Paddington Library celebrates 130 years

In This Section
Librarians Corinna Pierce and Kerry Anne Prideaux celebrate 130 years of Paddington Library

Librarians Corinna Pierce and Kerry Anne Prideaux celebrate 130 years of Paddington Library

    Library; Local history; Things to do; Paddington

Published 10 May 2022

Book in to help us celebrate a significant milestone as Paddington Library is turning 130.

Library and community members are invited to a special birthday event on Sunday 15 May, featuring a kids’ scavenger hunt, live music, 3D printing demonstration, robotics and VR experiences, local history activities and information and CAKE!

The local landmark and beloved community hub, in operation since 11 May 1892 as the then-Paddington Free Public Library, was the first of its kind in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

Located at Paddington Town Hall on Oxford Street, Paddington, the library has been operating as a joint service between Woollahra Council and City of Sydney Council since 2003.

Take a trip into the past with our dedicated section - Paddington Library - sparking curiosity for 130 years - packed with fascinating anecdotes and learn more about the characters and architecture that brought Paddington Library to life.

Paddington Library has more than 5,000 active members, and lends out more than 120,000 items each year to the community, hosts children’s programs including the popular ‘rhyme time’, book clubs, author talks, tech sessions for seniors and a wide range of other community events.

Bringing people together

Jody Rodas, Manager Woollahra Libraries said: “Paddington Library has been through lots of changes over the past 130 years. Despite changes to our services and technological advances, libraries still play an important role in bringing people together.

“Many of our Paddington Library members are like family – we know their names and they know ours and it’s a very personal connection. We’ve watched toddlers move from story time to study time and beyond and we are very proud of the service and care we provide.”

Community wellbeing

Woollahra Mayor Susan Wynne said a resurgence in visitors to the library following its necessary closure during COVID-19 lockdowns is testament to the esteem in which the library is held by the local community.

“Our community love our libraries and what they offer,” Mayor Wynne said.

“Libraries are so important in feeding our imagination and providing opportunities for learning and creativity, and always play a crucial role in helping with community wellbeing through provision of resources and events. That was even more evident in community engagement with the online services and activities offered during the pandemic.

“Our Library staff personally rang our most vulnerable community members, offering them support and checking if they were OK, they helped people find vital health information and provided entertainment with a huge range of online books, magazines and movies and importantly, were able to provide some human contact at a time when many felt isolated.

“It has been great to see so many people coming back to visit in person – we want to thank you for your support, so please come and celebrate this wonderful milestone with us!”

Join in the birthday party fun

Paddington Library’s 130th Birthday Party is a free event and will run from 10am - 4pm, Sunday 15 May at Paddington Library, 247 Oxford Street, Paddington. For more information, visit our website or contact library staff on 9391 7988 or at: library@woollahra.nsw.gov.au.

Paddington Library - Sparking Curiosity for 130 Years

Take a trip into the past with our dedicated section - Paddington Library - sparking curiosity for 130 years - packed with fascinating anecdotes and learn more about the characters and architecture that brought Paddington Library to life.

More information

Paddington is one of three libraries located in the Woollahra Municipality, along with Woollahra Library at Double Bay and Watsons Bay Library.

For more information on Woollahra Libraries and to access online resources, visit: www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/library. For news on services and upcoming events, visit Woollahra Libraries on Facebook and Instagram, or subscribe to the Woollahra Libraries e-newsletter.

Browse more articles

    Library; Local history; Things to do; Paddington

Woollahra News e-newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter Woollahra News and get updates delivered straight to your inbox.