Inside the Children’s Library & Family Spaces at the State Library of NSW
Step inside the new Children’s Library and family spaces at the State Library of NSW. The library opened its new spaces to the public on Saturday 12 October, designed to give young readers and their families a place to read, play and rest in the busy CBD.
The Children’s Library is a maze-like space located within the Bashir Reading Room, on lower ground 1 floor in the Macquarie Street building. The Children’s Library is brimming with Australia’s best children’s books, as well as international classics.
Kids can read a book in a little nook or lie down on the floor if they choose. If they look up at the ceiling they will see an array of books attached to the roof that appear to be flying overhead.
The books in the Children’s Library are suitable for younger readers up to the age of 16. The books stay in the library so are available for anyone to read.
No library card is required to browse these books. Prams and bags are allowed inside. If kids need to eat, take them to the verandah area outside the reading room or on the ground level.
John B Fairfax Learning Centre
This fantastic room is located on the ground floor of the Mitchell Building, next to the Family Space.
Designed to inspire curiosity, creativity and critical thinking, the John B Fairfax Learning Centre is a space for kids K-12, their teachers and families to enjoy a hands-on, digitally rich learning environment.
Enter through a hidden door, through a four-metre tunnel filled with historic artefacts embedded in the walls, through to a light-filled space dominated by two huge arched windows.
The learning centre offers so many activities for kids to do, including dress-ups, colouring in and crafts, books to read, blocks to play with, magnetic word games and digital screens where you can design your own galaxy.
Located on the ground floor of the Mitchell Building, the Family Room is a space dedicated to the library’s youngest guests and their carers. The room is designed for kids under five years of age with books, puppets, dress ups, games and activities.
The Family Room is open 9am-5pm weekdays and 10am-5pm weekends.
Kids Activity Trail
Pick up a free Kids Activity Trail and explore the library!
Meet Scout, the chat-bot
Scout is Australia’s first chat-bot, designed to get kids reading. A fun, interactive robot, Scout uses a conversational interface to help children discover books matched to their interests and general reading ability, suggesting a list of up to five books they will enjoy reading in The Children’s Library.
Scout is located on the ground floor of the State Library’s Macquarie Street Building.
School holidays and special events
The library runs activities year-round, including special family days and workshops for various age groups. Check their website for upcoming events.
State Library of NSW
Corner of Macquarie Street and
Shakespeare Place, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: +61 2 9273 1414
More things to do in Sydney
Find a list of the best things to do in Sydney with kids.
Find things to do in Sydney for free.
Get a list of the best kid-friendly beaches in Sydney.
Find the best animal experiences in Sydney.
Visit the best kid-friendly restaurants in Sydney.
Find the best high teas in Sydney.
Head to one of the best museums in Sydney.
Check out things to do in Sydney on a rainy day.
Enjoy one of the best ocean pools in Sydney.
First time visiting Sydney? Get tips for first time visitors to Sydney.
Cool down at one of these free water parks in Sydney.
Find the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Sydney.
Get a list of the best playgrounds in Sydney.
Find the best ice cream and gelato in Sydney
Things to do in the Blue Mountains.
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!