay right next door with about thirty car spots.
Greenwich Library (Lane Cove Council)
48 Greenwich Rd, Greenwich
A lovely small branch of lane Cove library, not ideal for a long stay with kids, but handy if you look online prior to checking what’s on the shelves!
The Yarn Library (Lane Cove Council)
64 Gladesville Rd, Hunters Hill
This is a new branch off the Lane Cove Library, and is mostly a click and collect service you can organize ahead of time. (Situated right next to cafes, so grab pre-ordered books and a caffeine hit after. Win-win.)
Epping Library (City of Parramatta)
Chambers Court, Epping
When you enter the library, head for the back right corner where you’ll find a cute little area with tables and kids chairs, all the surrounding shelves here feature children books.
Getting there: Epping library is on Chambers Circuit, just a short walk from Epping Station. (If you want to drive, give yourself time to find a park as the street parking is very limited).
Extra Perk: A small park located across the road – Pembroke Street Park.
Carlingford Library (City of Parramatta)
Lloyds Avenue, Carlingford
There is a long, narrow designated kids area, with plenty of books, rugs to sit on and kids tables to sit at.
Getting there: Carlingford library is on Lloyds Ave. It is 300m from Carlingford station and around 1km from Carlingford Court Shopping Centre.
There’s 2hr free on-street parking along Lloyds Ave and also out the front on Boundary Road.
Wentworth Point Library (City of Parramatta)
10 Footbridge Boulevard, Wentworth Point
This brand new library only opened in 2019, and is worth a visit alone for their cosy frog-in-the-wall reading chairs!
Getting there: located at the heart of Wentworth Point, opposite Marina square shopping centre.
Parramatta Library (City of Parramatta)
1-3 Fitzwilliam Street, Parramatta
Getting there: To access the kids space on level 1, enter the library through the Raffles College entry and take the lift to level 1. Alternatively, you can enter through the ground floor of the library, but you will then need to take two flights of stairs to reach it.
Have a Pram? Look for the space rocket and next to it is a small space for your pram to park.
West Chatswood Library (Willoughby City Council)
565 Mowbray Road West, Lane Cove North