Talks and workshops

Talks and workshops

  • What’s on
  • 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. In his 4-part Intrepid series, Allen draws the reader deep into the action. In the second of the series, Alex Morgan is on the hunt for Serbian war criminals and you know it’s not going to be easy.

    A former paratrooper, Chris Allen served in three Commonwealth armies across 2 decades and 4 continents. 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, 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.

    PLEASE NOTE: This event will be held at the temporary location of the Newtown Library at Erskineville Town Hall, 104 Erskineville Road. We apologise for this inconvenience.

    Seating capacity is limited. Bookings essential.

    Erskineville Town Hall
    Tuesday 31 May 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Get in the Loop: Knitting Circle
    Friday 3 June 2016
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    If you’re looking to meet new people, come along to our knitting circle – it’s a great opportunity to share skills in a welcoming environment. You can work on your own project or knit for a cause like the annual Wrap with Love project, which donates warm knitted squares to communities in need.

    Knitters of all levels are welcome. We ask that you bring your own wool and needles along, although we have limited materials available for loan.

    Bookings not required, feel free to come and join in.

    Glebe Library
    Fortnightly on Fridays, 11am to 1pm

    Friday 22 April to Friday 16 December 2016

  • Book club at Customs House Library
    Friday 3 June 2016
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    Join a book club for a friendly discussion of literature of all kinds. Our monthly club, held at Customs House Library, covers a range of genres, including award winners, contemporary and classic fiction, poetry, historical fiction, crime novels, biographies and quarterly essays.

    The Customs House book club has recently explored the works of William Boyd. Next in their sights is Frank Moorhouse’s trilogy on the formation of the United Nations.

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

    Bookings recommended.

    Customs House Library
    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
  • The Social Brain: better brain health at work
    Thursday 9 June 2016
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    We spend the majority of our lives at work, so it doesn’t hurt to pause to think about what it does to our brains. How do we keep intellectually active and emotionally healthy? Can neuroscience signals show us how to work differently? When might a career change be in order?

    In partnership with Inspiring Australia, we are bringing together mind experts to share current scientific research into the social brain. Hear from Pat Pillai, community artist; Professor Gordon Parker, former Black Dog Institute director; Dr Sarah McKay, neuroscientist; and Dr. Muireann Irish and Dr Amy Reichelt, acclaimed researchers in psychology. And while your head is occupied, keep your hands busy by crafting colourful textile neurons.

    You are welcome to come for both the knit-in and the panel discussion, or just attend one. Tickets are free however bookings are essential.

    Neural Knitworks knit-in from 5pm-6pm
    Panel discussion: 6pm-7.30pm

    Presented by City of Sydney Library and Inspiring Australia for VIVID Sydney.

    Customs House Library
    Thursday 9 June 2016 from 5pm to 7.30pm
  • Creative Glebe: War Stories
    Thursday 9 June 2016
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    Several years ago, in an attic of the former Ultimo Presbyterian Church, a handyman stumbled across a wooden World War I honour board. Currently housed in the foyer of the Ultimo Community Centre, it details the names of 36 men from Ultimo, Glebe, Pyrmont and other suburbs who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force.

    In this free program, professional historian Nicole Cama, explores the many stories unearthed from the honour roll, stories which have provided a poignant insight into how the war impacted these inner Sydney communities.

    Nicole Cama is the Executive Officer at the History Council of NSW, and is also a professional historian (MPHA), curator and content strategist. Nicole specialises in public history and the history of the Sydney area, and has researched many other areas including intellectual property, World War I, maritime history and family history research.

    Presented in partnership with the Dictionary of Sydney.

    Bookings recommended.

    Glebe Library
    Thursday 9 June 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Stay inside the lines
    Thursday 9 June 2016
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    Adult colouring books are topping bestseller lists worldwide, as we rediscover the joy of a time when choosing a colour for the sky was our most vexing issue. Leave your day behind, turn off your phone and join the wellness craze at the library.

    One of our librarians will host the free monthly lunchtime session and all resources are provided.

    Suitable for ages 18+.

    Bookings recommended.

    Haymarket Library
    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
  • Book Club at Kings Cross Library
    Saturday 11 June 2016
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    Join a book club for a friendly discussion of literature of all kinds.

    Our monthly club, held at Kings Cross Library, cover a range of genres, including award winners, contemporary and classic fiction, poetry, historical fiction, crime novels, biographies and quarterly essays.

    Among other titles, the Kings Cross book club will be looking at The Fixer by Joseph Finder, Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover, and This House of Grief by Helen Garner in the coming months.

    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
    Saturday 10 September 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
    Saturday 8 October 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
    Saturday 12 November 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
    Saturday 10 December 2016 from 1.30pm to 3pm
  • Unpuzzled! Cryptic crossword workshop
    Saturday 11 June 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.

    Please note that August’s workshop will be on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

    Waterloo Library
    2nd Saturday of each month, 11am to 12pm

    Saturday 12 March to Saturday 12 November 2016

    Saturday 20 August 2016 from 11am to 12pm

    Except Saturday 13 August

  • How Easy Was That? Baking Class
    Tuesday 14 June 2016
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    Want basic baking skills but feel like you’re no Martha Stewart?

