YPRL has such a wide range of services, items and events to offer outside of the typical books that most people may think of when “public library” is invoked. If you're not sure what to start exploring outside of the typical services that your library has to offer, then look no further, we’ve got you covered. Ensure you're really getting the most out of your membership by exploring a new hobby, learning something new, and having fun meeting new people along the way!
Be sure to hit the YPRL Library bingo and explore all that your local branch has to offer!
Food Swap and Community Gardens
Diamond Valley Library has a regularly occurring event for people to share their homegrown produce with other like-minded community gardening enthusiasts. Have you grown too much of something in your garden and don’t want it to go to waste? It’s likely someone else has done the same thing and would be happy to swap produce with you!
Diamond Valley also has regular Community or Toddler Gardening hours for you to get your hands dirty and learn more about how to grow, harvest and plant your own produce. If Diamond Valley is too far away for you, Watsonia Library also has a regularly occurring Garden Group where you can make friends, share tips and help to maintain the community garden at this library.
Libraries After Dark
You may not think that your local public library could be a place of bustling activity after dark, but there are so many amazing events running in the evenings at YPRL that are the perfect alternative for the usual night in. They are also an amazing way to feel connected and engaged with your community. These events range from Games Nights, Line Dancing lessons, Minecraft evenings, Meditation sessions, Paranormal Discussions, Open Mic nights, information sessions and workshops to learn a new craft or skill. And that's just to name a few!
To look out for these events, you can always ask a staff member in the branch, or simply browse our Libraries After Dark events page to see what's running in the evenings.
Maker Space Equipment
Have you explored your local libraries Maker Space yet? If not, this is your sign!
Here’s a quick run-down of the amazing Maker Spaces to start exploring:
Create jewellery, signage, and decorative objects with the Lazer Cutter. Or even make models, phone cases and much more with the 3D printer at the Design Maker Space at Ivanhoe Library and Cultural Hub.
Beat your writer's block by engaging with individuals and community groups to produce personal and collaborative writing projects. You’ll find laptops, iPads, a typewriter and a quiet reading room all at the Write & Publish Maker Space at Watsonia Library.
Get your hands dirty and discover how to grow, care for, and harvest plants during regular activities run for both kids and adults at the Garden Maker Space at Diamond Valley Library.
Learn how to mend clothes, sew, knit, print designs onto fabric and much more at the Textile & Craft Maker Space at Thomastown Library.
Learn a Language
Our language groups welcome everyone from beginners to experts in whatever language group they are attending. Learning a language doesn’t have to be daunting, it can be having a simple, fun conversation with other eager community members all working together to improve their skills and knowledge.
With programs such as the Language Café running across our Lalor and Mill Park branches, Practical English for Chinese speakers at Ivanhoe, along with the Spanish Conversation and the Auslan Conversation groups regularly at Watsonia Library, there’s plenty to explore! You can filter our Events Page by category to just show “Language Learning” to explore the dates and times for these groups.
Workshops are an excellent way to learn a new specialized skill for free, without having to provide any of your own materials! Everything will usually be provided; you just need to bring yourself, your enthusiasm to learn something new, or even your own specialized skills and knowledge to help teach others something new.
Our workshops vary from learning how to ferment your own foods, candle making, garden care, meditation, wood etching and much more. All our workshops are advertised through our Events page on our website, or within the branches that are hosting the event.
Video Games and Board Games
If you’re experiencing a lull in your workload or study that you’re trying to tackle at the library, there’s no better way to take a short break and really reset your mind than having a quick fun game with a friend. YPRL offers a range of board games to use for free within our branches, from Scrabble to Chess to Uno, these games are an excellent way to spend some downtime at your local branch. There is even a PS4 and Nintendo Switch available to play within the library at our Ivanhoe branch, just ask our friendly staff members how you can play!
By far one of the more unusual services that people may be surprised YPRL has to offer is our venue hire services! YPRL has a lot of excellent, accessible, and tech-equipped spaces perfect for people looking to host their clubs, meetings, not-for-profits, and business endeavours! Just check out the Venue Hire page on our website to explore what we have to offer.
Download the App
If you’re feeling tech savvy and are used to having all your cards and memberships stored digitally, then our app is an excellent resource to streamline access to your public libraries catalogue. The YPRL App also allows you to update personal account details, and monitor loans, holds and renewals all from your phone! Keep up to date with events, track your borrowing, and even scan books outside of the library to see if we have them in our catalogue through our app, simply search ‘Yarra Plenty Regional Library’ via the App Store or Google Play.