Talks and workshops

Talks and workshops

  • What’s on
  • Knitting circle at Glebe Library
    Friday 6 May 2016
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    Come and join the Glebe Library team and other local knitters for our knitting circle, an opportunity to meet new people and share skills and ideas in a welcoming environment.

    Participants can work on their own projects, or knit for a cause, such as the annual Wrap with Love Project, which donates warm knitted squares to communities in need.

    Please bring along your own wool and needles, limited materials available for loan. All levels are welcome.

    Bookings not required.

    Glebe Library
    Fortnightly on Fridays, 11am to 1pm

    Friday 22 April to Friday 16 December 2016

  • Book club at Customs House
    Friday 6 May 2016
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    Join a book club at the library for an informal and friendly discussion of literature of all kinds.

    Books will be chosen from a range of genres including award winners, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, crime novels, biographies and quarterly essays.

    Our book clubs are small, friendly group discussions facilitated by one of our experienced library staff.

    The Customs House Library book club meets on the first Friday of each month.

    Bookings recommended.

    Customs House Library
    Friday 4 March 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 8 April 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 6 May 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 3 June 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 1 July 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 5 August 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 2 September 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 7 October 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 4 November 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
    Friday 2 December 2016 from 1pm to 2pm
  • Rediscovering Pyrmont with the Sydney Culture Walks app
    Saturday 7 May 2016
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    This walk is now booked out, but you can download the app and do it anytime you want.

    Download the app, bring your smart phone or tablet and let City of Sydney historian Catherine Freyne lead you on a multimedia historical walking tour through Pyrmont.

    Pyrmont is one of Sydney’s most exciting and unique historical landscapes. Once home to Tinker’s Well, the Griffin Destructor, Saunders’ quarries, the Colonial Sugar Refinery and the NSW Water Police, the Pyrmont peninsula has been hunted, cultivated, blasted, plundered, built over, written off, reclaimed and revitalised.

    Traces of its rich industrial, Indigenous, social and natural history are everywhere to be found.

    The City of Sydney has mapped some of these sites and drawn upon lively oral histories to bring them to life to visitors via the Sydney Culture Walks mobile app.

    Come along to discover and experience how Pyrmont’s history is intersecting with the digital age.

    Meet at 10am at the western end of Pyrmont Bridge. The walk begins at 10.15am sharp.

    Estimated walk time is maximum of 2 hours.

    Please note that the route involves stairs.
    In case of wet weather, this walk will be cancelled.
    The app must be downloaded on your device before you arrive. Visit sydneyculturewalksapp.com.

    This event is presented in partnership with the National Trust Heritage Festival 2016.


    Saturday 7 May 2016 from 10am to 12pm
  • How easy was that?
    Tuesday 10 May 2016
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    Join local librarian and amateur baker Kathy as she demonstrates how easy it is to whip up quick and tasty treats for the family.

    Surry Hills Library
    Tuesday 12 April 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Tuesday 10 May 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Tuesday 14 June 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Tuesday 12 July 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Tuesday 11 October 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Tuesday 8 November 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
  • Inspiring Science: New Ways of Seeing
    Wednesday 11 May 2016
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    Dr Jacek Kolanowski

    One of the most common diagnostic imaging techniques is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI contrast agent is injected into the body in about one-third of all scans to improve the quality of the resulting image. While these scans provide good information about the structures of the body and allow doctors and researchers to identify abnormalities, there are many aspects of bodily functions that cannot be seen with current contrast agents. Dr Kolanowski explains how exciting new contrast agents are improving the diagnosis and study of disease by lighting up only certain tissues of the body.

    Dr Jacek Kolanowski is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. Before moving to Sydney, he completed his PhD at ENS Lyon in France. Dr Kolanowski’s research interests lie in making intelligent chemicals that allow researchers to image living organisms at the molecular level.

