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

Features

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 library@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au 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 library@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au. You can also telephone or drop in to the branch.

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


Contacts

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

  • What’s on
  • Lantern Artists: Tianli Zu and Guo Jian
    Thursday 2 February 2017
  • Book now

    The spectacular Sydney Chinese New Year Festival runs from 27 January to 12 February. During the Festival, the city is alive with giant illuminated Chinese zodiac animal lanterns. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster and we’ll be talking about all things light at the library.

    Join Sydney Chinese New Year Festival Curator Claudia Chan Shaw in conversation with two of the Lunar Lantern artists: Guo Jian and Tianli Zu. Backlit with story, we’ll delve into discussion about how these lanterns came to be.

    This free event will attract an audience so make sure you book as numbers are limited.

    Claudia Chan Shaw – Sydney Chinese New Year Festival Curator

    You might recognise Claudia from her stint as a host of ABC TV’s Collectors but this custodian of Chinese culture is also an author as well as an art and design collaborator. Commanding the crowd as a public speaker, MC and lecturer, Claudia wears many professional hats.

    Tianli Zu – creator of the Rooster lantern in Chinatown and Ox at Circular Quay

    This multimedia artist’s accomplishments include some huge highlights. In 2015, her work wowed as a finalist in the Archibald Prize with her portrait of Edmund Capon. Her portrait of Penny Wong won the People’s Choice Award at the Salon des Refusés in 2016. Catch her rooster lantern in Chinatown.

    Guo Jian – creator of the Rat lantern at Customs House

    With worldwide exposure, Guo Jian’s work is internationally illustrious. His art has appeared in great galleries such as Musée de Picardie in France and the Australian National Gallery. Featuring in prestigious publications like Art Profile Magazine and The New York Times, this artist is at the top of his game. Catch his rat lantern at Customs House.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 2 February 2017 from 7pm to 8.30pm
  • Storytime @ Surry Hills
    Thursday 2 February 2017
  • Event details

    Storytime is a fun session of storytelling and craft for pre-schoolers that fosters an early love of reading and develops literacy skills and social interaction in readiness for school.

    Suitable for 3 to 5 year olds.

    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 2 February to Thursday 14 December 2017

    Except Thursday 13 April, Thursday 20 April, Thursday 6 July, Thursday 13 July, Thursday 28 September and Thursday 5 October

  • Rhymetime @ Surry Hills
    Thursday 2 February 2017
  • Event details

    Rhymetime is a lapsit program for babies that combines rhymes, music, singing and puppets to develop early literacy skills.

    For 0-2 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 2 February to Thursday 14 December 2017

    Except Thursday 13 April, Thursday 20 April, Thursday 6 July, Thursday 13 July, Thursday 28 September and Thursday 5 October

  • Maker and creator workshops at Surry Hills Library
    Monday 6 February 2017
  • Event details

    Your creative brain will be in great company at our hands-on after-school making sessions. Evolve your skills in a choice of 5 workshops where your creations can come home with you.

    Workshops for 5-8 year olds (a parent or carer must accompany children)

    Squishy circuits
    Where science meets invention, turn up your creativity and imagine your own illuminated creature to life. Get squishy with conductive play dough and light up your beast with LEDs.
    Book Now

    Paper circuits
    Turn your greeting cards into an event or light-up your pop-up sculpture or drawing. Fashion your own electrical circuits on paper to illuminate your salutations with little lights.
    Book Now

    Wearable electronics
    Be the brightest by wearing a badge like no other. Mix-it-up with an assortment of conductive material, a battery and some LED lights.
    Book Now

    Cardboard automation
    Explore and experiment with basic mechanical components such as levers and cams as you work out ways to make your sculpture move.
    Book Now

    Wind tube
    If aerodynamics make you take flight, make your own flying machine from recycled materials and watch it soar.
    Book Now

    Sessions are free and run for 1 hour from February to April.

    Bookings are essential as there are a lot of keen crafters out there.

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

    Monday 6 February to Monday 3 April 2017

  • Maker and creator workshops at Surry Hills Library
    Monday 13 February 2017
  • Event details

    Your creative brain will be in great company at our hands-on after-school making sessions. Evolve your skills in a choice of 5 workshops where your creations can come home with you.

    Workshops for 8-12 year olds.

    Squishy circuits
    Where science meets invention, turn up your creativity and imagine your own illuminated creature to life. Get squishy with conductive play dough and light up your beast with LEDs.
    Book Now

    Paper circuits
    Turn your greeting cards into an event or light-up your pop-up sculpture or drawing. Fashion your own electrical circuits on paper to illuminate your salutations with little lights.
    Book Now

    Wearable electronics
    Be the brightest by wearing a badge like no other. Mix-it-up with an assortment of conductive material, a battery and some LED lights.
    Book Now

    Cardboard automation
    Explore and experiment with basic mechanical components such as levers and cams as you work out ways to make your sculpture move.
    Book Now

    Sessions are free and run for 1 hour from February to March.

    Bookings are essential as there are a lot of keen crafters out there.

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

    Monday 13 February to Monday 20 March 2017

  • Inclusive design and 3D printing workshop
    Thursday 23 February 2017
  • Book now

    Led by AbilityMate, learn how a team of human-centred designers can use technology to co-create customised solutions for people with disability. From design prototyping to testing, discover the potential of user-led, collaborative design.

