Accessibility | Skip to primary navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer |

What's on City of Melbourne

  • Catalogue Search
  • Search the Melbourne Library Service catalogue

    Catalogue Search


Rare Book Week
July 17 to 27

Join us at Melbourne Library Service for some great events during Rare Book Week.

Eclectic: an exhibit of rare books

Coming soon.

An exhibition of rare or significant books and manuscripts selected from the City of Melbourne heritage collection.

Be prepared for some surprises.

Curated by the Melbourne Library Service.

Where: Library at the Dock
107 Victoria Harbour Promenade

Melbourne Rare Book Week Tours

The Library at The Dock is a community hub providing contemporary library and community facilities, including a performance space, meeting rooms, activity spaces, editing and recording studios, thus enabling people to come together to create, explore, connect, belong, learn and participate.

As the first public CLT building in Australia the Docklands this civic heart is built with a vision for environmental excellence, optimising sustainable performance by using a range of initiatives including a combination of engineered timber and reclaimed hardwood. 

Join us for a tour of Library at The Dock during Rare Book Week on Friday 18 July, 11 to 11.45am, book your place or 2pm to 2.45pm, book your place.

Retro Storytime

Come and revisit some old friends, the books of your childhood, at our special retro storytimes in Rare Book Week.

Enjoy some classic stories, especially our favourite, The very hungry caterpillar.

Tuesday  22 July, 11am         
City Library, book your place.
North Melbourne Library, book your place.

Wednesday 23 July, 11am    
East  Melbourne Library, book your place.

Thursday 24 July, 10.30am   
Southbank Library, book your place.

Friday 25 July, 10.30am         
Library at The Dock, book your place.

Back to top

Snapped walks and talks

Are you thinking of entering our Snapped: Melbourne by the water photography competition but not sure where to start creating your image? Sign up for a walking photography class around Melbourne or a hands-on photographic workshop.

Snapped: photography walks with
Carla Gottgens

There are four walks on offer, guided by professional photographer and Snapped judge, Carla Gottgens. Each walk will focus on a different area within the City of Melbourne. You can gather inspiration and ideas, meet fellow budding photographers and glean some tips on taking a prizewinning picture!

Bookings are essential as places are strictly limited to 20 places per walk.

BYO camera, comfy walking shoes, warm clothes, water and umbrella.

North and surrounds
 Saturday 26 July, 2pm to 3.30pm
Meet at: North Melbourne Library
Cost: Free
Book your place

Docklands and surrounds
When: Sunday 27 July, 2pm to 3.30pm
Meet at: Library at The Dock
Cost: Free
Book your place

Snapped: photographic workshops

Library at The Dock will host two photographic workshops to help improve and refine your photographic skills. Bring along your camera and learn essential photography skills including exposure, composition, depth of field, lighting, subject matter and much more. This is the perfect workshop to learn how to take the perfect photo for the Snapped and properly submit your entry.

Bookings are essential as spaces are limited.
You must bring your own camera!

Library at The Dock
When: Saturday 26 July, 10am to 12pm
Cost: free
Book your place


When: Saturday 2 August, 10am to 12pm
Cost: free
Book your place

Back to top

Melbourne Library Service and AIDS 2014

Melbourne Library Service is proud to offer the public and delegates of the International AIDS Conference 2014 the opportunity to engage with the amazing wealth of knowledge, experience, stories and research that will dominate the City from 21 to 25 July.
In partnership with Living Positive Victoria, Positive Women Victoria and City of Melbourne there will be a variety of interactive experiences.  From The Female Agenda panel hosted by Leslie Cannold to oral story sharing for digitisation in the PosLounge, there is much to discover.  If you cannot make one of our special events, we encourage people of all ages to add their messages of hope and support to those living positive by visiting one of our branches and looking for the “Tree of Hope”.

The Female Agenda: global perspectives on feminine identities, reproductive rights and sexual health

The Female Agenda is a one off panel discussion bringing some of the best minds from the 20th International AIDS Conference to you at Library at the Dock.
Hosted and chaired by Leslie Cannold (celebrated Melbourne author, academic ethicist, columnist, activist, and Australian public intellectual) this session will explore a wealth of information and insight on sexual health, reproductive rights, identity and living positive.

We are pleased to have the expertise and passion of Che Gossett, Jessica Whitbread, and Teresia Otieno to round out the panel.

Join us for a lively discussion about women's sexual health and the ongoing global realities for those growing up and living in an era of HIV/AIDS.  This event is, above all else, about hope and humanity across the Female Agenda.

When: Tuesday 22 July, 7.30pm to 9pm
Where: Library at The Dock
Book your place.

