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Find your story

Curious about your family’s past and don’t know where to start? Book into one of our free family history training sessions and let us help you get started. Bookings essential. Sessions run for 90 minutes.

East Melbourne Library
Fri 9 Oct, 10.30am; Tue 13 Oct, 10.30am; Fri 16 Oct, 10.30am; Tue 20 Oct, 10.30am
Book your place

Kathleen Syme Library
Mon 12 Oct, 10am; Thu 15 Oct, 3.30pm; Mon 26 Oct, 10am; Thu 29 Oct, 5.30pm
Book your place

Library at The Dock
Thu 1 Oct, 10.30am; Thu 8 Oct, 10am; Tue 20 Oct, 2.30pm; Tue 27 Oct, 2.30pm
Book your place

North Melbourne Library
Tue 6 Oct, 2.30pm; Fri 23 Oct, 10.30am; Fri 30 Oct, 10.30am
Book your place

Southbank Library
Fri 16 Oct, 10am; Wed 21 Oct, 9am; Fri 23 Oct, 10am; Wed 28 Oct, 9am
Book your place 

Mental Health Week 

Sunday 4 October to Saturday 10 October

Mental Health Week aims to activate, educate and engage Victorians about mental health. We are committed to promoting mental wellbeing, furthering knowledge about mental health and eliminating the stigma surrounding mental illness. Join us for a week of interactive events across Melbourne Library Service.

Check out our program


Victorian Seniors Festival 2015:
It’s Your Time!

Sunday 4 October to Sunday 11 October

The Victorian Seniors Festival is a statewide event that takes place throughout October. This festival recognises and celebrates the valuable contributions older people have made and continue to make to our community.

Learn how you can protect your privacy, get the most out of your iPad, and stay connected with Boyd’s High tea during this year’s Victorian Seniors Festival – It’s Your Time!

Check out our program


Melbourne Knowledge Week 2015


Monday 19 October to Sunday 25 October 

Join us as we celebrate Melbourne Knowledge Week, a multi-format festival dedicated to the latest trends, ideas and innovations of Melbourne’s knowledge sector.

Take a look at the program.



Sunday School with Goldie Alexander

Goldie Alexander was the music teacher at J. H. Boyd Domestic College in 1967. The Boyd building now houses the Southbank Library.

Now a successful author, Goldie returns to where it all began to talk about her first teaching job at Boyd, her writing and more.

When: Sun 18 Oct, 3pm–4pm 
Where: Southbank Library
Book your place



The Power of Reading with Professor Stephen Krashen

Melbourne Library Service and Learning Team Australia are pleased to host Professor Stephen Krashen as part of his national “The Power of Reading Tour” Stephen Krashen is an internationally renowned linguist, who is best known for the Comprehension Hypothesis.
In literacy education, the Comprehension Hypothesis is the Reading Hypothesis, that is the idea that most of our literacy development comes from reading, especially selfselected, free voluntary reading.
This hypothesis, in turn, helps explain the typically low reading achievement of children in poverty; lack of access to books in the home, in their neighbourhoods, and in their schools.
This explanation is also supported by studies showing that quality libraries can reduce the negative impact of poverty.
Krashen’s research shows that the single biggest positive factor on literacy scores is the existence of a quality school library.
Don’t miss this opportunity to tap into Krashen wisdom.

When: Mon 19 Oct
Where: Library at the Dock

Talk One: for Children's Librarians

When: Mon 19 Oct, 1pm-4.30pm

  • Session 1: Why reading (especially fiction) is so important for children and young adults
  • Session 2: How public libraries can complement the school library OR fill the reading void when primary school libraries are under-resourced or even disappearing.
  • Session 3: Q & A.

Register at:

Talk Two: for parents and friends of libraries

When: Mon 19 Oct,  6.30pm for 7pm-8pm
Book your place
This is a free event.

Chocolate Making with Sissys

Join us at East Melbourne Library for a mouth-watering event with Sylvia Kliska from Sissys Chocolates.
Sissys Gourmet Delights has been making handmade chocolate and teaching newcomers and chocolate lovers for 15 years. Sylvia Kliska set up a small factory shop and developed her own special delights which grew to a sizeable fan base.  Sylvia commenced small-group chocolate-making workshops about 10 years ago. Thanks to online ‘Experience’ sellers such as Red Balloon & Adrenalin, Sissys chocolate-making experience has now found itself catering to attendees from all over Australia.

