This comprehensive Local Libraries Guide gives an overview of the services available for families and maps and lists 35+ libraries in and around the City of Parramatta. There is also a calendar of library events at the bottom to find a reading program or other library event at a time that suits you.
Visiting our local library was probably the 3rd regular activity I ever did with my boys when they were little – after going to my weekly mothers group meetings/ playgroup and daily walks. It was a really good way to get us out of the house, meet other local families and introduce my children to the beautiful world of stories and books.
Not all libraries are created equal though and they come in all different shapes and sizes. There are vast differences in the range of children’s books, kids spaces, activities for children as well as borrowing policies and fees charged. So its handy that we aren’t limited to just going to our nearest library.
We have over 10 library cards in our house and visit a library at least once a week. Depending on where you live, you might find that your nearest library isn’t one in your Local Council area. When we lived in Dundas Valley, our local library network was the City of Parramatta Libraries but we were also very close to library branches from the Hills Shire, Hornsby Shire and City of Ryde, plus Cumberland Council. And yes you can join libraries outside your Local Council!
Most Kid and Family Friendly Libraries
We rank the City of Ryde libraries as the most kid friendly. This is based on what they offer kids at their library branches. Aside from the great kid spaces, it’s the little touches, like having a stool for kids to stand on near the returns chute and borrowing counter, that make them that extra bit special for kids.
We rank both the Cumberland Council and City of Parramatta libraries as most family friendly. Both let you borrow a LOT of books, don’t charge fines for overdue items and offer great activities for families.
Library Services for Families
Libraries offer a range of services for families, with six main ones:
- Children’s Books
- Kids Area
- Weekly Reading Programs
- Homework Support and Other Activities for School Kids
- Toy Libraries
- JP Service
Most libraries also have baby change facilities, free WiFi, printing and copying facilities and pram access, plus information desks/ stands with details of local support organisations.
All library branches have a collection of children’s books. This ranges from baby board books, through to picture books and young adult fiction and non-fiction.
The quality and variety of books does vary significantly though between the different Councils and even between branches. At any one time we have books from at least three libraries and I can tell, with about 90% certainty, which book belongs to which library without checking the barcode! City of Parramatta libraries are by far the best cared for books and Cumberland Council the most well worn… but that is slowly changing.
There’s usually an area in the library for kids to sit and enjoy reading a book or three, where the children’s book collection is located. Some libraries also provide toys for kids to play with, colouring in and others have interactive displays, like microscopes and touch screens. The most fun kids areas would have to be found at West Ryde and Ryde libraries….but we do look forward to seeing what is being created for the new Parramatta Library.
Based on the strong evidence of the importance of early literacy programs, all libraries provide weekly FREE reading programs for babies through to preschoolers. Covid put a hold on the in-person sessions but all Council library services are offering some in-person sessions now – but you do need to book!
There are usually different programs for different age groups. Rhyme time is generally the name for the reading programs for babies and toddlers and story time for preschoolers. They can run from 15mins to an hour and all include a librarian reading books. Most also include singing and for the older kids, there is normally craft activities as well.
The weekly reading programs are understandably VERY popular. And more so now with limits on numbers due to covid.
While most rhyme times and story times have a similar format, they do vary based on the experience and personality of the librarian and the resources available. Some have hand puppets to go with each song, a copy of the book being read for each family and are happy for the kids to move around. These are the best ones in my books, but we still enjoying going to ones that don’t have all the bells and whistles. It is worth attending a few to find one that suits you and your kids.
Homework Support and Other Activities for School Kids
Most libraries offer some form of homework help for Primary and High School students after school during term time. Some libraries also run weekly science and reading programs for primary school kids and evening events for teenagers.
Did you know that you can borrow toys, as well as books, from some local libraries? Visiting a toy library was a monthly highlight in our family pre-covid. I mean, what’s not to love about being able to take a few toys home without the expense of buying them! And it is particularly great in the cooler, wet months when we all go a bit stir crazy being stuck inside more.
