Surry Hills Library

Surry Hills Library

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Flying the flag

The existing Surry Hills Library opened in 2009 and has won a swag of architectural awards for its sustainable design. This flagship City of Sydney building spans 4 floors and also houses a community centre and childcare centre. It is located in the heart of bustling Crown Street and is open 7 days a week.

To become a member complete an online application or fill in a form when you next visit. It is free to join if you are a NSW resident. Reasonable membership fees apply if you live outside the local area.

Opening hours

  • Monday: 10am to 6pm
  • Tuesday: 10am to 8pm
  • Wednesday: 10am to 6pm
  • Thursday: 10am to 9pm
  • Friday: 10am to 6pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 4pm


Surry Hills Library specialises in fashion and design titles, as well as having a significant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender collection. Other features include:

  • a constantly changing collection of books, CDs and DVDs
  • free wireless internet
  • public access computer
  • scanning, printing and photocopying facilities
  • weekly rhyme and storytime
  • dedicated local history collection.

Readers' group

The Surry Hills Library readers' group meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 6pm to 7pm. Phone the library on 02 8374 6230 or email for more details.

Loans, renewals and returns

Members can borrow up to 30 items for 3 weeks. Renewals are available online (with your library card number) or you can send an email to You can also telephone or drop in to the branch.

The after-hours return chute is on Crown Street near the main entrance.


Surry Hills Library and Community Centre
405 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
02 8374 6230

  • What’s on
  • Carl Milton: The Human Element
    Saturday 17 March 2018
  • Event details

    This body of work has been formulated in response to being a human being alive during this phenomenal window of time. With rapid changes unfolding in the arenas of biotech and information technology, we are on the cusp of an unknown revolution.

    The circular shape of the paintings represents the world – specifically one’s inner world. The titles refer to some of the hormones, chemicals and neurotransmitters which are activated by mind/body responses as we navigate our way through life.

    The imagery is the artist’s own interpretation of neurological energy fields and states of consciousness based on medical and scientific research.

    Thoughts, feelings and sensations register in the brain and either reinforce existing neural pathways or owing to the neuroplasticity of the brain create new neural pathways. Emerging technologies and algorithms are becoming increasingly more adept at engineering human bodies, brain circuitry and chemistry.

    Surry Hills Library
    Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10am to 6pm
    Tuesdays, 10am to 8pm
    Thursdays, 10am to 9pm
    Weekends, 10am to 4pm

    Tuesday 30 January to Wednesday 21 March 2018

  • Code Club at Surry Hills
    Wednesday 21 March 2018
  • Book now

    Bring your keen coders to our free 5-week coding series. They’ll gain confidence in using the coding environment, MIT Scratch, and find out how to build games and animations. Watch them grow their competence by adding new skills and concepts each week to build on previous activities.

    MIT Scratch offers a fun introduction to block coding, encouraging creative thinking, systematic reasoning and collaboration.

    In the final 2 sessions, our young coders will develop a project using new tools and gadgets like Makey Makey and Scratch Studio to bring their ideas to the next level.

    Makey Makey is an invention kit that turns everyday objects into touchpads. Make a banana keyboard or draw your own game controller. It’s part of our makerspace kit collection available for members to borrow, so your coder can continue exploring and working on their project at home. Scratch Studio is an online space where users put multiple projects into a group to share their work with others.

    If your coder is passionate about their project and is itching to finish it, our 2 drop-in sessions let them see it through in a supported environment.

    Weeks 1 – 3: Basic Scratch skills
    Week 4: Expanding your toolbox
    Week 5: Creating your own project
    Weeks 6 – 7: Drop-in time to finish your project

    These hands-on workshops run for 1-hour each week and are suitable for 9 to 12 year-olds with no prior experience necessary.

    Places are free, however, you must book in and attend for all sessions in weeks 1 to 5. The workshops have a capacity of 8. Everything is provided, and parents or guardians need to stay in the library during Code Club.

    Surry Hills Library is wheelchair friendly.

    Surry Hills Library
    Wednesdays, 4pm to 5pm

    Wednesday 7 February to Wednesday 21 March 2018

  • Auslan and English storytime @ Surry Hills
    Thursday 22 March 2018
  • Event details

    Join our weekly storytime at Surry Hills Library in Auslan and English, presented by library staff and the Deaf Society. Storytime is a fun session of storytelling and craft for pre-schoolers that fosters an early love of reading and social interaction in readiness for school.

    This session is suitable for deaf and hearing children, ages 3 to 5 years.

    Parents or guardians are required to stay during the session.

    Bookings are not required but session numbers are limited so please ensure you arrive early to secure your place.

    There are no sessions during NSW school or public holidays.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursdays, 11am to 11.45am

    Thursday 8 February to Thursday 13 December 2018

    Except Thursday 19 April, Thursday 26 April, Thursday 12 July, Thursday 19 July, Thursday 4 October and Thursday 11 October

  • Rhymetime @ Surry Hills
    Thursday 22 March 2018
  • Event details

    Rhymetime is a lapsit program for babies. The sessions combine rhymes, music, singing and puppets to develop early literacy skills.

    For 0 to 2 year-olds.

    Session numbers are limited. Please arrive early to ensure your place.

    No sessions on NSW school or public holidays.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursdays, 10am to 10.30am

    Thursday 8 February to Thursday 13 December 2018

    Except Thursday 19 April, Thursday 26 April, Thursday 12 July, Thursday 19 July, Thursday 4 October and Thursday 11 October

  • Maker and creator workshops: 5-8 years
    Monday 26 March 2018
  • Event details

    Your creative brain will be in great company at our hands-on after-school making sessions. You’ll get to play and create with the latest robotic toys and digital and electronic gadgets. There are 4 workshops to build different digital and making skills suitable for kids 5 to 8 years old.