When: Sat 24 Oct, 11am-1pm
Where: East Melbourne Library

This session is suitable for adults only.

Tickets will be available from Fri 9 October

Circus, stage and Marian Dunn

Join us at North Melbourne during History Week when author Mimi Colligan shares her latest research on Marian Dunn, the widow of Marcus Clarke.
An accomplished actor from a theatrical family, Marian was left destitute by Clarke’s early death. Her friends from the stage and circus rallied around her and her young children.

About: Mimi Colligan writes on 19th century popular culture and biography. Part of her PhD thesis on panoramic entertainments was published by MUP as Canvas Documentaries in 2002. Mimi is a Fellow of the RHSV, an Adjunct Research Fellow with the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University and a member of the Victorian Working Party of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. In 2006 she curated an exhibition on the Melbourne Cremorne Gardens and in 2012, an exhibition on ‘Theatres in Transition 1840-1940 for the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Mimi’s last book, Circus and Stage, a biography of a 19th century theatrical couple, the G. B.W. Lewises, was published last year. She is currently researching a biographical article on Marcus Clarke’s widow, Marian Dunn, an actress.

When: Sat 24 Oct,  2pm-4pm
Where: North Melbourne Library
Book your place

Kathleen Syme: the lady and her legacy

Discover the woman behind the name with special guest Dr Carolyn Rasmussen, hear stories of the buildings past and join us for afternoon tea.

When: Sun 25 Oct, 2pm-4pm with afternoon tea from 3.30pm.
Where: Kathleen Syme Library
Book your place




Laneway Learning in the Library

Our friends at Laneway Learning are coming to Southbank Library at Boyd and are running programs for free. Yes free.

Come join us for a series of unique fun classes in everything and anything.

Southbank Library at Boyd
Partner Dancing: Thu 5 Nov, 6.15pm 
Pancakes: Thu 5 Nov, 8pm 
Travel Photography: Thu 12 Nov, 6.15pm
Braiding: Thu 12 Nov, 8pm

Make your bookings at Laneway Learning.


Celebrate Diwali!

Wednesday 11 November to Friday 13 November

Join us at Library at the Dock and City Library for some fabulous family events to celebrate Diwali - the triumph of light over dark.

Creative Kid’s Club Diwali celebration

Join us in making and decorating delicious sweets in the community room. Give as gifts or enjoy yourself!

When: Wed 11 Nov, 4.30pm–5.30pm
Where: Library at The Dock
For: 7-14 years

Bollywood dancing

Sahida will lead a Bollywood dance workshop for all the family. Learn some joyful dance moves and take part in a performance in the gallery followed by traditional sweets.

When: Thu 12 Nov, 5pm-7pm
Where: City Library
For: all the family

Rangoli workshop

Supreet Tuteja will create a beautiful Rangoli pattern at the park entrance to Library at the Dock. Participants in the workshop will then be provided the materials to make their own colorful design.

When: Fri 13 Nov, 10.30am-12.30pm
Where: Library at The Dock
For: all the family

Tea and sweets at The Dock

Celebrate Diwali with us! Tradition sweets along with tea and coffee will be served in the Activities Room.

When: Fri 13 Nov, 12.30pm-1.30pm
Where: Library at The Dock 
For: all the family

Clay lamp making

Children will love making a Diwali lamp with air dry clay,  richly decorated with sequins.

When: Fri 13 Nov, 1.30pm-2.30pm
Where: Library at The Dock
For: all the family


Tickets will be available from
Monday 19 October 



Monthly and ongoing events 

La Trobe in the City: Ancient Mediterranean Lecture Series

Join La Trobe University’s experts in the literature, history, art and archaeology of ancient Greece and Rome and explore the ancient world in our new series of evening lectures and bookclubs.

This series runs from August until October at City Library in partnership with La Trobe University.

Take a look at the program.


Melbourne Library Writers' Groups

Interested in meeting and networking with other writers? Want to receive and provide feedback in a supportive environment?

A writers' group could be exactly what you need! Facilitated by author and journalist Michelle Hamer.

Beginners: Second Tuesday of the month
When: 6pm-8pm (Tuesdays 13 Oct, 10 Nov, 8 Dec, 12 Jan, 9 Feb, 8 Mar, 12 Apr, 10 May, 14 Jun, 12 Jul).

