During the isolating reign of COVID-19, libraries might just be the saviour we need. While many libraries around Sydney are closing their doors, some remain open with public health and safety measures in place. If you’re well and able to leave the house, settling into a book nook can be the perfect antidote to the work-from-home blues.
With the exception of a few, the City of Sydney has closed all branches until Tuesday, March 31. This includes the libraries in Newtown, Surry Hills, Ultimo and Waterloo.
During this time the Darling Square, Green Square, and Customs House libraries will have reduced opening hours, from 11am-1pm on Monday to Friday. The Town Hall Library Express, a non-staffed branch located behind Town Hall, will be open from 8am-6pm on weekdays. You can stay up to date with changes to library services on the City of Sydney library webpage.
In a pretty darn nice gesture, all memberships that have expired in the past month or are due to expire in the next three months have been extended until 30 June 2020.
The Inner West Council has made changes to local libraries too. Libraries in Ashfield, Balmain, Leichhardt and the stunning new Marrickville Library will remain open from 9am-5.30pm from Monday to Friday, and close on weekends. The libraries in Haberfield, Stanmore, St Peters and Dulwich Hill closed on Thursday, March 19. The Council will continue to monitor the situation, you can stay up to date on the Inner West Libraries website.
Over in Parramatta, libraries are currently open for the regular hours, however events, programs and JP services have been suspended. See updates on the City of Parramatta Library website.
If your local library isn’t mentioned above, we encourage you to check in with your neighbourhood purveyor of stories and information.
Most libraries, including those mentioned above, have vast digital collections of books, audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, and streamable films and music to keep you occupied.
Libraries that remain open to the public are generally doing what they can to keep everyone healthy and monitor numbers of people coming in. But if you decide to go, don’t be complacent. Wash your hands regularly, don’t touch your face, keep a respectable 1.5 metres from others at all times, and maybe don’t touch a public computer if you don’t have to.