    Rubber band car: 12 February
    Construct a racer from simple materials. Potential energy will be converted into kinetic energy to create a racing toy from paper cups and rubber bands.

    Shadow puppet making: 26 February
    Use our diecutter to design and create your own shadow puppets and background as we explore the properties of light and shadow.

    Make your own musical instrument: 12 March
    Make 2 simple instruments that use vibration to make sound: a harmonica-style noise maker with adjustable pitch and an instrument that sounds like a swarm of bees!

    Paper climbers: 26 March
    In this exploration of friction, make a fun toy of your own design that climbs up a string.

    Sessions are free. Bookings essential. Parents or guardians are required to stay during the session.


    Surry Hills Library
    Fortnightly on Mondays, 4pm to 5pm

    Monday 12 February to Monday 26 March 2018

  • Maker nights
    Thursday 29 March 2018
  • Book now

    Maker nights are a new regular meet up in the library. Over the 3 sessions, work with the group and tinker with different types of sensors to create interactive electronic objects.

    You’ll get a hands-on introduction to the incredible world of programmable electronics. You’ll use Arduino, an open-source, accessible electronic platform that can control a variety of sensors and devices. You’ll learn how to program Arduino by writing and uploading computer code to turn inputs, like a finger on a button, into outputs, like starting a motor or illuminating an LED.

    Take things at your own pace in this supportive space. Explore your interests and build confidence in using technology as you chat about your projects with other people.

    Arduino is a popular tool for the Internet of Things and STEM/STEAM. All over the world, designers, engineers, students, developers and makers use the technology to innovate music, games, toys, smart homes, farming, autonomous vehicles, and more. The interactive Arduino can sense and control objects in the real world – like motion activated alarms and lights and smartphone-activated garage door openers

    All equipment and materials will be provided.

    This series is suitable for 16+ with no prior experience required. With a maximum of 10 participants, bookings are recommended.

    Books with Arduino projects are available to borrow from the makerspace collection.

    Surry Hills Library
    Fortnightly on Thursdays, 5.30pm to 7pm

    Thursday 1 March to Thursday 29 March 2018

  • Tech Savvy Seniors @ Surry Hills Library
    Tuesday 3 April 2018
  • Book now

    This free series funded by the Telstra Foundation and FACS. The workshops are designed to help older people gain confidence in basic computer and digital skills.

    Book in for 1 or more of the small group sessions below:

    Introduction to computers – 3 April
    This workshop covers what a computer is, its components and how it’s operated. You’ll learn to use a mouse and keyboard and then road test your skills to create your first document.

    Introduction to internet part 1 – 10 April
    Become familiar with how to access and surf the web so you can go home, sign up for an internet service and hang out on the www yourself.

    Introduction to internet part 2 – 17 April
    We’ll look at ways to make web navigation a breeze and seek out video and music add-ons. You’ll leave knowing how to keep yourself safe online and tips for the best sites.

    Introduction to email – 24 April
    Keep connected to family and friends with email. We’ll walk you through setting up a free Gmail email account and how to send, read and reply to your emails.

    Introduction to online shopping and banking Part 1 – 1 May
    Whether you want to book a holiday or buy groceries, we’ll walk you through the process of buying something online. You’ll also learn how to stay safe online for banking and shopping.

    Introduction to online shopping and banking part 2 – 8 May
    Following on from part 1, find out how you can save time paying bills online and learn how to browse, buy and sell using websites like eBay and about payment options like PayPal.

    Introduction to social media – 15 May
    Get sharp with social media’s famous three: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We’ll take you through a run-down of which social media to use and when.

    Surry Hills Library
    Tuesdays, 3pm to 5pm

    Tuesday 3 April to Tuesday 15 May 2018

  • Pizza box robot workshop
    Wednesday 18 April 2018
  • Book now

    Artist Tully Arnot will showcase some simple mechatronic techniques. By fusing engineering, mechanics, electronics, and the humble pizza box, he’ll build a life-size robot. Complete with moving parts, its eyes will blink, and its hands will contract, powered by motors and pulleys.

    Kids can build a mini-cardboard robot, which they can then take home. In the afternoon, Tully will open his studio. Drop-in and see his larger robot taking shape over 2 days as he talks us through his actions. Meet the artist, ask a question, and learn about simple mechatronic techniques and creative applications.

    Daily sessions
    10am–12pm: Build a mini-robot workshop for kids 9 to 12 years

    Using recycled materials and electronics , design, make and take home a mini cardboard robot. Get an interactive introduction to the world of programmable electronics using an Arduino. Arduino is an open-source, accessible electronic platform used to build interactive electronic projects.

    1pm–5pm: Drop-in studio

    Meet artist Tully Arnot, and learn about mechatronic techniques as you watch him bring a life-size robot to life.

    Tully Arnot

    This innovative artist produces kinetic sculptures, installation, video and photography. Currently, Tully is unpacking old and new modes of thought, specifically, the emergent field of plant robotics and the tension between organic/digital existence.

    This free workshop is suitable for kids 9 to 12 years. The drop-in studio is open to all ages. Parents or guardians are required to stay in the library for children under 16. Workshop bookings recommended. No bookings required for the afternoon drop-in sessions.

    Surry Hills Library
    Wednesday 18 April 2018 from 10am to 12pm
    Thursday 19 April 2018 from 10am to 12pm

Last updated: Tuesday, 2 January 2018