Sponsored by:
Melbourne Library Service
Living Positive Victoria
Positive Women Victoria
City of Melbourne

The panellists

Che Gossett
Che Gossett is a trans femme writer and activist who works to excavate queer of color AIDS activist and trans archives. As a writer, they have contributed to Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex and BCRW's Scholar & Feminist Online and Queer Necropolitics. They are writing a biography of queer Japanese American AIDS activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya and a project about legacies of queer Black solidarity with Palestinian struggle in a time of homonationalism and carceral regimes. Che will be speaking about trans politics of reproductive justice and how intersectionality and prison abolition are relevant to AIDS prevention and care.

Jessica Whitbread
Jessica Whitbread works in the realm of social practice and community art. Whitbread often uses her own body and experience as a queer woman living with HIV, as the primary site of her work. In her head the entire world is a pant-less tea party, full of awkward yet playful interactions that challenge hetero-normative and mainstream assumptions about bodies, sexuality and desire. In April 2014 she became the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) Interim Global Networks Director. She is the founder of the first International Chapter of Young Women, Adolescents and Girls living with HIV as well as a long standing Steering Committee member for AIDS ACTION NOW! In 2014 Jessica published her first book Tea Time: Mapping Informal Networks of Women Living with HIV.

Teresia Otieno
Teresia Otieno is the Programme Director at Personal Initiative for Positive Initiative (PIPE) based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is involved in advocacy on sexual reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV. In 2012, together with other ICW members she documented experiences of women living with HIV on forced and coerced sterilization in Kenya; she is championing a campaign to end this vice. She is a member of the National Steering Committee on elimination of vertical transmission, the technical working group on EMTCT and the Gender technical committee under the national AIDS council in Kenya.  Teresia is the Global chair of the International Community of women Living HIV (ICW) and the Eastern African representative to ICW steering Committee.


Pop-Up Library at the PosLounge and the Welcome Guest Lounge

If you’re an IAC AIDS2014 conference delegate, then be sure to drop into the PosLounge or the Welcome Guest Lounge on Little Collins and Swanston Street for some rest and respite. There will be magazines and coffee table books to flick through.  Have a snooze or just unwind.
We’ll be there to gather your stories as part of a storytelling project and we invite you to share them with us.

Back to top


Paint the town READ

Melbourne Library Service invites you to ‘Paint the Town Read’ for the 20th International AIDS Conference
From Sunday 20 July to  Friday 25 July at venues throughout the City Of Melbourne authors, comedians, storytellers and poets will be Painting the Town Read with stories of discrimination followed by a Q&A session.
Join us as we delve into the language of story which address discrimination in all its manifestations and attempt to give dignity to what is often inhumane experience. 

Eli Glasman

Eli Glasman was born in the suburb of Caulfield in Melbourne, Australia to an orthodox Jewish family. He began writing at an early age and continued the practice all throughout his schooling. At the age of seventeen he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. In 2011, at the age of 24, he got his first short story published.

Join Eli as he discusses the attitude of orthodox Judaism towards homosexuality.

When: Sunday 20 July, 12pm to 12.45pm
Where: City Library, Gallery
Book your place


Robyn Sykes

Robyn Sykes, the current Australian Women’s Bush Poetry Performance Champion, uses her poetry to bring to life the people and issues of rural Australia. In 2014 her first book and CD, Voices of the Fire, was shortlisted for Album of the Year in the Australian Bush Laureate Awards, with her poem Lovely Lies shortlisted for Published Poem of the Year and Old Bill’s Regret for Single of the Year.

Join Robyn as she performs poems protesting violence against women and on behalf of women who are not able to raise their own voices.


When: Monday 21 July, 12pm to 12.45pm
Where: Old Treasury Building
Book your place


Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne-based crime writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. Her first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar, won the 2004 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. She is a winner of the Scarlett Stiletto Award and has twice been shortlisted for Ned Kelly awards. Her latest crime novel set in Thailand, featuring ex-pat Australian private investigator Jayne Keeney, is The Dying Beach.


Angela went to Southeast Asia in 1992 on a six-month scholarship and ended up staying six years. Based in Vientiane, Hanoi and later Bangkok, she managed a HIV/AIDS prevention program for the Australian Red Cross that covered Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and southern China.

Join Angela as she reads scenes from her novels dealing with issues of social justice, perception and discrimination.

