Anyone who knows me knows that I am a big book lover. And because I would spend every last cent I have on books if I could, I spend a lot of my time at libraries. Chatswood Library, situated in The Concourse complex on Victoria Avenue, would easily be one of the best I have ever experienced.
Chatswood Library is for all book lovers
The library is located in The Concourse
Stepping into the clean, modern building, you get the impression straight away that this is a high-tech library. And this first impression would be correct. The returns chute that is on the same level as the entry (an after hours return is situated on a higher level of the building for those who need it) is fully automated, something I've never seen before elsewhere. You place your books on a conveyor belt, and they disappear into a wall, behind which a team of staff diligently check them in and re-shelve.
They also have a huge range of DVD's
Magazines and newspapers are available to borrow as well
Inside the library is much the same. A series of computers spread all over the library, allowing for easy searching; and there are a number of self check-out stations to use so you don't have to line up. There are always plenty of library staff on duty as well though, so it's not difficult to find someone to help when you want.
Plenty of space to study, read or work.
Festive decorations brighten the place up
Chatswood Library is very big, with rows and rows of books, magazines, DVD's and CD's stretching in every direction. There are even entire sections devoted to non-English language books. I've had difficulty finding books that were supposed to be on the shelves a few times, but checking with the staff is always a good idea. Sometimes a book has been checked in but not returned to the shelf, and the staff will happily ring through to the back sorting room and find it for you. They also have a section which isn't open to the public, so if the book is listed as being in 'Stack', then all you need to do is ask a staff member and they will go get it for you.
The library has high tech check out and returns systems
A good selection of graphic novels is available
There are also occasional book sales
Chatswood Library also has a large number of tables and chairs for people to sit at and read, study or work. There are enough there that you'll never be lost for a table, despite the library being a very popular and busy one. Many of the chairs overlook a water feature, so the view is quite a soothing one.
Each frame represents an author that has given a talk at the library
A number of displays are kept in glass cases, like this Batman one
The only disappointment with the library is that it doesn't open until 2pm on Sundays. This seems an odd opening time, especially given that throughout the day you will find people trying to get in. In the past it used to be open for much longer hours, and was always very busy. I only hope that they extend the Sunday hours again, as going to the Chatswood Library on a Sunday morning used to be one of my favourite things to do.
A large, sprawling library
Where: Lower Ground, The Concourse, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood.
Why: For the huge range of books and great technology.
When: Mon-Thurs 9:00am - 9:00pm; Fri 9:00am - 6:00pm; Sat 9:00am - 5:00pm; Sun 2:00pm - 5:00pm.