Top 10 Libraries in Australia to Visit

Ten Amazing Australian Libraries

Libraries have always been places where people go to borrow books, student reference materials or read a book. Modern times, top architects and growing communities have caused libraries to evolve into far more than just a collection of books. Libraries have evolved from being educational to extraordinary. Today’s libraries are democratic meeting places with state-of-the-art architecture and worthy of a visit.

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Top 10 Australian Libraries to Visit

1. South Australia State Library

With the world having an abundance of libraries, it came as no surprise that one of Australia’s museum wings made it to the top twenty most beautiful library in the world’s list. The Mortlock Wing as it is named features its original 1884 furniture with painted gold features and rough iron railings. It is still in use and nearby university students have the pleasure to frequent the quiet corners of the large wing to study. Above the main Mortlock Wing’s main Hall is an 1887 Dent and Sons clock that is still hand-wound by staff.

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2. State Library of Victoria

The State Library was built in 1856 and its interior matches the grand exterior. A six-storey domed La Trobe Reading Room is the focal point of the library inside the library is the Cowen Gallery with magnificent artworks that depicts the history of Victoria while three other galleries including the Keith Murdoch Gallery also houses artworks and regular art exhibitions. You have everything you need for a productive day aside from the beauty of your surroundings like printing services, free W-fi, plenty of seating in the La Trobe Reading Room, newspapers, manuscripts, thousands of books, heritage items and everything are free to access.

3. The Library at the Dock

The Melbourne Library at the Dock obviously houses books, but aside from more than 200, 000 books, more than 400 magazines, daily newspapers, massive CD and DVD collection as well as an E-Library it is far more than just a library. It is an entire community with a gallery, recording studio and cutting-edge editing suites, practice rooms and other community spaces. It even includes a green ventilated terrace for movie screenings, tai chi, yoga and table tennis. To top it off, there is an abundance of other activities, events and workshops throughout the year too. It is definitely a library worth checking out on your Australian visit especially when you consider its outstanding waterfront views as well.

4. The Dome

The Dome as it is called is actually the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre which offers unbelievable views of Geelong when you stand on the balcony of level five. It is also more than a place where thousands of books are stored, but a dome of learning, fun and culture and history with the latest technologies. It has a full calendar of special programs and event, online databases. The first level is the reading nest while the second level has discussion and meeting room, multimedia, magazines and audiobooks. Level three holds the regional and historic archives, history reference and heritage reading room while level four is the administration area and level five is where the balcony and major events take place.

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5. Surry Hills Library and Community centre

To say the Surry Hills is magnificent is an understatement as it is one of the most impressive with sustainable design innovations and expressive contemporary architecture. It is designed to allow the massive interiors to breathe and invite natural light. In 2009 it won the Excellence by Urban Development Award and Excellence in Construction Award. It officially opened in 2013 and much more than a library but an entire community centre in the heart of a Sydney suburb.

6. Bankston Library and Knowledge Centre

In 2014 the Bankston Library and Knowledge centre open as one of the top state-of-the-art libraries. It has more than 5000 square metres of space with a massive collection of books, 320 seats, free WiFi and computers, dedicated history section, scanning and photocopying services. The magnificent $20 million project was shortlisted at the NSW Architecture Awards and it won the Design Award for structure and lighting.

7. Craigieburn Library

When you visit Melbourne be sure to check out the state-of-the-art Craigieburn Library. It won the 2014 International Public Library of the Year Award with its flexible open spaces. It blends magnificently with the natural landscape with the rammed earth and timbers from top architect Francis Jones Morehen Thorpe. The same architect also designed the Library on the Dock at the Top and the award-winning Surry Hills Library.

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8. Woollahra Library at Double Bay

In the Double Bay town centre is the new Woollahra Library which is a three-storey building within a garden. Each floor has its own unique features and ambience and meets different needs. Aside from the massive reading and book section the first level also houses a slippery slide, a green wall, event spaces and children’s secret garden. The second level features a tech room with loads of comfy seating nooks, computers, PS4s, Wii and Microsoft Surface Hub. The third level has groups study room and study booths a local history collection, a quiet room and a visual fireplace. It is certainly worth checking out when you visit Double Bay New South Wales .

9. Cobram Library and Learning Centre

In Victoria is the Cobram Library which echoes the Murray River’s form in the battened timber screen exterior. The clever use of this timber curtaining element serves as a perfect shifting shadow element through the interior library. It has a wooden panel ceiling with a central pathway running through the library with communal working spaces and private reading space. Thousands of books and technology area, community events and education holiday activities, chess club and many more are part of the library’s everyday operations.

10. Bunjil Place

In Narre Warren, Victoria is the civic grandeur of the Bunjil Place which draws inspiration from the Indigenous Boon Wurrung themes. This theme is based on “meeting of many places” which resulted in a flowing organic scheme that has a sinuous design scheme that appears to flow into each other while still having separate areas. Mezzanine floors and high ceilings with dedicated youth and kids’ areas, collaborative areas, gaming suites, technology and thousands of books it is a library everyone wants to visit.

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Final Thoughts

While there are certainly many that we missed out on these are our suggestions of Top 10 Libraries in Australia that are worthy of a visit. Enjoy the spectacular difference and architectural grandeur of Aussie styled libraries.

Fun Fact

Which is the biggest library in Australia?

National Library of Australia, 6,496,772 items held, largest library in Australia.

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Dave P
Dave P
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