Intermediate/Advanced: Fourth Tuesday of the month
When: 6pm-8pm (Tuesdays 27 Oct, 24 Nov, 22 Dec, 26 Jan, 23 Feb, 22 Mar, 26 Apr, 24 May, 28 Jun, 26 Jul).

Where: City Library, Group Study Room

Complete the online form to register your interest.

History Lovers' Book Club

If you love history then this is the book club for you!

Join fellow history buffs and book lovers as we explore a range of historical fact and fiction.

Third Tuesday of the month.

When: 6pm-7pm (Tues 20 Oct, Tues17 Nov, Tues 15 Dec).
Where: Kathleen Syme Library

Checkout our books for October


First Wednesday Reading Circle

Like talking about books? So do we! Join our monthly reading circle and tell us what you’ve been reading.

There is no set book. We discuss everything from fiction, plays, poems, travel writing, biography - anything at all.

First Wednesday of the month.
Bookings essential for first meeting.

When: 6-7pm (Wed 5 Aug, Wed 2 Sep, Wed 7 Oct, Wed 4 Nov, Wed 2 Dec).
Where: Kathleen Syme Library
Book your place for our first meeting

Crafternoons with the Melbourne Origami Group

Join the Melbourne Origami Group for a monthly ‘crafternoon’ at Library at the Dock. For all levels from complete beginners to advanced, the members of the Melbourne Origami Group seek to further the art and enjoyment of paper folding and would love to have you along to help!

Bring your own craft project to work on or to share with others.

Basic paper will be provided. Fancier paper will be on sale, or bring your own.

Last Saturday of the month.

When: 12pm-2pm (Sat 31 Oct, Sat 28 Nov).
Where: Library at The Dock, Community Room 

Southbank Reading Circle

Like talking about books? So do we!
Join our monthly reading circle and tell us what you’ve been reading.

There is no set book. We discuss everything from fiction, plays, poems, travel writing, biography - anything at all.

Second Wednesday of the month.

When: 6pm-7pm (Wed 11 Nov, Wed 9 Dec).
Where: Southbank Library


Chinese Book Club Morning Tea

Come and join us for morning tea and see our new Chinese books at Library at The Dock.

Meet other readers, have a chat and find some new Chinese books, magazines or DVDs to borrow.

First Thursday of the month.

When: 9am-11am (Thu 5 Nov, Thu 3 Dec).
Where: Library at The Dock


Big Ideas in the Pub

If you love discussing meaty topics and like to see things from a different point of view, then this book club could be right up your alley.
Whether you like science, current affairs, history or psychology, ‘Big ideas in the pub’ allows you to meet fellow readers once a month at the Courthouse Hotel.

Fourth Tuesday of the Month.

When: 7.30pm (Tues 27 Oct, Tues 24 Nov). 
Where: Courthouse Hotel, corner of Errol and Queensberry Streets, North Melbourne

Email us for more information. 

Story Lounge

Story Lounge is a storytime for adults. Hand-picked stories and poems read aloud in a relaxed setting. Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasure of listening.

Story Lounge happens twice a month. Each month, the stories read at East Melbourne Library will be repeated at Library at The Dock.

Free, no bookings required and all welcome!

East Melbourne Library
Second Monday of the month, 10.30-11.30am (12 Oct, 9 Nov).

Library at The Dock
Fourth Wednesday of the month, 12.30-1.30pm
(28 Oct, 25 Nov). 

Docklands History Group 

Travel back in time with local historians, collectors, guest speakers and meet other like-minded people at our monthly Docklands History Group. Share a cuppa and stories with other local history enthusiasts and learn about the people, places and industries from times gone by.  Everyone welcome. 


We’re doing something a bit different for the October and November Docklands History Group. You asked for it: we’re going on a walk! Come along to explore some historical sites in the heart of our city, once known as ‘Bearbrass’ and ‘Batmania’.

Fourth Thursday of the month.

Thursday 22 October
Time: 11am  - 12.30pm
Location: meet at City Library foyer
Bring: an umbrella

Thursday 26 November
Time: 11am  - 12.30pm
Location: meet at Library at The Dock cafe
Bring: an umbrella

The Lord Mayor's Creative Writing Awards 2015 have now closed.

After a record number of entries, we now wait on the judges to shortlist and choose the winners for each category. This shortlist will be announced late October with the overall winner to be chosen by the Lord Mayor and announced mid-November.
Find out more