When: Tuesday 22 July, 12pm to 12.45pm
Where: Melbourne Recital Centre, Foyer
Book your place



Raph Brous

Raph Brous debut novel I Am Max Lamm was published by UQP/ Penguin Books in Australia and Corsair in the UK, receiving strong reviews. Raph is currently writing his second novel, due out next year, in between training to be a barrister and graduating in Law and Neuroscience at Monash University.

Raph is also the guitarist in the band Teenage Mothers, is vegan and helps to run Animal Liberation, one of Australia’s biggest animal rights organisations.

Join Raph at for a book reading followed by a Q&A.

When: Tuesday 22 July, 12pm to 12.45pm  
Where: NGV Australia at Federation Square
Book your place


Catherine Deveny

Catherine Deveny is a writer, comedian, author, social commentator and speaker well known for her work as a columnist with The Age newspaper, as a Melbourne International Comedy Festival favourite and as an ABC regular. She is currently a columnist for the Guardian.

Her extensive charity and community work includes, Asylum Seeker’s Resource Centre, Homeless Women and Broken Rites. She is a proud ambassador for Dying With Dignity Victoria, 2010 International Day of People with Disability, a No To Homophobia Community Champion and the Patron (alongside Father Bob) of Griefline and was one of the founding members of Friends of Public Housing.

Her highly acclaimed 2013 Melbourne Comedy Festival show Curvy Crumpet is the first in a series of ten one woman shows over the next ten years. Her 2014 show The Trollhunter, in collaboration with star Guardian columnist and theatre-maker Van Badham is about trolls, haters, misogyny and online morons suffering relevance deprivation. The show uses actual material sent to Catherine from anonymous haters.

Join Catherine for a lively discussion about the various aspects of discrimination.

When: Wednesday 23 July, 12pm to 12.45pm
Where: Melbourne Town Hall, Foyer
Book your place


Hazel Edwards

Best known for ‘There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake’ series, Hazel Edwards writes quirky, thought-provoking fiction and fact for adults and children. She thrives on writing for all ages and has published over 200 books across a range of subjects and genres, including ‘f2m: The boy within’.

A director of ASA, (Australian Society of Authors) and a National Reading Ambassador, in 2013 Hazel was awarded an OAM for Literature.

Join Hazel for a viewing of the documentary by Kailash Studio’sf2m: the boy within’. A coming of age YA novel about transitioning gender, the film looks at the range of reactions to the novel and the censorship issues which arose due to fear of a little known subject.

Entry is free however bookings are essential.

When: Thursday 24 July, 12pm to 12.45pm
Where: Library at The Dock, Performance Space
Book your place


Alicia Sometimes

Alicia Sometimes is a writer, poet, broadcaster and musician. She was host of 3RRR’s Aural Text for fourteen years and is now a fortnightly books presenter on Rafael Epstein’s Drive program on ABC 774 and is on Radio National monthly talking films and books. Alicia has two poetry collections, kissing the curve (FIP) and Soundtrack (LNP). She was editor of the national literary journal Going Down Swinging for seven years and has toured nationally and internationally with her poetry at many venues and festivals. She was also director and one of the writers of the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival sell-out science-poetry show, Elemental, which will be returning for 2014!

When: Thursday 24 July, 12pm to 12.45pm  
Where: East Melbourne Library
Book your place


Nic Low

Nic Low is a writer, installation artist, arts organiser and recovering graphic designer of Ngai Tahu Maori and European descent. He divides his time between a notorious Brunswick sharehouse and a bush retreat in the Castlemaine National Heritage Park.

Nic’s short fiction, essays and criticism have been published in The Monthly, Griffith REVIEW, The Big Issue, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Cordite, Art Monthly, Australian Book Review, The Press (NZ), the Sunday Star Times (NZ), North & South (NZ) and various suspect anthologies.

Join Nic for a reading from his debut novel, Arms Race followed by a Q&A with the author.

When: Friday 25 July, 1.30pm to 2.15pm
Where: North Melbourne Library
Book your place


Lia Incognita

Lia Incognita is a Shanghai-born, Melbourne-based cultural critic, media maker and poet-provocateur whose words have appeared on airwaves, stages and pages including Overland, Metro, Going Down Swinging, Social Alternatives and Melbourne Poetry Map.

In 2013 Lia featured at La Mama Poetica and Keep Left poetry readings, as well as speaking on panels for Colourfest, Beyond Borders, Overland, the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health and LiveWire for Refugees

In 2012 she was runner-up for the Doris Leadbetter Poetry Cup and co-edited the third issue of trans male magazine, Dude.

Currently Lia writes for Asian-Australian arts and culture magazine Peril and presents radio monthly for Queering the Air on 3CR Community Radio.

Join Lia for a poetry reading and Q&A.

