Going to the Library: Online History Unit


This online History unit has a range of activities to engage NSW school students in Year One and Two on an important part of our daily lives – Going to the Library. Libraries have changed a lot over time, but some important things have stayed the same. This is an accessible topic for kids to understand continuity and change and is a great conversation starter with older generations about changes in our daily lives.

Going to the Library - Online History Unit (Stage One)

Use the questions and images below to prompt discussion around experiences of going to the library. Note: there are no right or wrong responses. Close each discussion with a vote – hands up if you think things have stayed the same? Who thinks it is different?

The Past – e.g.1978

The Present

Who went to the library forty years ago?

Who goes to the library today?

Is this the same or is it different?

What was on the shelves?

What is on the shelves?

Is this the same or is it different?

Did the librarian look friendly?

Do the library staff look friendly?

Is this the same or is it different?

How did you borrow 50 years ago?

How do you borrow?

Is this the same or is it different?

This past exhibition has been added to the digital collection. You will find all images and text from The Children’s Library on the Newcastle Libraries website including great information on local libraries in the past as well as many valuable primary sources for staff and students to explore.

List the steps needed to find and borrow that Library item you really want.  Try first in the present-day library, then think about what you need to do to find and borrow a book in the past (note the video at the top of this page in the 'Video: Going to the Library today, Going to the Library in 1978' section is very helpful with this activity).

Present Day Library

Steps to locate and borrow:




Library from 1978

Steps to locate and borrow:




Which set of steps do you think is easiest? Why?

Design Brief for Students: Why do we have libraries? Why are they still around after such a long time?

You know so much about how libraries have CHANGED and how they have stayed the SAME. You are now in charge of designing a library for the FUTURE!!!

Think about the building – what parts go where?

Imagine what is in the Library -what are people visiting the library for?

Describe the library staff and what work will they do?

Design new technology to help the library get better and better.

Did you know you can book a visit to the library for your class? Call or email to discuss your teaching and learning needs and book in an excursion.

Contact: Louise Riley Library Customer Support Officer, Children and Youth

Email: lriley@ncc.nsw.gov.au

Phone: 02 4985 6681