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Libraries: the healing house of the soul

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By Genevieve Waldie

Written 4000 years ago, the inscription at Thebes, in Greece, is still relevant to the Brisbane City Council Library network. There are 33 libraries across the city with plenty to fire your mind and soothe your soul. 

Whether you need to cool down and relax in the air-conditioning or challenge yourself with workshops and classes, the libraries have it all … (not to mention free wifi).

Popular free weekly programs for the very young and the mature readers include baby and toddler story-time and Harry Potter Night, to tech time for seniors, covering computer, smartphone and social media skills.

In the community meeting rooms, groups are crafting, such as the Northside Knitters, while the others are making new friends and network while they improve their English language skills.

Bookclubs are for all tastes: kids, Queer, Blokey as well as mangas and graphic novel. These groups range from the thought-provoking Reading for Reconciliation group to the chilled out Coffee and Chat bookclub.

Or listen to your favourite authors discuss their books at literary events held across Brisbane each week. Upcoming author events feature former PM Malcolm Turnbull, Educator Paul Browning and journalist Frances Whiting. 

If you’re looking for a new hobby or to brush up skills, the library offers an extensive range of free workshops on organic veggie gardening, beekeeping, recycling and composting, and even CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) skills led by Queensland Ambulance Services.

In case you have shoeboxes full of old photos but no idea who the people are in them, attend a workshop to help you identify and date your old photos. Learn how to care for your family treasures – including handling and storage as well as digitisation and repair. Once you’ve identified Auntie Margaret, you can learn more using the libraries ancestry and genealogy research tips and historical resources.

For night owls the Brisbane Square library stays up late (until midnight on Wednesday and Friday nights) with a silent disco, amateur art nights and film club. 

If after all that, you just need to lie down with a good book, there are 1.4 million items in the permanent collection including magazines, large print and graphic novels, e-books and a large range of e-audiobooks music and film to stream in the comfort of your own home.

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