Melbourne Central buzzes these days. There is action here and in amongst this action there is an oasis of quiet. A corner where you can sit or browse and take time out.
Wander around the different levels of the complex, shop till you drop then head for The Little Library – The Community Library. This is a space that does make Melbourne Central feel something of a community. The fact that the food hall is alongside helps this feel. It is a busy food hall with chatter, clatter and laughter. There is nothing like eating together to give a community feel.
The Little Library takes this feel and builds on it. It is a library for everyone. Its a place to swap books, take one of your choice home or to browse and read while sitting in the comfortable chairs that are provided.
The books are for all comers. The community allows you to take the books away, to return them at your leisure and to bring any books from home that you have read and are cluttering your shelves. The idea is to bring back books you have read but there are no rules to say if you find a book you want for your shelves you can’t keep it. I passed one I enjoyed on to a friend.
Melbourne Central Management says, “ The mission of the Little Library concept is to promote literacy and the love of reading by offering a free book exchange. After all, books were built to be swapped (and read, of course).”
Browsing is good too. It is a place to escape the noise and clamour of the outside. When I was there last there was a good range of cooking books and a set of old encyclopedias for a step back in time, when all information wasn’t at our finger tips. The encyclopaedia aren’t something you are going to carry around with you but it is fun to browse.
I love this space and I have added some of my once-read books. I have some in a bag at my door at the moment to remind me to take them next time I am in the CBD.
Recently I was on an international flight and it surprised me that a number of people were carrying real books and not relying on e- readers. If you have read the book you flew into Melbourne with leave it at Melbourne Central Little Library and collect another one for your flight out of Melbourne.
Where: The Little Library first floor Melbourne Central – CBD. Opposite the State Library.
Getting there: Enter the complex from the entrance at La Trobe and Swanston Street. Head up the escalators to the first floor Food Court and you will find the Little Library in the right hand corner.