When: Friday 25 July, 12pm to 12.45pm  
Where: Library at The Dock, Activity Space
Book your place


Back to top


Local Women Writers Talk:

Julie Szego in conversation about her first novel The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama

Lawyer turned journalist, Julie Szego, meticulously details the compelling account of Jama’s incarceration for rape, followed by the eventual overturning of one of the worst miscarriages of justice in Victorian legal history.
Yet this story is more than just a cautionary tale about putting blind faith in science. It is an intriguing and confronting story about the heartache of migration and the trials of integration, cultural taboos and gender wars. Above all it is an encounter with the subtle, unseen prejudice that can cast its spell over even the most enlightened minds.
"Unputdownable. A shocking true-life story that reads like a nightmare dreamt up by Kafka; a complex, cautionary tale that should be required reading for all law students, forensic scientists, and police cadets". Peter Goldsworthy AM, award-winning writer and poet.

Julie Szego began her career as a lawyer before she switched to journalism. She spent 12 years at The Age newspaper where she held various roles, including social affairs reporter, senior writer, leader writer and fortnightly columnist.  During her time at the paper she wrote a number of highly-acclaimed pieces to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, investigated the cultural divide between the inner-city and the outer suburbs as part of an award-winning series on Melbourne, and wrote a profile of the Somali-Dutch-American feminist activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
The Tainted Trial of Farah Jama is her first book.

When: Thursday 24 July,  6pm for 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Where: Meeting Room, North Melbourne Library
Book your place

Back to top


'Telling ya story', with Barry Dickins

Like to try some writing? Join us for some fun with well-known playwright, author and artist, Barry Dickins.

This is a writing group for those who are interested in words, but also find them kind of scary.

When: starts Thursday 24 July, 1pm to 3.15pm, and then every week.
Book your place

Free, with a cuppa and snacks are provided.

About Barry Dickins
Once many years ago Barry Dickins lived in Errol Street at the Commune Coffee shop. This is where Barry’s writing life began. Barry is keen to help you have some fun with words. This is a writing group for those who are interested in words, but also find them kind of scary.

Back to top

Words on the Wind


Words on the Wind is a series of free storytelling shows coming to the Library at The Dock.

Nine storytellers from Storytelling Australia Victoria have crafted six compelling tales to reflect their relationship to this part of Melbourne’s Docklands.

Storytelling Australia Victoria invites you to the launch of Words on the Wind

Jan “Yarn” Wositzky telling, The Go-Between: William Buckley
When: Thursday 24 July, from 5pm drinks and nibbles and Launch, 6pm show starts
Where: The Library at the Dock

Coming up

August 21: Niki na Meadhra

September 18: Jackie Kerin and Teena Hartnett 

October 16: Anne E Stewart

November 20: Andrew McKenna and Peter Fernon

December 18: Simon Oats and Roslyn Quin

Full details about Words on the Wind  

Back to top

Local Women Writers Talk:

Suzanne McCourt talking about her debut novel The Lost Child

Suzanne McCourt has variously spent her life teaching, being a mother, running a marathon, reading and becoming a writer. Her first novel, The Lost Child, is set in a fishing village on the South Australian coast like the one she grew up in. She now lives in bayside Melbourne.

Her novel is set in a town inspired by her own upbringing and has been influenced greatly by her own experiences, including that of living in Glenelg, Adelaide at the time when the Beaumont children disappeared.

When: Tuesday 5 August, 6pm for 6.30pm to 7.30pm
Where: Hotham Room, North Melbourne Library
Book your place 

Back to top



The Rosie effect, evening with Graeme Simsion, author of the Rosie Project.

Hosted by Jess McGuire this August we meet and talk to Rosie Project’s Graeme Simsion at City Library.

Graeme Simsion was born in Auckland and is a Melbourne-based writer of short stories, plays, screenplays and two non-fiction books.The Rosie Project began life as a screenplay, winning the Australian Writers Guild/Inscription Award for Best Romantic Comedy before being adapted into a novel. It went on to win the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript and has since been sold around the world to over forty countries.

Sony Pictures have optioned the film rights with Graeme contracted to write the script. It won the 2014 ABIA for Best General Fiction Book and overall Book of the Year.

When: Thursday, 7 August 6pm to 7.30pm
Where: Majorca Room, City Library
Book your place 

If you had the chance, what question would you ask Rosie Project’s Graeme Simsion?
Write, type or tell us your question



In Bob We Trust. An evening with Father Bob Maguire.

Hosted by Jess McGuire this August we meet and talk to the infamous Father Bob Maguire at City Library.

