Hereford Library Users' Group

02/10/2011

Yarra Libraries show the way

Whilst exploring the Carlton and Fitzroy suburbs of  Melbourne, your editor chanced upon the imposing Yarra Town Hall, which in turn houses Yarra Library. Despite the building being Victorian, the library, which is housed on one side of the town hall, is light and airy with a spacious layout and a very good range of books. The library guide, which appeared in English, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Turkish, Macedonian and Arabic instantly gives a flavour of the lively and multicultural feeling of this part of Melbourne. There appeared to be an excellent range of books and DVD’s available, with lots of reference material and some ethnic collections too – notably a large collection of books and other material about the history of the various aboriginal tribes which once inhabited this area. The large and well-stocked children’s library is housed in a separate area near to the entrance. Plenty of computer terminals were in evidence and some of these were in use even though it was the middle of the day and most people were at work or in school. There is also an  interesting local studies section as many Australians like to trace their ancestors. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take a photograph but the layout was pleasing and easy on the eye. It was interesting that the ceiling was quite low but yet the library didn’t have the claustrophobic feel of  Hereford library. Though I have to agree that Hereford staff have made an effort to improve the interior of our Broad Street library recently.

I have since popped into the Albert Park branch of the city library – one which my daughter uses and which also has an excellent collection of the written and spoken word. We were actually on the way to lunch with some friends, so I didn’t have much time to spare, but first impressions were good. This is a more middle class, professional area of Melbourne with a prosperous feel about it  and, amongst the parade of shops and restaurants, an excellent independent bookshop; also patronised by my daughter and her husband. There is certainly no lack of culture in this city which has several universities and a large CBD. Australia has not suffered the setbacks experienced in the UK largely because the banks here are much more tightly regulated.

Queenscliffe Post Office

During a few days spent in the Bellarine Peninsular south of Melbourne, we stayed in Queensville – a picturesque seaside town with most of its original Victorian buildings intact. Amongst these was the local library, a post office and the Queensville Hotel – all attractive buildings in their own right. The library was also the local tourist information point and there was also a public reading room which was available even when the main library was closed (as it was when we visited on a Wednesday). Enjoy the photographs which were taken on a very hot day.

Queenscliffe Library.

Photos by Joan Williamson

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