Ipswich Children’s Library review
Ipswich’s Nicholas Street Precinct is undergoing a serious glow-up and the latest addition is the Ipswich Children’s Library. It is the only stand-alone public Children’s Library in Australia and makes for a fantastic addition to your Ipswich day out plans.
The space has been designed and purpose built for children from 0 to 12 years of age.
A library just for kids
The library is an incredibly inviting space, featuring welcoming design and a multitude of fun activities for kids to explore.
As you walk in and approach the main desk your eyes will be drawn upwards to the two incredible sculptures of Plesiosaurs (prehistoric marine reptiles) suspended from the ceiling. They set the tone of fun, whimsy and wonder for the entire library and help to orientate visitors as they move through the shelves and around the large library space.
There are several interactive elements to the space and you should be prepared for the marvel of a library where children will be actively encouraged to touch, explore and engage with their surroundings.
The library features several zones for the kids to explore.
Just past the entry is a series of tubes winding their way up the walls, twisting around each other and across the ceiling. Children can send pieces of colourful fabric zooming along any one of these networks of tubes, following their pathways and catching their piece as it is shot from the tube on the ceiling and floats down to be caught. This section is also home to two large interactive screens and colouring tables, where Brisbane Kids can decorate a fish shape before scanning their fish and then watching it swim around on the screen. There are also several cosy reading nooks situated along a wall in this area.
Beyond this area is another interactive screen where Brisbane Kids will see a mirror-like version of themselves but they will be surrounded by dozens of brightly coloured butterflies. Children will attempt to chase and catch these digital insects, however a true reward occurs when standing still and the butterflies settle on their image.
There is also an interactive gaming touch screen sure to be popular with older kids, which is filled with challenging STEAM-based puzzles to solve and games to play.
Another highlight of the Ipswich Children’s Library is the Reading Tree – a floor to ceiling tree-like structure with a cushioned tunnel that invites kids to crawl inside with a book. This area is surrounded by inviting cushioned seating so even if you don’t get a spot inside the tree itself, there will be a comfortable place to rest and read. The floor to ceiling glass windows here look out onto the Nicholas Street Precinct and the landscaped gardens, letting in lots of natural light but protecting visitors from the elements.
What you will love about the Ipswich Children’s Library
The Ipswich Children’s Library boasts a collection of 35,000 fantastic books and resources especially for kids. The books are sorted into kid-friendly (and helpful to parent) categories such as board books, picture books, graphic novels, early readers, multimedia (DVDs), non-fiction and fiction areas.
The catalogue computers are easy to identify via large find a book signs above them and the catalogues themselves are kid friendly, displaying categories such as dinosaurs and space alongside pictorial cues to help children find books that suit their interests. There is also a standard search function and the keyboards are also child friendly.
This is truly a space designed especially for kids and every detail has been refreshingly considered with them in mind. We imagine this is how a child would design a library; bright and engaging, embracing technology, innovative and educational all packaged up into a marvellous welcoming space.
There is also well appointed parents room on site and there are toilets located in the Children’s Library as well.
While you’re in Ipswich
Why not make a day of it? The Ipswich Children’s Library is just a short walk from Ipswich Art Gallery, which always has something fun and engaging for Brisbane Kids to explore.
The Workshops Rail Museum is also just a short distance away.
Getting to Ipswich Children’s Library
The Library is conveniently located in the heart of the Nicholas Street precinct, directly above the underground car park (ticketed, but, 3 hours of free parking per visit) and is surrounded by public lawns, sculptures and gathering places.
There is metered street parking on weekdays and free street parking on weekends, and Ipswich CBD parking (access from Bremer Street) is directly below the Ipswich Children’s Library and has 3 hours of free parking on weekdays and all day free parking on weekends.
Ipswich Railway Station is also a short walk from Ipswich Children’s Library.
You can find out more about the Ipswich Children’s Library and their resources here