The Fun, Interactive Melbourne Libraries that are So Much More than Just Books!

We all know libraries are a fantastic place to not just borrow a book, but to connect with your community, learn something new or dang it, take advantage of the free wi-fi!

Modern libraries usually have a great kids' area, and Melbourne is no exception - but here are the libraries that are kicking it up a notch when it comes to facilities.

State Library of Victoria Play Pod

The guru of "more than just a library" libraries in Melbourne, the Play Pod at the State Library of Victoria is a creative and reading hub for kids under eight years, packed with activities to read, create and play.

In this indoor courtyard area you'll find dress ups, toys, books (of course), fun kid furniture, free craft materials, a family-friendly onsite cafe (Mr Tulk), and regular interactive events and programs, with a rotating theme every season.

Find it: 328 Swanston St, Melbourne

Opening Hours:

Monday: 10am–9pm
Tuesday: 10am–9pm
Wednesday: 10am–9pm
Thursday: 10am–9pm
Friday: 10am–6pm
Saturday: 10am–6pm
Sunday: 10am–6pm

For more info: Head to the website.

Image Credit: State Library of Victoria Faceook

Image Credit: Craigieburn Library Facebook

Craigieburn Library

The Craigieburn Library is your one-stop shop for culture, encomapssing a community art gallery, kindergarten, cafe, and gathering space as part of the Hume Global Learning Centre.

Its design has won several awards (including "International Public Library of the Year"), and is built as a series of interlocking pavilions of varying height and scale that extend into the landscape through louvred roofs to create a series of northern verandahs - perfect for indoor/outdoor visiting!

Find it: 75-95 Central Park Avenue, Craigieburn

Opening Hours:

Monday: 10am–8pm
Tuesday: 10am–8pm
Wednesday: 10am–8pm
Thursday: 10am–8pm
Friday: 10am–5pm
Saturday : 10am–4pm
Sunday: 1–4pm

For more info: Head to the website.

Image Credit: City of Melbourne

Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre

Inside the beautiful 139-year-old facade at Kathleen Syme Library, you'll find a comprehensive library, learning and training rooms, computer lab, recording studio, meeting rooms, community activity spaces, and free wifi. The latest upgrade to the centre had as its focus opportunities for local, vulnerable and disadvantaged people to be empowered and participate in community life. Ten per cent of the books on offer are in foreign languages, to cater for the diversity of its nearby residents.

The children's space is a favourite among Melbourne mums with toys and games as well as books, and we recommend you don't miss a trip to the social enterprise Wild Timor Coffee cafe right next door for a hot chocolate or snack. 

Find it: 251 Faraday St, Carlton

Opening Hours:

Monday: 10am–7pm
Tuesday: 10am–7pm
Wednesday: 10am–7pm
Thursday: 10am–7pm
Friday: 10am–6pm
Saturday: 10am–5pm
Sunday: 12–5pm

For more info: Head to the website.

Image Credit: The Eltham Library Facebook

Eltham Library

Fancy a fireplace in your library? Me too! You will find one at this gorgeous, award-winning, heritage-listed community space, situated next to parklands and cafes on Panther Place. 

Kids can get their craft on in their beautifully-designed children's hub as well as read the books on offer on any of the bright, child-friendly furniture, and play outside in the extensive forest area.

Find it: Panther Pl, Eltham

Opening Hours: 

Monday: 10am–8:30pm
Tuesday: 10am–8:30pm
Wednesday: 10am–8:30pm
Thursday: 10am–8:30pm
Friday: 10am–5pm
Saturday: 10am–5pm
Sunday: 1–5pm

For more info: Head to the website.

Image Credit: Raeco

Dandenong Library 

This architect's dream is a wonderland for kids, with the children's area of the library featuring bean bags and cosy places to sit and read, kid's computers on small-size furniture and gorgeous curved shelves holding a treasure trove of children's books. 

Huge windows let in tons of light, and we love the spacious seating levels and cool floating cloud light fixtures. A great place to play when the weather outside is frightful! If the sun is shining, there is plenty of space to run around and climb on outside.

The library has a full catalogue of special events and programs, which you can find here, or keep up-to-date with on their Facebook page.

Find it: 225 Lonsdale St, Dandenong

Monday: 9am–9pm
Tuesday: 9am–9pm
Wednesday: 9am–9pm
Thursday: 9am–9pm
Friday: 9am–9pm
Saturday: 10am–5pm
Sunday: 12–5pm

For more info: head to the website.

Image Credit: Braybrook Community Hub Facebook

Braybrook Library

Far more than just a library, this whole community hub also includes a kitchen, sports pavillion, a multi-faith room, tons of family facilities, early learning centre, community garden, child and community health services, and of course fun activities for kids like baby rhyme time and school holiday events.

Excitingly, the rebuilding of the aeroplane playground next door that was destroyed in an arson attack is supposed to be finished by summer. As well as a cool playground, the community area will also have exercise equipment, open lawn areas, bike track, an upgraded community garden and a picnic area.

Find it: 107-139 Churchill Ave, Braybrook

Monday: 10am–8pm
Tuesday: 10am–8pm
Wednesday: 10am–6pm
Thursday: 10am–6pm
Friday: 10am–6pm
Saturday: 10am–4pm
Sunday: 2–5pm

For more info: Head to the website.