Best Kid-Friendly Libraries in Melbourne

Books are full of adventure, surprise, heartwarming tenderness, courage, friendship, true love and inspirational achievements – all fantastic ingredients to help your child develop a life-long love of reading. But those darn things can be expensive! Thank goodness for your local library.

Whether you become a member and take those lovely books home with you (temporarily, of course), or just use the quiet spaces within to tuck yourself in and get lost between the pages of a story, becoming friends with your neighbourhood library is a relationship worth having. And with so many amazing kid-friendly libraries in Melbourne, your family will love them as much as you do.

Library At The Dock

The design of the children’s section of Library at the Dock is truly delightful, with friendly curved bookshelves and the covers of the books all facing their potential readers. Seats that have been built into the shelving are a smart idea and when kids want to get really comfortable, they can flop on the beanbags and even play with a toy or two. Of course, what would a modern library be without technology?

For babies and toddler up to eighteen months, the weekly Songbirds program is at 10.30am each Wednesday during school terms. Parents and carers join in the singing, as your budding bookworm rocks to the rhythm of some classic nursery rhymes and poems. For older children, weekly Preschool Storytime runs for about 45 minutes each Friday at 10.30am during school terms, with a bilingual Hindi storytime every second week.

What You Need To Know
 107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am-7pm;  Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12am-5pm.
Phone: 9658 9998

State Library Victoria
State Library of Victoria

Keeping the inner-city theme going, this stalwart of the local library scene can seem oh-so-serious but there’s still plenty of fun to be had. State Library Victoria had undergone a massive redevelopment and five years and $88+ million later,  they have swung open the doors to its reimagined space including the shmick new Children’s Quarter.

This purpose-built space for children and families has it all: a split-level storybook castle, reading nooks, a maker-space, a running track, pram parking, upgraded family rooms and a brand new browsing children’s book collection. They also host a free program of inspiring kids activities like Baby Bounce, Toddler Tunes, Storytime and Toddler Tales.

What You Need To Know
 328 Swanston St, Melbourne
Hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday-Sunday 10am-6pm.
Phone: 8664 7000

Brighton Library

What do Beaumaris, Brighton, Hampton and Sandringham have in common? They are all different branches of the same lively library network, on the south-eastern side.

Each branch of the Bayside Library Service has its own weekly storytime during school terms and you’ll find most librarians love to help you do what you need to.

Check the opening hours of your local library online before planning your day. Most libraries are open all year round.

What You Need To Know
 14 Wilson Street, Brighton
Hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-8pm; Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm.
Phone: 9261 7840

Eltham Library

When the days turn chillier, how can you go wrong with a fireplace in the reading lounge? The fact that this kid-friendly library is handily located next to cafes and parkland, means it is a fantastic one to make a day of and take your time with – from active running around to nourishing replenishing, with some cosy reading to get your winding down. The Eltham Library building is award-winning, and it’s heritage-listed – an ideal example of how an old body can still attract young minds. Bilingual storytimes in both French and German are on offer here, as well as a regular English version too.

What You Need To Know
 Panther Place, Eltham
Hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-8:30pm; Friday - Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm.
Phone: 9439 9266

St Kilda Library

Designing a library that’s kid-friendly is about thinking how little children interact with books. St Kilda Library has taken that on board wonderfully well with the simple addition of child-sized versions of bookshelves and low, colourful lights hung from the ceiling, add to the charm of it all.

What You Need To Know
 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-8pm; Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday - Sunday 1pm-5pm.
Phone: 9209 6655

Carnegie Library

In such a kid-friendly suburb, it’s no surprise that Carnegie Library caters well for little ones. Having the outdoor playspace literally at the front door obviously helps attract the kids close by – but once they set foot inside, they’ll be transported to a world of pure imagination, with stories a-plenty to suit all ages and reading abilities.

What You Need To Know
 7 Shepparson Ave, Carnegie
Hours: Monday 10am-6pm; Tuesday - Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-4pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm.
Phone: 9524 3700


When Eastland Shopping Centre was redeveloped, Realm Library – one of more than a dozen in the Eastern Regional Library network – was designed as its gateway, with state-of-the-art design and facilities and a cosy children’s section on the second level that creates a calm, kid-friendly hideaway, surrounded by books.

Technology is a powerful research tool and this library has it available for children working on school projects and other explorations – part of the approach to make learning a happy way to spend time.

What You Need To Know
 179 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood
Hours: Monday - Thursday 10am-8pm; Friday-Sunday 10am-5pm.
Phone: 9800 6430

Other Spots To Check Out In Melbourne

Melbourne Museum
Gumbuya World


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