Blog Archives

The world of May Gibbs

This year’s History Week will be marked with a special talk on May Gibbs in Popular Culture by Alison Wishart at Five Dock Library.

May Gibbs is one of Australia’s most popular and enduring children’s book authors and illustrators. Her picture books have delighted successive generations for over 100 years. She drew her inspiration from her childhood spent visiting the bush south of Perth, and later from her large garden in Sydney’s Neutral Bay and bush walks in the Blue Mountains.

An early environmentalist, she urged her readers to ‘be kind to bush creatures’. This illustrated talk will examine the enduring influence of Gibbs’ artwork and books, her charitable work and how she built her career.

The talk will be at Five Dock Library on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 7pm and is free, although are essential. The talk is proudly presented as part of the History Council of NSW’s Speaker Connect program for History Week 2017 and supported by Create NSW.

The images, above, show an illustration from Gumnut Babies by May Gibbs, 1916 (left) and ‘Souriante’ a self-portrait by May Gibbs, 1923. Images are from the May Gibbs Archive, State Library of NSW © The Northcott Society and Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

The Reader returns

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After ten years in storage, the sculpture The Reader by Bim Hilder is once more on public display.

The sculpture was originally located adjacent to the entrance of the Five Dock Library (now Five Dock Post Office) on Great North Road. Following the relocation of Five Dock Library to its present site, the sculpture was put into storage for safekeeping.

The Reader has been refurbished and positioned close to its original location, near Five Dock Post Office.

It’s appropriate in the week that marks the 75th anniversary of the NSW Library Act, providing free library services to the people of NSW, that The Reader returns.

A tree of memories


A recent addition to the landscape of Concord Library is a ‘tree’ in the cafe area. The leaves of the tree are made up of historical images of the Canada Bay area taken from the library’s digital collection, Canada Bay Connections.

The tree has been created by the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW, which is based at Concord West, and joins other decorative trees made by the guild at the library.

This is, of course, not the first time that the library’s photographic collection has been used creatively as part of a new artwork. Joanne Saad used images from the collection as part of her ‘I remember’ mural in Fred Kelly Place, while David Capra used elements taken from historical documents in the Local Studies collection to create his work ‘Gold Dust and Gemstones’ in the windows at Five Dock Library.

Five Dock Library celebrates

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Five Dock Library is celebrating ten years in its present building.

In the early part of the twentieth century, the first library at the Five Dock School of Arts required an annual subscription to borrow. A free library service was introduced in 1966 when Drummoyne Council adopted the NSW Public Library Act. A new library was built on the site of the Five Dock School of Arts at 106 Great North Road and opened on the 8 December 1966. When the City of Canada Bay was formed in 2000, a new library service was developed to meet changing community needs and the present Five Dock Library was opened on 20 March 2004.

There will be a range of activities at Five Dock Library to mark its ’10th birthday’, including a display which looks back at the changes in library services over the years. Some of the photographs on display can be seen on flickr. The photograph above was taken in 1970 at the old Five Dock Library.