The local libraries that have toys to borrow are:
- Wentworthville Library | Cumberland Council
- North Ryde Library | City of Ryde Council
- Blacktown City Council Libraries
- Burwood Library | Burwood Council
- Penrith City Council Libraries
NOTE: due to covid, a number of toy libraries either remain closed or are operating differently.
Nearly all local libraries provide a justice of the peace service free of charge. Most have regular, scheduled times and the information can be found on the relevant Library website – City of Parramatta, Cumberland Council, City of Ryde, Hornsby Council and Hills Shire.
Local Libraries – Map and List
Our Local Libraries Google Map includes the libraries for the following seven Local Councils. And below the map, is a summary of the library service provided by each of these Councils.
- City of Parramatta
- Cumberland Council
- City of Ryde
- Blacktown City
- The Hills Shire
- Hornsby Shire
- Willoughby City Council
Library membership is free and is open to anyone, even if you don’t live within the City of Parramatta. You may borrow a total of 40 items, plus 20 eBooks and 10 eAudiobooks.
- Fines: There are NO fines, you are just blocked from borrowing more books. If you don’t return the book within three borrowing cycles, you will be charge a replacement cost and administration fee ($18).
- Renewing: Once
- Reserving: Free and books are transferred to your branch of choice.
- After Hours Returns: Available at all City of Parramatta Libraries.
- Carlingford | Lloyds Ave, Carlingford | Monday 10am-7pm; Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm; Saturday 10am-1pm; Sunday closed.
- Constitution Hill | Hollis St, Constitution Hill | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 5pm; Thursday 10am – 8pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Dundas | Sturt Street, Telopea | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 5pm; Thursday 10am – 8pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Epping | Chambers Circuit | Monday-Thursday 10am to 9pm; Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday 9:30am to 12pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
- Ermington | River Road, Ermington | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 5pm; Thursday 10am – 8pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Newington | Corner of Avenue of Europe and Avenue of Asia | Monday-Wednesday closed; Thursday 2pm to 6pm; Friday closed; Saturday 9am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Parramatta | 1-3 Fitzwilliam Street, Parramatta | Monday-Friday 9.30am to 8pm; Saturday 9.30am to 4pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
- Wentworth Point | 10 Footbridge Boulevard, Wentworth Point| Monday, Tuesday, Friday 10am to 5pm; Wednesday 10am to 1pm; Thursday 10am to 8pm; Saturday 10am to 1pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
Membership is open to anyone who resides within the Sydney metropolitan and surrounding area. Membership is free, except for the Toy Library where an annual subscription fee applies.
- Fines: There are NO fines, you are just blocked from borrowing more books.
- Renewing: Twice
- Reserving: Free and you nominate which branch to collect the item from.
- After Hours Return: Only available at Wentworthville Library.
- Auburn | 1 Susan St, Auburn | Monday to Thursday 9.30am to 8pm; Friday 9.30am to 6pm; Saturday 9.30am to 4pm; Sunday 1pm to 4pm.
- Granville | Monday, Thursday 10am to 8pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 5.30pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Greystanes | 732 Merrylands Road, Greystanes | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm; Thursday 9.30am to 8pm; Saturday 9am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Guildford |Railway Terrace, Guildford | Monday, Thursday 10am to 8pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 10am to 5.30pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Lidcombe | Bridge Street, Lidcombe | Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30am to 5pm; Tuesday, Thursday 10am to 6pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Merrylands | Corner of Miller and Newman Streets, Merrylands | Monday to Friday 9.30am to 8pm; Saturday 9am to 4pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
- Regents Park | 1 Amy Street, Regents Park | Monday, Wednesday 10am to 6pm; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9.30am to 5pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Wentworthville | 2 Lane St, Wentworthville | Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm; Thursday 9.30am to 8pm; Saturday 9am to 4pm; Sunday closed.
