Friday, 30 May 2014


Where is your favourite library?
                                   What appeals to you the most?

                                                            Is there a library that you remember but that is no longer?

One of my favourites was the former South Brisbane Municipal Library... a building that has had many uses...

Quoting from       June 2, 2010

The building in the photograph below was originally constructed as the South Brisbane Post and Telegraph Office back in 1881; then it became the South Brisbane Municipal Library; and then the (South Brisbane) City Concert Hall, amongst other incarnations. The photograph is from 1898.

                             (Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #142454)

I loved the wooden panelling, the solid wood bookshelves, desks and chairs... to me, it was all that a library should be. I loved the light shining through the tall windows. I was saddened when it was closed. I missed the fortnightly trips in on the tram, the joy of selecting magazines and books and the pleasure of saving them till I had a quiet time to enjoy them. It was there that I found the first copies I had seen of the American teen magazine, Seventeen. It seemed so far removed from any of the magazines we had seen in Australia. 

However my first much loved library was the small and sometimes dark, School of Arts Library, in Urunga, NSW. There were few if any children's books there, but that didn't worry me a bit. I read my way through all manner of books, from classic novels, way above my age group, to dry and dusty tomes about country life. My favourites became the tales of nautical adventures. 

I was fascinated by the history and the wonderful old maps. The librarian, a lovely gentleman, would let me know whenever there were 'new' books to read. I think he was intrigued by this small girl who was so 'hungry' to read anything and everything she could get her hands on.

It was he who introduced me to Charles Dickens and Aeneas Gunn, still favourites today.

The library now has a new lease of life as the Urunga Museum, still a great place to visit, but now looks toward the river past the Caravan Park, rather than standing in the main street.

(c) Lynne Sanders- Braithwaite

Great memories...


  1. Yes, the School of Arts in Ann St was very important to me as a teenager. I don't believe the building is still there (or certainly not in its old format). Well done Brisbane..not!

  2. The School of Arts buildings were always the focal point of a town or city... sad to see them go.

  3. I think I went for a job interview at the old South Brisbane library many years ago and was more than a bit disappointed that I didn't get the job - twas something to do with museums from memory.

    1. Alex, I would have paid them to work in that library... I just loved it. When the 'new' museum was built, there were interviews at South Brisbane Library for the museum. Not sure that it was still a library then though. I wasn't involved, but I vaguely remember that it could have been another chance to be inside.


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