    Join local librarian and amateur baker Kathy, who will demonstrate how easy it is to whip up sweet treats for your friends and family, in this monthly lunchtime session at Surry Hills Library.

    All materials and ingredients are provided and everyone gets a sample and the recipe to take home and try out for yourself.

    Bookings essential.

    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
  • Classics at Customs: Contemporary architecture
    Wednesday 15 June 2016
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    Architects Richard Leplastrier, Glenn Murcutt and Alec Tzannes have featured significantly in recent Australian architectural history, especially for their work on private residential projects from the late 1970s onwards.

    The State Library of New South Wales holds an extensive architectural drawing collection, comprising over 100,000 plans, as well as associated photographs, manuscripts and oral histories. The drawings include some of NSW’s earliest architects such as Edmund Blacket (1817-1883), significant 19th century names such John Horbury Hunt (1838-1904) and a large archive of the infamous modernist Harry Seidler (1923-2006).

    There is also a large collections of drawings by Leplastrier, Murcutt and Tzannes, from their most rudimentary hand sketches to the detailed engineering documentation of many of their most iconic works.

    Join us for this free lunchtime event as Anna Corkhill, Curator at the State Library looks at key buildings by these three architects, their stylistic commonalities, and the underlying themes in their work to explore some of the trends in recent Australian architecture: responsiveness to climate, expressive use of materials and the desire for buildings to become part of their surrounding landscapes.

    Our buildings, archives and people hold many stories. Go back in time through stories and visual artefacts at our Classics at Customs House series.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesday 15 June 2016 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm
  • Authors Up the Cross: Jeff Duff
    Tuesday 21 June 2016
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    Meet the illustrious performer who once hosted Countdown dressed as a sausage, but today is most famous for his depiction of David Bowie.

    Jeff Duff will be sharing his tell-all memoir and performing in his unique, luscious style.

    We let the writers do the talking, as we hear from a lively mix of the best local, emerging and best-selling authors every month. The series is presented by the City of Sydney Library in partnership with Potts Point Bookshop.

    Bookings essential.

    Kings Cross Library
    Tuesday 21 June 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Talking Heads: David Dyer
    Tuesday 28 June 2016
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    The sinking of the Titanic is one of the most famous catastrophes of the 20th century, which continues to fascinate to this day. Much less known is the story of the ship that could have gone to her aid but didn’t. The Midnight Watch is a dramatic, compelling novel that brings to life what happened on this mysterious ship during those fateful hours.

    Author David Dyer is well placed to tell the enigmatic tale of the Californian, the ship that failed to come to the Titanic’s aid. He has a deep knowledge of the Titanic and an abiding passion for her story. This interest is complemented by his own experience working as a ship’s cadet and third officer in the Australian merchant navy. Dyer was also a maritime lawyer for many years at the London legal practice, whose parent firm represented the White Star Line in 1912.

    We’ve programmed a series of monthly author talks, created in partnership with the much-loved Newtown bookshop Better Read Than Dead. We let the writers do the talking as we hear from a lively mix of the best local, emerging and best-selling authors.

    PLEASE NOTE: This event will be held at the temporary location of the Newtown Library at Erskineville Town Hall, 104 Erskineville Road. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

    Seating is limited. Bookings are essential.

    Erskineville Town Hall
    Tuesday 28 June 2016 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Late Night Library: The Mission Songs Project
    Tuesday 5 July 2016
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    The Mission Songs Project is an initiative to research and present a collection of Indigenous songs that were composed and performed from 1900 to 1999. It highlights songs from the Christian missions, Aboriginal reserves and the fringes of township were Indigenous people were relocated.

    This Late Night Library session will feature a selection of mission songs from across Australia and a discussion on the sensitivities required in the gathering and interpretation of cultural songs for stage productions. It features artists Leah Flanagan, Jessie Lloyd, Monia Weightman.

    This event is part of NAIDOC Week, an annual celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Book now.

    This event is part of Late Night Library’s winter season of unique musical encounters. Talented musicians, composers and artists explore ideas around culture, health and literature through music.

    Presented by Musica Viva and City of Sydney Library.

    Customs House Library
    Tuesday 5 July 2016 from 8pm to 9pm

    Please note, this Late Night Library event is on TUESDAY, not the usual Wednesday evening.

  • Koori collection at Library Express
    Tuesday 5 July 2016
  • Event details

    To celebrate NAIDOC Week, we are showcasing the best of our Koori collection.

    Usually housed at Waterloo Library, it will be at the conveniently located Library Express at Town Hall. Our fascinating Koori collection has more than 1,250 items on Aboriginal history and the arrival of Europeans. Represented in the collection are also items referencing Songlines, particularly children and adult items and audio visual resources.

    If you are interested in specific issues, we have titles on topics like land rights. Lovers of biographies will enjoy publications about Aboriginal leaders and sporting legends. The Koori Mail and National Indigenous Times will also be made available for browsing.