Membership is free and anyone who lives, works or plays in the City of Ryde is eligible to join. As a Library member you may borrow and return items at any of the Ryde libraries. You can borrow up to 25 items at a time, for 3 weeks at a time. DVDs, magazines, HSC books and Fast Reads are for 1 week.
- Fines: Start from $0.30 per day per item!
- Renewals: Twice
- Reserving: Free and you can reserve up to 10 items at a time.
- After Hours Returns: Available at all City of Ryde Libraries.
- Eastwood | Cnr Hillview Rd and West Pde, Eastwood | Monday, Tuesday 10am to 5pm; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 10am to 8pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Gladesville | 6 Pittwater Rd, Gladesville | Monday, Tuesday Thursday 10am to 8pm; Wednesday, Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- North Ryde | 201 Coxs Rd, North Ryde | Monday, Wednesday Thursday 10am to 8pm; Tuesday, Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday 9.30am to 12pm; Sunday closed.
- Ryde | Top Ryde City Shopping Centre | Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm; Saturday 9.30am to 5pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
- West Ryde | 2 Graf Ave, West Ryde | Monday, Wednesday Friday 10am to 5pm; Tuesday, Thursday 10am to 8pm; Saturday 9.30am to 5pm; Sunday 12pm to 4pm.
Membership of City of Canada Bay Libraries is free and available to all residents of the City of Canada Bay. Non-residents are also eligible to join free of charge. You may borrow up to 40 items at a time, but limits do apply for each type of item. All items may be borrowed for 21 days (three weeks).
- Fines: Adults and young adults will be charged a fine of $2.50 per item for a second overdue notice. The Library does not charge children overdue fines for late items.
- Renewals: Twice
- Reserving: Free
- After Hours Returns: Available at both libraries.
- Concord | 60 Flavelle St, Concord | Monday to Thursday 9.30am-7.30pm; Friday 9.30am-5pm; Saturday 9.30am-4pm; Sunday 1-5pm.
- Five Dock | Level 1, 4-12 Garfield St, Five Dock | Monday to Thursday 9.30am-7.30pm; Friday 9.30am-5pm; Saturday 9.30am-4pm; Sunday 1-5pm.
- The Learning Space at The Connection, Rhodes | 34 Shoreline Dr, Rhodes | Monday to Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday to Sunday 10am-5pm.
Full library membership is available to anyone living in the greater Sydney Metropolitan Area, including the Blue Mountains and Central Coast. You can borrow up to 35 items, for a period of 3 weeks.
- Renewing: Once
- After Hours Returns: Only available at Max Webber, Mount Druitt Hub and Dennis Johnson library branches.
- Dennis Johnson Branch Library | Cnr Stanhope Parkway & Sentry Drive, Stanhope Gardens | Monday to Thursday 9:30am to 7:45pm; Friday 9:30am to 6pm; Saturday 9:30am to 4pm; Sunday 12pm to 4pm.
- Lalor Park | Cnr Freeman Street and Northcott Road, Lalor Park | Monday to Wednesday and Friday 9:30am to 5pm; Thursday 12pm to 7:45pm; Saturday 9:30am to 11:45am; Sunday closed.
- Max Webber Library | Cnr Flushcombe Road & Alpha Street, Blacktown | Monday to Friday 9:30am to 7:45pm; Saturday 9:30am to 4pm; Sunday 12pm to 4pm.
- Our Library @ The Mount Druitt Hub | Ayres Grove, Mt Druitt | Monday to Thursday 9:30am to 7:45pm; Friday 9:30am to 6pm; Saturday 9:30am to 4pm; Sunday 12pm to 4pm.
- Riverstone | 1st Floor, Riverstone Village, cnr Market Street & Riverstone Parade, Riverstone | Monday to Wednesday and Friday 9:30am to 5pm; Thursday 12pm to 7:45pm; Saturday 9:30am to 11:45am; Sunday closed.