Father Bob Maguire is a man of passion, creativity and humour; he is part Billy Connolly, part angry Old Testament prophet and part compassionate Mother Theresa. He would hate this categorisation. But he has a unique combination of traits. In each of these he is a risk taker. He is an elusive chameleon, a man of brilliant riddles.

When: Thursday 14 August, 6pm to 7.30pm
Where: Majorca Room, City Library
Book your place

If you had the chance, what question would you ask Father Bob Maguire?
Write, type or tell us your question Write, type or tell us your question

Jess McGuire is a writer and broadcaster. A former co-host on Triple R’s Breakfasters, she can be found regularly on 774 ABC Melbourne and weekly on 720 ABC Perth’s Drive show. She was the editor of pop culture website Defamer Australia and has written for assorted publications including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Meanjin, the Daily Life, and the Sunday Age. She also featured in the ‘Women of Letters’ anthology, a collection published by Penguin Australia.

Back to top


Alex Miller ‘The Story’s Not Over Yet’, a talk and conversation

The 2nd Australian Literature ASAL Patrons Lecture 2014

Award winning Australian novelist Alex Miller speaks on place, story and Australian writing in this special session at the Library at The Dock.
Miller traces the trajectory of his own writing career. His lecture looks at the nature of literature, history, and the state of contemporary Australian literature, particularly the exciting developments in Indigenous writing in Australia.
The talk is followed by a brief conversation and question and answer session with Alex Miller conducted by Sydney University Professor of Australian Literature, Robert Dixon.

When: Saturday 23 August, 2.30pm to 4pm
Where: Performance Space, Library at The Dock
Book your place

Back to top

Let there be Uke: Ukulele evenings for beginners

Ever wanted to play a ukulele? Here is your chance!
We are offering four beginner sessions on Tuesday evenings in July and August with Lily Jephson, a member of Melbourne Ukulele Kollective.
Lily Jephson is a self professed people person, full of ‘joie de vivre’ and has been a performer and musician from a young age. Lily has been playing the Ukulele for 4 years, is a drama teacher, and a current and active member with the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective.

When: Tuesday 15, 22, 29 July and 5 August,
7pm to 8pm
Where: East Melbourne Library
Suitable for 12+ years.
Places limited and you must be available for all four sessions.
Book your place

Back to top

Story Lounge

Do you like to listen to a good story?  We’re introducing a storytime for adults!
Bring your lunch, relax, knit, dream or enjoy the view, as we read you a hand-picked story or two.
Story Lounge happens at noon, on the fourth Wednesday of the month, in our beautiful new Library at the Dock.
No bookings required.

Where: Library at The Dock
When: Wednesdays, 12pm to 1pm
25 June, 23 July, 27 August,
24 September, 29 October,
26 November

Back to top

Real lives, real stories: a boot camp for writing life stories

Have you ever wanted to share your personal story, but didn’t know how?
If you have, then this course is for you.

Over four, linked, two-and-a-half-hour sessions, you will be guided through a process that will help you to understand the life writing form, what your style is and who might read your work.
You will also make connections with other local writers and discover some of the really useful resources all writers need.

Themes include: Exploring fiction and non-fiction; Reading as a writer; Identifying your audience; Getting your head around research; Defining and managing your project; Style and structure; Finding support networks and resources.

What to expect:  There will be opportunities to share your work, listen to presentations and work in small groups.
You may be asked to finish some tasks at home.
To get the best out of the course, you will need to be able to attend all four sessions.

What to bring:
• pen and paper (or electronic versions) to take notes.
• a solid idea for your project.
• some of your writing (optional).
• examples of personal stories that you love (optional).
• your enthusiasm.

Please note, this is not a class for those who wish to learn English as an additional language.

About the presenter:
Marie Alafaci is published across adult fiction and non-fiction, in long and short forms and also writes for children. Her 1999 title, Savage Cows & Cabbage Leaves – an Italian Life, received an honourable mention in the Royal Historical Society Community History Awards, and was a finalist in the Italy in the World awards. It was also on The Age bestsellers list in its first month of publication.
Marie has taught non-fiction for the Professional Writing & Editing Diploma course at Holmesglen TAFE and co-runs a manuscript assessment business, Bedlam Books. She is also the Victorian Development officer for the Australian Society of Authors.

Where: Meeting Room, North Melbourne Library.

26 July, 23 August, 20 September, 18 October from 1pm to 3.30pm

Book your place 

Back to top

Events calendar

We are adding new events all the time. To see what is coming up and book, you simply need to choose an event, register with a valid email and away you go!

Check it out...

Back to top