    Drop in anytime during opening hours.

    Bookings not required.

    Town Hall House
    Every day, 8am to 6pm

    Tuesday 5 July to Friday 8 July 2016

  • Inspiring Science: Stress out, age well and look inside
    Wednesday 13 July 2016
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    Human beings rarely experience the stress of avoiding predators or hunting for food. Yet for almost all other organisms, the ability to respond successfully to such challenges is crucial for survival. In this sense, modern humans have become an anomaly of evolution. Still, we harbour within our genome the same survival mechanisms, evolved to enable us to battle disease, heal wounds and resist environmental dangers. Dr Dan Johnston explains how molecular systems that usually lie dormant can be activated by various stressors. Could low levels of stress be even applied to protect the brain against diseases of ageing?

    CT scans are a marvel of the modern day world. They allow us to peer inside the body without cutting. A casual glance at Wikipedia will scare off all but the most expert reader, but amazingly, using only basic mathematics from the lower years of high school, we can get to the core of how these things work. Join mathematician Dr Randell Heyman for a fascinating look at how CT scans work.

    Inspiring Science, a series programmed with Inspiring Australia and presented by award-winning researchers, shows off the latest developments in all matters science and society.

    Bookings recommended.

    Ultimo Library
    Wednesday 13 July 2016 from 6pm to 7pm
  • Late Night Library: Music Therapy
    Wednesday 20 July 2016
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    Evidence of the existence of music dates back to as far back as 10 000 BC. Around this time, people began to attribute magical properties to sound. Centuries later, music is known to have been used to treat notable figures in European nobility. But it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th Century, in the post-WWII period, that musical therapy began to expand as a profession. Therapy through music involves both listening and making and has been linked to treatments of mood, neurological and psychiatric disorders. Even a cursory YouTube search brings up countless audio tracks to help us study, concentrate or sleep.

    This free Late Night Library event explores the healing powers of music and sound.

    Join music therapist, Joanne McIntyre (Chair of the NSW Branch of the Australian Music Therapy Association) as she illustrates music therapy practically using djembes in a drum circle, while Dr. Sandra Garrido (MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour and Development) discusses the neurological and psychological mechanisms by which music communicates and arouses emotions in us.

    This event is part of Late Night Library’s winter season of unique musical encounters. Talented musicians, composers and artists explore ideas around culture, health and literature through music.

    Presented by Musica Viva and City of Sydney Library.

    Book now.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesday 20 July 2016 from 8pm to 9pm
  • Classics at Customs: The Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs
    Wednesday 20 July 2016
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    The Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs was an organisation established in Sydney in 1964 to assist Aboriginal people and families, especially those newly arrived to the city.

    Ted Noffs, Bill Geddes, Charles Perkins and Ken Brindle were instrumental in the start of the non-profit organisation, raising money through donations and hosting dance nights at Redfern Town Hall. The Foundation offered a wide range of community services for the local Aboriginal population including food, accommodation and travel assistance, rental bond arrangements, scholarships and legal aid. It also operated as a gathering place for Aboriginal people and many Indigenous performers were promoted through the Foundation including Jimmy Little, Candy Williams and Col Hardy.

    By the mid-1970s the Foundation was being run entirely by Aboriginal people and had 15 staff, however it was folded in 1977 due to a lack of funding and ongoing support. The remaining records of the Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs are held in the Mitchell Library.

    Gain insight into the records of the Foundation at this free talk lunchtime talk, with Kirsten Thorpe, Coordinator, and Ronald Briggs, Librarian with the Indigenous Unit at the State Library of New South Wales.

    Our buildings, archives and people hold many stories. Go back in time through stories and visual artefacts at our Classics at Customs House series.

    Customs House Library
    Wednesday 20 July 2016 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm
  • Seeking: your story for new Surry Hills artwork
    Thursday 21 July 2016
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    Do you live in Surry Hills and want to share your story about the area? Artist Astra Howard is creating a new City of Sydney City Art artwork on Crown Street, which will give a public voice to the diverse residents of Surry Hills. The text-based artwork Village Voices will be situated near the village centre and aims to generate dialogue among members of the public about the issues affecting their city.

    Howard will collect stories from people in the area in an intimate, interactive workshop. In this workshop, participants will be encouraged to talk about their relationship to Surry Hills and the texts produced will be added to the evolving artwork script. Visually, Village Voices will comprise various types of text, from intimate Scrabble games to early forms of mass communication like the printing press.

    Astra Howard works in public spaces in cities. She has produced site-specific works across Australia and internationally since 1998. Her work is informed by a period of research around place, sometimes using performance. Astra also works as a designer, a lecturer in higher education and as a community development worker, predominantly in crisis homeless services.

    Programmed in partnership with City Art.

    Suitable for ages 16+

    Bookings essential.

    Surry Hills Library
    Thursday 22 September 2016 from 6pm to 8pm
    Thursday 29 September 2016 from 6pm to 8pm