    Dr Elizabeth New

    Fluorescent compounds are all around us, in everyday objects such as highlighters and laundry powder. Fluorescence is also important in nature – in fireflies, jellyfish and even spinach. Aside from their pretty colours, fluorescent compounds are extremely useful in countless applications from forensic science to environmental monitoring and medicine. They are particularly useful in observing chemicals and processes that are normally invisible. Discover how fluorescent compounds shine light on the world around us with Dr New from the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney.

    Dr Elizabeth New is a lecturer in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney. She completed her PhD at Durham University in the UK, and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been leading a research group at the University of Sydney for the past four years that is focusing on using chemistry to study biological systems.

    Ultimo Library
    Wednesday 11 May 2016 from 6pm to 7pm
  • Sydney Film Festival: program launch
    Wednesday 11 May 2016
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    You’re invited to the unveiling of the 2016 Sydney Film Festival program.

    Festival Director, Nashen Moodley, will showcase the diverse range of films to be screened in 2016, including the Opening and Closing Night films, and the Official Competition Selection.

    Whatever your mood, whatever your preference, there is something that will grab you in this year’s festival. The Sydney Film Festival will screen feature films, documentaries, short films and animation across the city from 8 to 19 June. Flexipasses are on sale now!

    Customs House Library
    Wednesday 11 May 2016 from 6pm to 7pm
  • Creative Glebe: Glebe's Industrial Heritage as Art
    Thursday 12 May 2016
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    Jane Bennett has painted the changing urban landscape of Sydney over the past 30 years as an eyewitness to the whirlwind of urban renewal. Despite the challenges of working outdoors, almost all of her work has been painted en plein air, even her larger, more ambitious canvases.

    Through her art, she has explored many industrial sites in Sydney off limits to the public – Cockatoo Island, the Eveleigh railway workshops, the AGL gasworks at Mortlake (now Breakfast Point), Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf, Walsh Bay, Glebe Island, White Bay, Pyrmont and Barangaroo. Bennett’s works remain as an historical testament to the passing of an era.

    Join Bennett as she discusses her time as Artist in Residence in Pyrmont during the construction of the Anzac Bridge and view an exhibition in the library of her works from this period.

    As a multiple award-winning artist, Bennett’s work is represented in the collections of the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, the Department of Defence, Artbank, the University of NSW, the University of Sydney, the Kedumba Contemporary Drawing Gallery and many corporate, regional gallery and municipal council collections.

    This popular series hosted in Glebe Library’s beautiful Benledi Meeting Room, highlights fascinating stories from the creative Glebe community and beyond.

    This program is presented in partnership with the National Trust Heritage Festival 2016.

    Glebe Library
    Thursday 12 May 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Stay inside the lines
    Thursday 12 May 2016
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    Stop press! Adult colouring books are topping bestseller lists world-wide, as we rediscover the joy of a time when choosing a colour for the sky was our most vexing issue.

    Join the craze at the library, turn your phone off and chill out in colour.

    Take your masterpiece home to display on the fridge.

    Suitable for ages 18+

    Haymarket Library
    Thursday 14 April 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Thursday 12 May 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Thursday 9 June 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Thursday 14 July 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Thursday 11 August 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Thursday 8 September 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Thursday 13 October 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
    Thursday 10 November 2016 from 12pm to 1pm
  • House Histories
    Saturday 14 May 2016
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    Who lived in your house? Join us for a very special talk and expert panel as part of the Heritage Festival.

    City Historian, Dr Lisa Murray, will give you the tools to research the history of your house. Using records such as Sands Directories, rates assessments and lands titles, you can find out when your house was built, who has lived there and how your house may have been changed over time.

    After Dr Murray’s talk, join us for some morning tea and a Q&A session with an expert panel of City historians and archivists.

    Do you have a question for our experts? Please submit your question for the panel when you book online. Unfortunately time will not allow for every question to be posed, but we will endeavour to answer a broad selection.

    This program is presented in partnership with the National Trust Heritage Festival 2016.

    Customs House Library
    Saturday 14 May 2016 from 10.30am to 12.30pm
  • Book club at Kings Cross Library
    Saturday 14 May 2016
  • Book now

    Join a book club at the library for an informal and friendly discussion of literature of all kinds.

