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Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 libraries

Hello friends!! Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday!! This week’s topic is top 5 libraries!!

February is Library Lovers Month somewhere in the world (according to a random website I found back in December), and who am I to argue about such a wondrous theme for a month. So I’m not arguing. I’m making a whole T5T topic about it.

In the drafting of the Q1 topics, I said “tell us all about your top 5 libraries!! If you only know one library, tell us the top 5 things you love about your library.” Which honestly, is just kind of wild, because I only realised in the drafting of this post (about 10 mins ago to be specific) that I have only been to 10 libraries in my life (that I can remember). Which I feel needs to be rectified. However, I am going to cover the 8 libraries that I have actively used and/or frequented in my life. Apologies to everyone reading this.

If you missed the January-March 2024 topics, they are out now!! Top 5 Tuesday was created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now being hosted (albeit very terribly) here @ Meeghan reads.

So, let’s look at all of the libraries I have frequented in my life. And apart from the first one, these were not meant to be in any particular order, but have arrived in chronological order regardless.

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top 5 libraries (except it’s a top 8)

Goulburn Mulwaree Public Library

The Goulburn Mulwaree Public Library was my local library growing up, and I have SO MANY fond memories of it as a child. For instance (and I think I’ve written about this before), my next door neighbour from my childhood, Anne, was a librarian here.

Anne is one of the biggest influencers of my reading preference and has been since I was little. She gave me my first book signed by an author at age 5 (it was a picture book), and really introduced me to fantasy books when I was 12.

Anne encouraged my love of reading and when I was little, it was my dream to work at this library. Which I still think about now.

My primary school library

I’m not going to be giving specific details of schools and what not, but my primary school library (Kinder/Prep and years 1-6 for those outside Australia) was great. I remember going to the Scholastic Book Fair every year? term? however often it was (much to the chagrin of my parents who I think were hoping I wanted less books each time).

The school librarian also taught us Italian for years 2 and 2. And when I was in year 6 I was awarded a Junior Librarian role (I still have the badge) and spent lunch time once per week putting away books. Maybe that’s why I can’t help myself when I’m in a bookstore now…

My high school library

I don’t remember loving my high school (years 7-12) library anywhere near as much as my primary school one, but that was probably because it wasn’t as nice. Also, so many of the books were reference books, as opposed to fiction, so that definitely impacted my feelings.

I did spend a few lunch times inside when the weather was cold though… And I was on the longer reading list for my English classes, so I did spend some time there to pick up the extra books. But from memory, the librarian was a nun, so far less fun than the others.

Carlisle Library

When I was 19 I decided I’d had enough, and moved to the other side of the world. Specifically to a tiny village in the Lakes District of the UK. We didn’t have a library there because there was literally 270 people living in my village (we only had a general store/post office and a hotel/restaurant/pub where I lived and worked). So, every second week I would take a train into Carlisle to pick up necessities, including books.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I also shopped at the WHSmith (and I still have some of those books), but I absolutely frequented that library a bunch. Also to use the internet because the service where I lived was horrendous.

I’m pretty sure it’s had a remodel since I was there, but I definitely remember those green doors…

University of Canberra Library

After returning from my jaunt in the UK, I enrolled at the University of Canberra to study Communications (majoring in Journalism). Which is hilarious because I’ve never worked in Journalism and I think I would be terrible at it…

But, while in attendance I used the library there. Mostly for references and studying, as I’m certain they don’t even have a fiction section. Or at least I don’t recall it if they do. And because of this, I’m ranking the UC library as the worst of all the libraries I have been to.

Geelong Library and Heritage Centre

About 10 years ago (holy, wow…) I moved to Geelong for work. While I was there, the Geelong City Council was in the midst of building the Geelong Library and Heritage Centre. And can I just say, this is the MOST BEAUTIFUL library on my list. Seriously, it’s stunning, and I recommend everyone check it out.

Also, it’s just a great library. From memory, it has FIVE FLOORS of books. Which also makes it the best library that I’ve frequented (once you remove nostalgia from my list).

I don’t think I’d been going to public libraries for pleasure reading for quite some time, until this library opened. And honestly, this library is the reason that I went back.

If you are ever in Melbourne, Australia, I recommend the 1 hour train trip to visit this spectacular building.

Victorian State Library

To be fair to Melbourne, the Victorian State Library is also very cool and a beautiful building. It’s got huge reading rooms and exhibitions and is honestly, just great. The building is Heritage listed, and has a super cool layout (check out the La Trobe reading room which is octagonally shaped). ACT libraries could take a leaf from Victoria’s books on amazing libraries. But not literally, because we don’t encourage defacing books.

I mostly attended book launches (Jay Kristoff, Amie Kaufman and C. S. Pacat have all had events there), and met up with friends. But, for for a library, it’s a really cool building.

National Library of Australia

Now, I say this knowing that I am very fortunate. I am lucky enough to work across the road from the National Library of Australia, and it’s one of my favourite buildings in Canberra. So while my childhood dream of becoming a librarian didn’t happen, this is the next best thing.

It’s got that beautiful, yet grandiose architectural style that reminds me of the government buildings in Washington D. C. (I still can’t talk about how beautiful the Library of Congress is. It’s been 10 months and I’m not over it.) but in a more subtle, Australian way.

I love everything about this library, including the gift shop (honestly, wow), and that the cafe is called BookPlate. Every day when I see this building I get a small amount of joy from knowing there are so many books, beautifully preserved, and all waiting for anyone who wants to read them.

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FYI, I have built a database of everyone who know of that has joined a Top 5 Tuesday topic. Which means, I should be able to come and visit blogs every week to find your posts. You won’t necessarily need to link your posts below (unless you want to). But, if you’re new or I’ve not found your blog, please drop a comment below with a link to your post, and I will add you!

PARTICIPANTS

Wonderwall
The Punk Theory
Jillian the Bookish Butterfly
Your Book Friend
Wicked Witch’s Blog
Books Are 42
Peat Long’s Blog
Chasing Destino

What are your top 5 libraries?

until next time, happy reading! Meeghan xo

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