This visit was a bit of a special one, because we visited Chermside with my aunt, who hadn’t met Squirm before this. The Chermside Library is one of the few Brisbane City Council Libraries open on a Monday. It’s also one of the biggest Brisbane City Libraries.
We were there right on time for the Babies, Books and Rhymes session which is held in a meeting room outside the library itself. It was very popular – lots of parents with babies younger than Squirm, which I don’t see that often – but wasn’t particularly good. There wasn’t any focus on books and by repeating all the rhymes over and over, there was a really monotonous feeling. I also object to doing the Grand Old Duke of York six times! My arms cannot haul a 7 kilo baby up and down the hill that much! The woman sitting next to me said it wasn’t like that all the time – it’s usually a lot better. There was a lovely friendly feeling among the parents, though, and a lot of them went in for books after, which is something I wasn’t sure would happen with the rhyme time being held outside the actual library.
The library itself is huge and really well organised. It’s got big non fiction and fiction sections, a quiet room, places for studying and a lounge area set up near a display of the more recent books. There’s also a cafe area, thoughtfully set up near the magazines (as well as having an outside area). The kids area is quite separate from the rest of the library, with a half wall around it.
The kids area has been decorated with a space theme. There’s a console set around a kids computer (complete with buttons to press and lights that light up), a big painting on the wall, a chalk board shaped like a rocket, rocket shaped shelf ends and an extremely popular reading nook, shaped like a capsule. There’s lots of comfy chairs, low shelves around the outside of the room, and a comfortable disorganised feel – the kind of place where you’re happy to pick up any of the books in the place. The staff were noticeable in the children’s area, and were restacking the shelves when we finished up – a huge job since there seems to be more books than shelf room.
There was a big range of books to choose from, and the books ranged from extremely well loved to brand new and barely touched. There was also a pleasant buzz around the whole library – and as both my aunt and I noticed, a wide range of ages was represented. I’ll definitely be going back – I’m already booked in to hear Mem Fox speak there next month!
The best parts of Chermside Library
- The space themed kids area
- Great staff – very knowledgeable and helpful
- The cafe was awesome and extremely affordable
- The wide range of people using the space
Important Information about Chermside Library
375 Hamilton Road
Website – There’s a lot of events on each week, so it’s worth checking this out.
Open all week. See website for details
Limited parking available in the carpark which is shared with the swimming pool. Be aware that nearby Chermside Westfield charges for parking. This is a good public transport library.
While we were there . . .
There is a popular pool complex right next to the library, which would be great in summer. There’s also a massive shopping centre nearby. At the northern end of the shopping centre, you can go for a quick walk outside and across the road to Kidspace Park (or 7th Brigade park, I think) which has a massive play area for kids, including a huge fort.