    Books will be chosen from a range of genres including award winners, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, crime novels, biographies and quarterly essays.

    Our book clubs are small, friendly group discussions facilitated by one of our experienced Library staff.

    This group meets the second Saturday of the month.

    Bookings not required.

    Kings Cross Library
    Saturday 14 May 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
    Saturday 11 June 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
    Saturday 9 July 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
    Saturday 13 August 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Unpuzzled! Cryptic crossword workshop
    Saturday 14 May 2016
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    Ever been intrigued by cryptic crosswords but unsure where to begin?

    Cryptic crosswords are an addictive blend of humour, codes and wordplay. They are also surprisingly easy to solve once you understand how the clues work – no matter how intimidating and nonsensical they appear at first.

    Let cryptic crossword addict Patra help you navigate this unfamiliar landscape. You will learn how to translate the language of cryptic crosswords and untangle the clues. By the end, you will have completed a crossword together.

    Suitable for ages 18+

    Bookings recommended.

    Waterloo Library
    Every 2nd Saturday, 11am to 12pm

    Saturday 12 March to Saturday 12 November 2016

  • Classics at Customs: Imagining our cities
    Wednesday 18 May 2016
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    As new towns and cities spread across the frontier of colonial New South Wales, itinerant artists soon followed. Keen to foster town pride and local commerce, civic organisations, business owners and wealthy citizens commissioned images to document the growth of these urban centres, including panoramic maps, known as bird’s-eye views.

    A bird’s-eye view is a perspective drawing of a city or town portrayed as if viewed from above. Popular during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, before the technological advances of photography and flight, such views were constructed from imagined perspectives or taken from high vantage points. They typically show street patterns, individual buildings and major landscape features. Colour lithography, an invention of the illustrated press, made the production of a bird’s-eye view affordable for even the smallest towns. These extraordinarily detailed lithographs eventually numbered in the hundreds and now serve as a rich pictorial record of our cities as they stood a century ago.

    Margot Riley is Curator, Research & Discovery, State Library of NSW. Riley completed the Masters in Museum Studies Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City, in 1994 and has been working at the SLNSW since 1998. She has researched, curated and written extensively about the library’s collections. In 2005, she was awarded the inaugural SLNSW Staff Fellowship to study the library’s portraiture collections. In 2010, her essay ‘Images as a Resource for the Study of Australian Dress’ appeared in the Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesday 18 May 2016 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm
  • Bluffer's Guide to Cinema: It’s True!
    Thursday 19 May 2016
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    The library and Sydney Film Festival have teamed up to present ‘The Bluffer’s Guide…’ essential insights into cinema that will arm you for your next dinner party and have you bluffing along with the best cinephiles.

    In this exclusive illustrated talk, Sydney Film Festival Programs Manager Jenny Neighbour will reveal some of the highlights of the documentary selections for 2016, giving insights into why she has selected them and what we can expect.

    Jenny Neighbour has been programming documentaries for SFF for more than 25 years. She travels the country and the world searching out the best non-fiction film for Sydney audiences to enjoy.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 19 May 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Discover drawing
    Saturday 21 May 2016
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    Unlock the secrets of drawing through a series of short drawing exercises! Learn about line, tone and contour in this short and sharp drawing workshop.

    You will work from a still life arrangement with a range of drawing materials including pencil and charcoal. You will be guided by a professional artist to build your creative confidence and learn new drawing skills.

    This is a great workshop for developing new ways of seeing in a fun and relaxed environment, with gentle guidance from Drawing Tutor Eleanor Venables.

    Part of the Pine Street Creative Arts taster series.

    Green Square Library
    Saturday 21 May 2016 from 10am to 12pm
  • Authors up the Cross: David Dyer
    Tuesday 24 May 2016
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    Debut novelist David Dyer will be in conversation with fellow Australian writer Debra Adelaide about The Midnight Watch – a novel based on the true story of Californian, the ship that didn’t stop to come to the rescue of Titanic.

