You don’t need to be a member to visit one of Newcastle’s ten library branches, however there are some really great perks if you are! Aside from the great variety of free events on offer, you can experience cutting edge technology, research your family history, or even learn a new language.
Library membership is free for those who live, work or regularly travel in the Newcastle region. In case you need any more convincing, here are 10 great things you can do with a free library membership.
Looking to upskill but don’t know where to start? Library members have free access to LinkedIn Learning, an online platform where you can learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Video courses are delivered by engaging instructors who are experts in their fields, and all you need is your library membership number and PIN to log in!
Research your family history
The Library subscribes to a number of databases that can help you research your family history. This includes Ancestry, Find My Past and Internet History Resources, all of which can be accessed in branch. With thousands of digitised copies of important records, documents and images to mull over, finding your family history has never been so easy.
Learn a new language
Hola! You may not be able to travel overseas right now but that shouldn’t stop you from learning a new language. As a library member you have access to Mango languages, a free resource containing conversation and film-based digital resources to help you learn over 70 languages. To make it really handy, you can also download the app so you can use Mango on the go!
Interact with cutting edge technology
The Digital Library has an abundance of new technology ready for you to explore including a Magic Box, Digital Story Wall, bookable Podcast Studio, Digital Reading Tables, and 3D Printer. Oh, and did we mention they have their very own robot, Pepper? Pop into the Digital Library at 12 Stewart Avenue Newcastle West and be impressed.
Attend a free event
Newcastle Libraries host a year-round program of events including fascinating talks with authors, educational workshops, and special exhibitions. The Lovett Gallery at Newcastle City Library also regularly plays host to art and photography exhibitions. To see what’s on you can search by venue or sign up to our weekly newsletter to stay up to date.
Read, listen and watch online
If you want to access information or to find something to keep you entertained 24/7, the eLibrary collection is for you. With four eBook and eAudio platforms featuring thousands of titles including latest releases, two movie streaming platforms containing over 30,000 movies and documentaries, and a music streaming platform offering access to around 15 million songs including the entire Sony Music Recording catalogue, there’s no excuse to ever be bored again!
Hire a room or study space
If you need a quiet space to study or get together with others for a group assignment or meeting, the libraries have got you covered. Many of the branches have spaces set aside so you can do all of this away from the home or office, and to make life even easier all branches have free access to public computers and Wi-Fi so you can connect your own device. Library members can log into the library member network to access unlimited sessions and up to 3GB of downloads.
Find your next great read
With children’s, young adult and adult fiction and non-fiction titles, and a range of other formats including CDs, DVDs, magazines and large print material, there are literally thousands of great reads available right at your fingertips. If you can’t find what you’re after, just search the library catalogue and if the item you want is already on loan, you can place a hold and be notified when it’s available for collection at your chosen branch.
Learn about Newcastle’s history
Newcastle Region Library provides research advice and access to a range of materials about the history and heritage of Newcastle and the Hunter Region. The collection includes books, photographs, maps, archives and databases which can be accessed in the Library and from home. Make the most of this free resource and research the history of your house, or order your very own copy of an image you love from their fascinating collection.
Entertain and educate the kids
With a jam-packed program of events during the school holidays, regular story time events, and a huge variety of books, magazines, movies, audiobooks, and resources specifically for kids, the library branches are a must visit location for any parent. New Lambton Library even has a special Toy Library that is open on Saturday mornings, allowing children to borrow toys for a party, education or just for fun!
It’s free and easy to join the library, either online or with one of the friendly staff members in your local branch. For more information on becoming a library member visit the Newcastle Libraries website.