I work in North Sydney and often visit Stanton Library in my lunch break. It is just a ten minute walk from my office, and there is an excellent coffee shop nearby in Rydge Street. I carry a black cloth bag to use to carry books and DVDs and it is this bag which usually provokes questions from my colleagues.
“Where are you going?” they ask. “I’m going to the library”, I replied. Some people say (in great amazement) “Is there a library in North Sydney?”. Yes there is a library and it is a wonderful resource for North Sydney workers. Let me tell you why.
Anyone can join as it doesn’t matter where you live as long as you can prove your residential address.
There is no cost to join. Your library is brought to you by State Government funding and North Sydney Council. Reservations cost $2 but this money is put towards purchasing new items.
Books. An excellent range of books available, and I recommend you browse the new book display and returned book trolleys to find interesting material.
Compact Disks. Lots of popular music, rock, folk, movie soundtracks, broadway, jazz, opera, classical, concertos, symphonies, piano and violin music.
DVDs. The library is not going to replace your local Blockbuster for the new releases however there are many classic movies, most of the Asian cinema from Madman, anime, documentaries, music, opera, travel and TV series. You can borrow up to 9 DVDs for the borrowing period of 3 weeks.
Audio books – CD and MP3. The collection of audio books is growing and there are many titles in MP3 format which means they can be loaded onto your iPod very quickly.
My top three favourites
Bookfair table. The library receives a lot of donations (books and CDs) and occasionally culls part of their collection. These items are put on the “Bookfair” table and sold very cheaply (with all proceeds funding the library). Paperbacks are 3 for $1, non-fiction are $1 to $5. Today there was a trolley of donated music books and I was lucky to find books on music composition, jazz piano and classical piano.
Author Talks. Constant Reader book shop organises “book launch” author appearances. The author talks about their book, you can buy the book and get it signed. I have met Paul Ham, Graham Bond, Xinran, Michael Kirby, Peter Fitzsimons, Vikram Seth, Reg Mombasa (ex Mental as Anything/artist) and Robert Hughes. I attended John Howard’s launch of Lazarus Rising (held at the council chambers) but the crowds were too great for book signing.
The new book display. I already have a lifetime of reading on my bookshelves at home, but I always look at the new book display when I enter the library. New books are published every month and I like to read them as well as my own books.
The advantage of borrowing books is that I don’t have to spend money and I have a forced deadline to finish reading. If I buy a book I tend to put it on a shelf and not read it.