    David, amongst former occupations as a lawyer, teacher and ship’s officer on merchant vessels, is a Titanic obsessive, so we know we are in for a great night’s conversation.

    The Authors up the Cross series is presented in partnership with Potts Point Book Shop.

    Bookings recommended.

    Kings Cross Library
    Tuesday 24 May 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Bluffer's Guide to Cinema: Freak Me Out
    Tuesday 24 May 2016
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    The City of Sydney Library and Sydney Film Festival have teamed up to present The Bluffer’s Guide, essential insights into cinema that will arm you for your next dinner party and have you bluffing along with the best cinephiles.

    The programmer of the Freak Me Out section of Sydney Film Festival 2016, Richard Kuipers, provides a sneak peek at some of the freakiest films of the year.

    Kuipers will show snippets and talk about the process of selecting films for the festival.

    Bring along your questions, your curiosity and your courage. This year’s selection is bound to set your pulse racing.

    PLEASE NOTE: this event has been moved to Brown Street Community Hall, at the rear of Newtown Library. Brown Street Community Hall is wheelchair accessible via a stair lift.

    Newtown Library
    Tuesday 24 May 2016 from 9pm to 10pm
  • Architecture on Show: the architect and builder relationship
    Saturday 28 May 2016
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    This presentation will explore the relationship between architect and builder, focusing on the unique circumstances that occur when the builder on a project is also a practising architect. Whether it is a small extension to a home or a public library used by thousands of people, the dynamic between an architect and architect-builder can play a critical role in the project’s success.

    Individually both architect and builder bring their own sensibilities, training and perspectives to the process. What changes when the line between architect and builder is blurred and the role of architect-builder brings a unique set of expertise to the working process? How does this dynamic relationship challenge traditional working models in the construction industry and how does this benefit the successful completion of client outcomes?

    Join architect-builder Angel Roumeliotis and architect Will Fung as they discuss their working relationship based on a long standing friendship and how they have successfully worked together to complete the Darlinghurst Rooftop Building.

    Angel Roumeliotis is the founder of Artechne, a building workshop devoted to architecture and its detailing. He commenced his career in the building industry before studying architecture and completing his degree with the University Medal.

    Will Fung established CO-AP in 2005 and built a practice that thrives on challenging projects. It is an award-winning architectural practice which takes a collaborative approach to realising fresh outcomes for each project, with an emphasis on research and development and an inherent regard for sustainability.

    This series is a partnership between the City of Sydney Libraries and the Australian Institute of Architects.

    Bookings recommended.

    Surry Hills Library
    Saturday 28 May 2016 from 2pm to 3pm
  • Better Read's Talking Heads: Chris Allen
    Tuesday 31 May 2016
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    Chris Allen writes escapist action thrillers for realists, having seen and done it all.

    A former paratrooper, Allen served in three Commonwealth armies across 2 decades and 4 continents. He left the military due to injuries, retiring at the rank of major. In addition to his military career, Allen served with 3 law enforcement agencies in Australia, led security operations for an international aid agency in East Timor during the emergency in 1999, and was headhunted to take over the protection of Australia’s most recognisable landmark, the Sydney Opera House. In 2008, Chris was appointed Sheriff of New South Wales, one of the country’s most historic law enforcement appointments.

    In his 4-part Intrepid series, Allen draws the reader deep into the action. His protagonist, Alex Morgan, embodies Allen’s own military and law enforcement insider experience. Intrepid is the Intelligence, Recovery, Protection and Infiltration Division of Interpol, a top-secret black ops taskforce operating in the shadows to protect the world’s most vulnerable people from the worst among us.

    In book 2, Alex Morgan is on the hunt for Serbian war criminals and you know it’s not going to be easy.

    Unfortunately, Newtown Library’s Gallery is not wheelchair accessible. We apologise for this inconvenience.

    Bookings recommended.

    Newtown Library
    Tuesday 31 May 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm