10 cool things you didn't know you could do at your local library

It's easy to forget that libraries are about more than books and study, and with 33 Council libraries across the city, you might even be surprised about how much there is to see and do.

Libraries expands person limits and services

All 33 Council libraries will allow up to 20 people inside a library.

To observe the limit of 20 people at any one time and minimise waiting time, customers are only able to: 

  • access and browse the library collections – customers will be asked to sanitise their hands before handling any collection items on the shelves
  • limited internet access with 15-minute express sessions. Printing and mobile printing services are available
  • return borrowed items through after-hours returns chutes 
  • pick-up holds when ready for collection – no hold fees apply.

The number of people permitted within individual libraries at any one time will be contingent on: 

  • floor size  
  • configuration of different spaces 
  • distances between shelving, joinery, furniture, computers and service areas 
  • paths of travel within each library.

Find out more.

Whether you're looking to connect with others, tune out, wind down, or simply hide from the world, read on for 10 cool things (other than reading) you can do at Council's libraries. Best of all - they're free!

1. Get connected

There are few better words to hear than 'free Wi-Fi' and you can surf the web on your own device all you want at your local library. You can also access free internet on a library computer. All you need is a free library membership and you're good to go! Some libraries have television facilities too!

2. Get your green thumb on

Whether you're a self-proclaimed plant parent, a budding florist, or simply feel like getting your hands dirty in the garden, libraries across the city host free workshops and gardening groups. Get involved in a working bee at the library gardens at Grange or Mitchelton. Learn more about indoor plants, planting your garden and more at the fantastic free workshops.

3. Take a step back in time

You probably know the library has an abundance of history books and resources, but did you know you can experience a blast from the past on a whole different level?

Discover Brisbane's history in pictures using Brisbane Images, reveal family secrets at one of the genealogy seminars, or use Ancestry online at the library.

4. Get conversational 

Studying in Brisbane and wanting to gain confidence while meeting new friends at school or university? Join one of Council's many free English conversation groups. These groups are great to expand your network and improve your English at the same time. 

5. Perfect your prose

Is there any better inspiration to get your writing juices flowing than being among books? With so many writing groups and workshops happening at libraries across the city, you're bound to find one to bookmark. Keep an eye on the Lord Mayor's Writers in Residence program for your chance to meet your literary idol.

6. Brush up on your art skills

Swap prose for paint at an amateur art night. Keep an eye out for some other cool one-off art events and regular art workshops like CreateIt for kids.

7. Are you a night owl?

Finding your calm in the library doesn't have to mean being glued to a book (though there's nothing wrong with that). Did you know that Brisbane Square Library is now open until midnight on Wednesdays and Fridays? Drop-in for live music, amateur art classes, or knitting and crochet meets up, or study using free Wi-Fi and comfortable spaces. Check out our What's On calendar for a full list of upcoming events for Brisbane Square Library Up Late.

8. Passion for pop culture?

Maybe you fancy yourself as a general trivia buff, or you have a specialist interest in something like Japanese comic books? Show off your pop culture knowledge at a local library's tea and trivia event, come along to a manga and anime group meet-up or get along to a graphic novel book club or pop culture meet-up.

If you'd prefer to just peruse pop culture's latest, spend some quality time with the latest edition of your favourite magazine. Council's libraries have heaps of subscriptions you can access for free.

9. The bee's knees

Are you interested in keeping native stingless bees for fun, honey production, conservation and/or pollination? We run regular, free workshops at our Council libraries to teach you the basics of keeping native bees in backyard Brisbane.  Bookings are required.

10. Top the class

Tricky homework getting you down? Have an assignment that just isn't making sense? No need to stress. Libraries aren't only smart about books, they're brainy too! They can help you navigate the 1.4 million items in the library collection and show you how to make the best use of the other resources to ensure you ace your studies with ease.

See you at a library soon

Council is dedicated to a liveable city, creating more leisure options and better facilities and venues for all ages to enjoy. Visit your local library to join, renew, or borrow books, and use the many resources on offer.

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Date posted:
Last updated:10 June 2020
Topics: things to do