City Guide: Newcastle Digital Library

Newcastle Digital Library's open floor plan, with a book shelf centerpiece and artistic overhead lights

In this Article


A picture of the children's book case centerpiece surrounded by a lounge area, book shelves, and glass walls

Newcastle’s digital library is one of the many Newcastle Libraries within this beautiful coastal city. However, this one is special – it’s technologically enabled, advanced, and modern – and as a storytelling nerd, I was in awe. 

A Book Lover's Dream

Since I was a little kid, I have always loved reading and exploring with my imagination. My dad always encouraged us to read more and was so proud of us whenever we would let him know we finished a book. We had a mini library at home, and it was quite amazing in itself, but the shelves were filled with Philosophy books and huge law titles that it wasn’t really so much as an imagination space as much as it was a practical one. Growing up, there also weren’t many publicly-backed libraries for us to cultivate this curiosity of books and wonder outside of the classroom or school setting so we had to make do. All that said, now that I’m older, stepping into a place like this makes me feel child-like again and my heart so giddy at the same time. I love spaces that not only are conducive to learning, but ones that encourage and facilitate it.

Lounge area with a guy waiting to be seen by the council

The view as you enter

A long table with computers readily available for people to use

The computer area inside

The council servicing the people who come in

The admin from Newcastle Council

The Best Newcastle Library

Newcastle City has a lot of amazing public libraries to choose from. It’s one of the reasons I love it here – not to mention, some are near the beach, the foreshore, or surrounded by nature and it’s quite amazing to experience. It’s truly one of the reasons I love living here. 

I came across the Digital Library because I was trying to find a good place to work from. I work from home and remotely a lot, so I always look for places easily accessible to people like myself. When I found this place, I genuinely was so happy and couldn’t wait to go – it’s now part of my routine to work from this library at least once a week – it’s one of my happy places 🙂 

A relatively new library, The Newcastle Digital Library opened in 2020 with almost 59,000 Novocastrians going to this location within its first year since opening. The high-end and high-tech facility is located in the new council administration building on Stewart Avenue, with its opening message heavily anchored on having public access to tools required for families, parents, and children to enhance their skills and equip themselves with greater understanding of technology. The Lord Mayor, Nutali Nelmes, stated how COVID-19 and the need to adapt to working and learning from home highlighted and further emphasized the need for these facilities. 

The Digital Story Wall
A big touch screen with physical movie titles around it
Screen with books and grab and go section

Things To Do and See Inside The Digital Library

As I entered the facility, I was immediately comforted by how “un-library” it felt to be there. The room is bright, with high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows giving full access for the beautiful sun to light the place up. The big room has an open floor plan with carefully thought-of sub sections placed beside each other. To your right is the admin concierge who can guide you if you have any local government services needed, and there is a librarian walking around if you need any help with the facility. There is a centerpiece of children’s books and lounge areas you can read at. To your left are dedicated single-seat cubicles where you can spend the day working (they have fast and free wifi!) or reading. There is a gigantic touch screen called the Digital Story Wall, next to the concierge that one can play around with, showcasing the history of Newcastle – and its suburbs – and the different and fascinating information about them. Encapsulating the room are tall shelves containing physical copies of books you can grab and go, as they say. All throughout there are also touch screens which are the smaller versions of the big one, containing information about Newcastle and interactive games. 

The Digital Library has an array of technology spread within its space – there is a dedicated space for computers if you need one, a state-of-the-art podcasting studio, a digital collection of books, Hublets and digital reading tablets, a 3D printer and maker kits you and your children can borrow. However, what caught my eye are definitely these two things: The Magic Box – a technologically advanced reading machine which provides a hands-free way of reading more than 400,000 books, including around 1500 rare ones, and the library Robot (yes, a robot!) named Pepper that asks what you might need, talk to you, and can also dance for/with you if you so wish. What I love even more about this space is that there is also a readily accessible collection of popular physical movies that you can also grab and go if it’s there – so convenient! 

Newcastle's Digital Library's White Robot Assistant, Pepper

© Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Gray and white individual cubicles
Newcastle's Digital Library's White Robot Assistant, Pepper

Involve the children in the process as well

Computer station
Newcastle's Digital Library's White Robot Assistant, Pepper

Child Friendly, toxic-free cleaner.

Touch screen with interactive play
Colourful Digital Story Wall
Podcasting room with TV, green screen, two mics and some technology
Two podcasting mics in the room
Bookshelf and cubicles

Should you go here?

Yes! It’s a must-visit when you’re here, either as a local or as a visitor. It’s such a fun, vibrant, and interactive way of learning and reading – great for families, children, or if you want a place to work or hang out in. It’s so easy to feel inspired when you’re surrounded by beautiful stories, and the Newcastle Digital Library can certainly give you that feeling.

grey and white cubicle with orange pillow

Digital Library Cubicle

Bookshelf with children's books and maker kits

Bookshelf with maker kits and children’s books

Lounge area with grey couches inside library

Lounge area inside the library

Newcastle Digital Library Hours


📍Level 1, City of Newcastle Central Administration Centre. 12 Stewart Avenue, Newcastle West, 2302

🕛 Open from Monday – Friday, 8.30 AM – 5 PM  

📞 02 4974 5300

👋 If you’re enjoying what you’re reading, you might enjoy my previous weekly roundup of recommendations and this review of one of Newcastle’s most beloved Thai restaurants. I’m so grateful you’re here!

Pin to board
Share on facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I think you would like: