I spent a week in Melbourne this month, at the biennial VALA library and technology conference. I heard about Drupal and Joomla!, research data management and digitized archives, mobile technology and Twitter. It was fascinating, but by the end of the conference, I couldn’t wait to get hold of a book – I was really looking forward to relaxing with the soothing weight of a paperback novel in my hands.
Enter the Melbourne Athenaeum Library. It’s a haven in the busy restaurant and shopping precinct of Collins Street, on the first floor of one of Melbourne’s lovely 19th century buildings. They have comfortable leather chairs, coffee and views over the ‘Paris end’ of the city – as well as a fabulous selection of fiction, biography and travel writing. The staff were friendly and welcoming (they’d been to VALA, too, so we had plenty to talk about…)
I love my iPad, but I find it stimulating rather than relaxing. When I wanted to unwind in Melbourne, this lovely and civilized library – as elegant as a private club – was the perfect place to go.
And it was within easy walking distance of Koko Black! What more could a Reading Woman want?