I do not know how it happened. I guess in a time of fast developing internet with endless possibilities and bookshops on each street corner, less people head to local libraries. This is a sad trend however – one I hope to change. For right next door to Eastside Radio, where I am currently an intern, I discovered Paddington Library where there are more benefits there than ever before!
Paddington Library first opened its doors in 1952 and was originally named Frank Green Library. Today over 35,000 books string together in its well arranged shelves. There is a huge variety of themes and genres including reading material for every emotion as well as for all ages. “My daughter is eighteen months old. We come here once a week together to borrow books. She likes books with babies or the ones that are related to TV programs that she watches, for example Bananas In Pajamas . Sometimes when the books from the library were good we even go to a store and buy them afterwards. It’s cheaper that way because you don’t buy any books you don’t like and the library offers a big variety”, explains Luisa McKay while her blond little girl is smiling shyly and hiding behind her back.
One can find fiction, non fiction, a great collection of cookery, travel, fashion and art books. All reading material is carefully chosen and includes the newest titles and best selling authors. The friendly staff is always open to customer recommendations too. “I do not read so much, but if I do I always get my books from the Paddington Library. I live just across the road, so it’s easy and convenient for me”, explains Kelly Richards while choosing a book he looks excited to be borrowing.
Spending a lot of time travelling? Then why not download your books at Paddington Library and read or listen to it on your notebook instead of carrying heavy books every day? This is a perfect option for Vanessa Schwab. “I came to Australia to travel. For me the library is a very good thing because I can borrow the books and give them back. So I don’t have to carry around so much weight”, explains the German girl. “In addition I simply love libraries because you can just sit here, look around, watch people and read.”
In addition Paddington Library offers a wide rage of other things making your visit worthwhile. You can have a look through various magazines or discover some new unknown music tracks. Why not try searching for your favorite TV series, absorbing documentaries or a movie you missed in the cinema. It also provides a range of free databases including ancestry.com for family history research and Choice magazine. Students can profit from “Your Tutor” a free online tutoring service providing help with homework. Not to mention public access to computers and free WIFI plus printing and photocopying facilities. It’s a one stop super shop! Except it’s not a shop. It’s a library.
On the search for a DVD: Sara Lebon
There are always some events going on and currently the annual “Youth Photographic Award” entries are displayed, showing photographs from local school students. Parents can find various children programs including weekly Rhyme Time sessions for babies up to two-year-olds. “My daughter loves Rhyme Time because she can play and sing with kids her age and I like it too because I get to know some of the mums living around here”, says Luisa McKay. There is also a weekly Story Time for kids between the age of three and five years, monthly Kids Club and activities in school holidays. For senior residents aged fifty-five and over there is not only a monthly social event but they also have the chance to get exclusive access to the library to view new books while enjoying a free morning tea. To make your life easier there is even a home service to residents being unable to come to the library due to illness, disability or carer responsibilities.
To borrow anything you simply have to join the Woollahra Library and Information Service. To do so fill out the membership form and provide some kind of identification for example your driver’s license. Your first card is free and you can borrow all items for three weeks, with the exception of DVDs for one week. No fees apply unless you’re a little late returning but even then fines are only charged at 25 cents a day per item. Too good to be true? Not so. This is what a Library has and always will be. It’s time we all remembered.
Anthony Estorffe is working undisturbed in the silence of Paddington Library
Paddington Town Hall
247 Oxford Street
Paddington NSW 2021
Phone: 02 9391 7988
Fax: 02 9380 6174
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 10 am to 6pm
Wednesday: 12 noon to 8pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sundays and Public holidays: Closed
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