The next time you’re around the Queen Victoria Market precinct, don’t forget to check out the brand new public library. This three-level venue has a collection of over 30,000 new books, as well as contemporary Indigenous artworks and a suite of family health and wellbeing services. narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services is now open for you to visit. You’ll find it on the corner of Queen and Therry streets, opposite Queen Victoria Market.
narrm ngarrgu Library and Family Services
The name ‘narrm ngarrgu’ is a Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung word meaning ‘Melbourne Knowledge’. It is the first space of its kind dedicated to sharing the wisdom and voice of the Kulin people.
The library operates over three levels, and includes a dedicated children’s library, reading rooms, bookable meeting rooms and computer areas. If you’re a creative person, you’ll get plenty of things done in the Makerspace, which features sewing machines, 3D printers, laser cutters and paint booths. There’s also sound studios for podcasting and recording. Head outside to the large, 960m² outdoor terrace, which as an outdoor play area, native plants and more recreational spaces.
Throughout the library, you’ll find culturally-significant immersive works by artist Maree Clark, a Mutti Mutti, Yorta Yorta, Boon Wurrung and Wemba Wemba woman. Created in collaboration with artist Hillary Jackson and creatives from Artery Cooperative, these artworks tell a First Nations story about the history of the site.
See a six-metre-long eel trap tunnel on the terrace, coloured lenticular prints to represent the Kulin seasons, carpet designed with Wurrundjeri plants and animals and more.
“I wanted to create and integrate pieces that reflect the Kulin Nation culture and knowledge that have always been here – giving anyone who walks into the building a chance to connect in a playful and thoughtful way,” said Clarke.
You’ll also find a collection of over 70 contemporary artworks and heritage items displayed throughout the library.
There’s a family services centre on level three, which has plenty to offer, like maternal and child health services, a parent room, playgroup area, family counselling and more.