Members to the Hills Shire Libraries is free and open to anyone. Members may borrow up to 10 items per membership card.
- Fines: 1st notice $5.50, 2nd notice additional $5.50, 3rd final notice additional $22.50.
- Renewing: Once
- Reserving: $1.60 per item, for collection at the branch of your choice.
- After Hours Returns: Available at all Hills Shire Libraries.
- Baulkham Hills | Railway Street, Baulkham Hills | Monday 10am-8pm; Tuesday to Friday 10am-5:20pm; Saturday 10am-1pm; Sunday Closed.
- Castle Hill | Cnr Castle & Pennant Streets, Castle Hill | Monday to Friday 9:30am-8pm; Saturday 9:30am-5pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm.
- Dural | Pellitt Lane, Dural | Monday to Tuesday 10am-5:20pm | Wednesday 10am-7pm; Thursday to Friday 10am-5:20pm; Saturday 10am-1pm ; Sunday closed.
- Vinegar Hill | 29 Main Street, Rouse Hill Town Centre| Monday to Wednesday 9:30am-6pm; Thursday 9:30am-9pm; Friday 9:30am-6pm; Saturday 9:30am-5pm; Sunday 1pm-5pm.
Membership of Hornsby Shire’s libraries is free and available to everybody. You can borrow up to 20 items, though there are limits on some materials, and most items can be borrowed for 28 days. DVDs and magazines can only be borrowed for 14 days.
- Fines: $0.25 per item per day, up to a maximum of $17.50.
- Renewing: Yes
- Reserving: $2 per item.
- After Hours Returns: There are return chutes at Hornsby and Pennant Hills branches.
- Berowra | Community Centre, The Gully Rd, Berowra | Monday to Thursday 1:30pm to 5:30pm; Friday 10am to 2pm; Saturday 9:30am to 12pm & 1pm to 4pm; Sunday closed.
- Galston | 357 Galston Rd, Galston | Monday to Tuesday 1pm to 5pm; Wednesday closed; Thursday 1pm to 5pm; Friday 10am – 12pm & 1pm – 5pm; Saturday 9:30am to 12 pm; Sunday closed.
- Hornsby | 28-44 George St (Entrance in Hunter Lane), Hornsby | Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm; Saturday 9:30am to 5pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
- Pennant Hills | Cnr. Ramsay & Yarrara Rds, Pennant Hills | Monday to Friday 10am to 9pm; Saturday 10am to 4pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
Membership is free and available to all NSW residents. You can borrow 20 books and/or magazines, 16 DVDs, 8 CDs, 8 Audio books and 4 ESL/language Kits, for 3 weeks at a time. Books can be returned to any library branch but all other items must be returned from the branch you borrowed them from.
- Fines: $0.30 per item per day, up to a maximum of $16.
- Renewing: Twice.
- Reserving: Minimum fee of $2.50 per item.
- Artarmon | 139 Artarmon Rd, Artarmon
- Castle Cove | 8B Deepwater Rd, Castle Cove
- Castlecrag | The Rampart, Castlecrag
- Chatswood | Lower Ground, The Concourse, 409 Victoria Ave, Chatswood | Monday to Thursday 9am to 9pm; Friday 9am to 6pm; Saturday 9am to 5pm; Sunday 2pm to 5pm.
- Naremburn | 7 Central St, Naremburn
- Northbridge | 258 Sailors Bay Rd, Northbridge
- West Chatswood | 565 Mowbray Rd West, Lane Cove North | Monday to Tuesday 2:30pm-5pm; Wednesday 12:30pm-6pm; Thursday to Friday 10am-1pm; Saturday 9:30am-12pm; Sunday closed.
Library Events and Activities
Here is a calendar of kid and family library events, like rhyme time and story time sessions, plus other reading activities taking place in and around the City of Parramatta.
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