Things to do

Why kids and their parents love our libraries

An insider’s guide to getting your hands on loads of books, TV shows, toys, instruments and even retro games.

Kids in library alcove

City of Sydney libraries love to inspire young minds. You’ll find dedicated areas for younger kids, quiet study spaces and regular events and workshops for babies, kids and teens in all of our branches.

But that’s not all. Kids can borrow retro gaming consoles, musical instruments, build robots and stream quality content for free. Read on for ideas about how you and your kids can get the most out of your local library.

Take home an armful of books and rescue your road trips

You can borrow up to 30 items for 3 weeks.
You can borrow up to 30 items for 3 weeks.

Library members get access to our extensive collection of books, ebooks and audiobooks. You can borrow up to 30 items for 3 weeks, so that should satisfy even the most voracious reader.

Going on a road trip? Audiobooks are a clever way to entertain kids and stay sane on a long journey. You can download audiobooks straight to a device, or borrow them on CD. Popular titles include Andy Griffith’s Treehouse series, Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh. Check out our librarian’s top picks for kids and teens.

Borrow or stream movies and TV

With a library membership you get free access to quality content. Our Kanopy streaming service features a dedicated kids’ platform where you can watch classics such as Where the Wild Things Are, along with Oscar winners including The Silent Children.

If you prefer to go old school, choose from more than 3,000 DVDs in our junior collection, available in English and other languages. Current favourites are Wonder and Despicable Me 3.

Challenge your kids on your favourite retro video games

Borrow classic video game consoles from our libraries.
Borrow classic video game consoles from our libraries.

Introduce your kids to 90s classics like Donkey Kong, Sonic and Super Mario Bros. Games come pre-loaded on popular video game consoles Atari, Sega, Nintendo and the C64Mini, which you can take home.

Build simple robots and electronic gadgets

Get hands-on experience with electronics thanks to our makerspace kits.
Get hands-on experience with electronics thanks to our makerspace kits.

Curious brains can get an early start on coding and electronics with our hands-on makerspace kits. There are over 180 kits available to borrow, including Edison Robots, Ozobots, Snaps Circuits and Little Bits Synth kits. While you’re there, check out more than 200 toys and puzzles for tots and preschool children.

Help your little one discover a love of reading at a fun meet-up

Rhymetime includes music, singing and puppets for children under 2.
Rhymetime includes music, singing and puppets for children under 2.

Grab a coffee and head to our free early literacy sessions for kids not yet at big school. If your child is younger than 2, come along to rhymetime to enjoy music, singing and puppets. Storytime for 3 to 5 year olds combines craft and storytelling to encourage a passion for books.

Bilingual sessions in Mandarin and English are held at some branches. You don’t need to book but should arrive early as there is limited capacity.

Get fresh ideas for activities outside of school

Primary-aged kids can make new friends and learn the basics of robotics and programming at our after school Code club and Maker and creator sessions. These free classes are available at most branches.

Running out of ideas for school holiday activities? We regularly run free holiday sessions for primary and high school kids, including drama and writing.

Pick up a guitar and help your child find a love of music

We’ve got a brand new collection of acoustic, electric and bass guitars you can use for free at Green Square Library.

You can also borrow ukuleles to take home from Kings Cross and Green Square.

Get homework and HSC support

Whether your offspring is embarking on HSC preparations or they just need a zone to concentrate on schoolwork, they’ll find space at their local branch. Bring your own computer and use the free wifi, or jump onto one of our many public computers.

A library membership gets you access to plenty of research databases including Encyclopaedia Britannica. There are 3 versions for kids, teens and adults.

Students can book meeting rooms free at our Green Square and Darling Square libraries for up to 2 hours a day for group study.

Join the library today

Joining the library is easy. Membership is free to all NSW residents and valid for 3 years. If you or your child are under 18 and want to join, visit a staffed branch and complete an application form with a parent or guardian. Just bring along an ID that shows your name and address.

Here’s a tip – borrowing limits are per member, not family. This means you’ll increase your borrowing limits with every child that joins the library.

Subscribe to our monthly library enewsletter to be the first to hear about upcoming events and workshops, new collections and services.

Published 22 January 2019, updated 2 September 2020