    Surry Hills Library has a snazzy 3D printer that you’re welcome to use. This workshop is best suited to people with disability – predominantly physical as well as anyone interested in the inclusive design processes.

    Presenting a “case study” design, AbilityMate will walk you through the process of inclusive design prototyping, all the way to the “test print.” Because their designs are open-source, you can bring your own device preloaded with CAD software – Matter Control and Tinker CAD and take the template to use and modify through the creative commons license.

    This workshop is suitable for anyone with basic digital skills. The good news is, you don’t need to be a CAD expert because our facilitators will guide you to greatness.

    This free workshop runs for 3 hours and caters for up to 20 people but bookings are essential.

    Surry Hills Library is wheelchair friendly with a lift and an accessible toilet.

    About AbilityMate
    AbilityMate co-create end-user-driven products with people with disability. Joining industrial designers, carers, occupational therapists and users together, they come up with solutions that solve individual problems.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 23 February 2017 from 5pm to 8pm
  • Architecture on show: We’re bringing timber back
    Saturday 25 February 2017
  • Book now

    The library is putting architecture on show with a series of monthly talks featuring design experts from the City of Sydney area. This month, we’re taking on the rise of engineered timber products. The so-called ‘timber renaissance’ is changing the way we think about design and construction in Australia.

    The revival of timber as a key construction component for a gamut of building types comes on the back of advances in timber technology manufacturing. The research behind the renaissance shows that building with timber has huge health and environmental benefits.

    Georgios Anagnostou, senior associate at Jackson Teece Architects and David Rowlinson, the Make It Wood campaign manager at Planet Ark are talking about all things timber technology. Looking at the adaptability and workability of numerous timber construction methods, these experts will explore how architects and engineers are utilising engineered timber. They’ll also chat about how timber technology will impact our human and natural environments as well as our attitudes to architecture.

    Bookings are essential as places are limited.

    Surry Hills Library is wheelchair friendly with a lift and an accessible toilet.

    Surry Hills Library
    Saturday 25 February 2017 from 2pm to 3pm
  • Code Club @ Surry Hills Library
    Tuesday 28 February 2017
  • Book now

    This is for all the minds itching to learn coding basics. Bring your curiosity to our Code Club and explore the “how” behind computer games, animation and website coding.

    Join our free club in a series of workshops with 1 session each week for 5 weeks. Get the grey matter going by exercising problem-solving skills, logical thinking and draw from the worlds of science, maths and technology to compliment your clever.

    This cool club is best for budding coders aged 8-12 or in years 4 to 6 at school. Using the popular online coding environment, Scratch, each week, you’ll become more competent in new skills and concepts, building on the weeks before. This is why we ask that you’re committed to seeing it through. If you stick with us, you’ll be able to go home and keep coding out in the wild.

    Places in this free club will go like hotcakes so bookings are essential to avoid disappointment.

    Surry Hills Library
    Tuesdays, 3.30pm to 4.30pm

    Tuesday 28 February to Tuesday 28 March 2017

  • Design on show: Decolonising design education
    Saturday 25 March 2017
  • Book now

    The Library is putting design on show with a series of monthly talks featuring design experts from the Surry Hills area. This month, we’re in conversation about colonial curricula and how a shortsighted description of design can limit and weaken our potential.

    University of Technology lecturers and big picture thinkers, Danièle Hromek and Alexandra Crosby, are both working on broadening the definition of design. To diversify, they set out to decolonise design education. Using ‘Wareamah’ (Cockatoo Island) as a place to ponder, they dissect the connection between mapping, place, displacement and creativity via dialogues between Indigenous and non-Indigenous designers.

    Danièele Hromek
    By blending design elements with installations and sculptural form, this spatial designer contemplates contemporary urban Aboriginality and the Indigenous experience of Country. Daniele looks at how Indigenous people utilise, interpret, and experience their space and how the trauma of colonisation is revisited by our current exclusive design culture. As a proud Saltwater woman, she explores re-Indigenising space through retranslating and reclaiming the Aboriginal dreaming of space and explores how we can sustain this culture in our built environments.

    Dr Alexandra Crosby
    Director of Interdisciplinary Design at UTS, Dr Crosby covers Design Thinking, Design Futures, and social innovation. In 2013, she was awarded a Doctorate for her thesis on local forms of environmental activism in Indonesia. As a founding member of Frontyard Projects, she drives a community futuring space in Marrickville as well as holding a directorship of Inside Indonesia.

    Bookings are essential as space is limited.

    Surry Hills library is wheelchair friendly with a lift and an accessible toilet.

    Surry Hills Library
    Saturday 25 March 2017 from 2pm to 3pm
  • Easter school holidays Franken-bot workshops at Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 13 April 2017
  • Book now

    If you love making and inventing things out of bits n’ pieces, we’ve got the workshop that’ll put your creativity to task.

    Schools out, so, to celebrate, we’ve got hands-on making sessions where you can get creative with recycling and robotics. Just BYO imagination and get constructing.

    In this workshop for 8-12 year olds come in with an old toy or use ours to refashion it as a ‘Franken-bot’ from leftover parts and pieces.

    Then, fuse your ‘Franken-bot’ with our Edison robots and challenge yourself and your creation with robotic play.

    Go head-to-head in a Hebocon-style challenge. Put your brilliant bot to the test by wrestling and wrangling Edison educational toy robots.

    This free workshop will pull the crowds, so bookings are essential.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 13 April 2017 from 11am to 12pm

Last updated: Tuesday, 3 January 2017