We’ve opened the doors to our Darling Square Library, in the vibrant neighbourhood next to Haymarket and Darling Harbour.
If it’s been a while since you stepped into a library, you’ll be in for a nice surprise. Spanning 2 floors of The Exchange building, the library has been designed as a hub for learning, innovation and creativity.
There are plenty of things to love about Darling Square Library. Here are 8 reasons why you’ll want to visit.
1. The architecture
You won’t have trouble spotting The Exchange. The spiral-like building wrapped in more than 20km of timber ribbon was designed by Japanese firm Kengo Kuma & Associates. Creating a unique façade with a playful likeness to a birds nest, the handcrafted panels also filter natural light into the building.
Sydney-based BVN designed the modern interiors of the library to create welcoming spaces for our visitors.
2. Membership and borrowing are free
While you don’t need to be a member to visit, if you’re a NSW resident it’s free to join the City of Sydney Library.
As a member you’ll be able to borrow from the library’s collection of over 9 million items free. This includes books, DVDs, magazines, video game consoles, and robotic and electronic kits. You’ll also be able to access ebooks and online magazines, and stream movies.
Darling Square Library has a huge collection of Chinese, Indonesian, Vietnamese and Thai language books, DVDs and music CDs. Local and international Chinese newspapers and magazines are available to read in the branch. You can also access over 270 titles online.
3. Space to collaborate, work, study or just relax
Need a private space for a meeting or group assignment? Or maybe just a cosy spot to curl up with a book. There are plenty of options at Darling Square Library.
Lounges and desks are scattered throughout as well as outdoor tables and benches to soak up the sunshine.
Meeting rooms and a large seminar and workshop space are available for community or commercial hire. If you’re a student, you get free use of available meeting rooms for up to 2 hours a day.
4. Workshops to help bring your ideas to life
If you love to create, tinker or invent, head to the Ideas Lab on level 1. This dedicated makerspace and multipurpose room hosts an exciting program of workshops to help startups and curious makers upskill, share knowledge and network. Join a workshop to learn 3D design and printing or explore robotics, electronics and prototyping.
Need help with your own project or idea? Bring it along to the weekly session where experienced makers will be on-hand for advice. In this session you’ll get access to our 3D printers, a laser and dye cutter, electronic kits and hand tools.
5. Go retro with our classic video game consoles
Long before Candy Crush Saga, there was Donkey Kong, Frogger and Sonic.
If you’re a fan of old school or a video game enthusiast, you’re going to love our collection of classic video game consoles. Pioneered in the 80s and 90s, choose from Atari, Sega, Nintendo and the C64Mini.
All the consoles are free for members to borrow and come pre-loaded with plenty of games, ready to plug and play at home.
6. Free wifi
We all love free wifi. Log in and connect on your own device anywhere in the library. It’s a great option if you want a change of scenery from your office or study space.
Members can use self-serve computers free for up to 3 hours a day and non-members can purchase a casual use ticket for a small fee. Browse the internet, use Office-based software or access Adobe Creative Cloud for graphic design, video and photo editing, and website development.
7. A dedicated kids area and programs
Young kids will love the fun space that’s been created just for them. It features plenty of colourful books and places to read, play and create. There are weekly free storytime and rhymetime sessions for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers in English and Mandarin.
The fortnightly after-school drop-in series is a great opportunity to test drive kits from the makerspace collection, including robots, coding equipment and electronics.
Keep an eye out for school holiday makerspace workshops.
8. Heaps of free events and workshops for all ages
From the entertaining adults-only Late Night Library, to fascinating talks, workshops and activities for all ages, Darling Square Library hosts a year-round program of free events. See what’s coming up and subscribe to the monthly library enewsletter to find out what’s on.
And if that’s not enough to get you excited, the library is surrounded by new and colourful places to eat and shop. So you definitely won’t go hungry on your visit to Darling Square Library.
Everyone’s invited to celebrate the opening of this new library at the official Darling Square Library launch on Saturday 9 November.
Darling Square Library is at level 1–2, Darling Exchange Building, 1 Little Pier Street, Haymarket. It’s open 7 days a week.