MELBOURNE, 30 January 2022: I was attending the AIII Australia Day & India’s Independence Day event at Harmony Square, Dandenong (South-East suburbs), when I noticed the Dandenong Library there run by the Dandenong Council. I was in after the Covid protocols entering a massive (two stories) center of knowledge. Little did I know this library is so rich in culture, music, and books in many languages. I started walking around amid the beautifully laid out book racks and the computer systems that manage the place.
The places where you could pursue your intellectual interests by reading them themselves or getting issued heaps of books to take home. A fellow was taking home books in the Singhalese language. It made me curious about other language books there. I asked the library staff about the Hindi section and they directed me to the first floor. Once there I could see so many Hindi books and magazines.
In the digital age, it was heartening to see so many hard copies and realised I had reached a gold mine, where many of Melbourne’s Hindi enthusiasts could lend books from. And, many who just talk about promoting Hindi and do nothing, could see for themselves how non-English languages are respected in Victoria and Australia. One just has to be there.
Apart from Hindi, I could locate racks with Urdu, Punjabi, Singalese among others. As I was engrossed in my library visit, the sound of Hindi music could be heard from the Harmony Square event. Dandenong is one of the most diverse and multicultural in Victoria and Australia. The Dandenong library reflects this ethos. A detailed report is needed on the sort of non-English stuff in this library. I and sure that will happen soon.
The Dandenong Library is situated at 225 Lonsdale St, Dandenong. Check days, timings, etc. – https://www-test.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au/council-venues/dandenong-library
The library can be accessed online 24/7 and one can become a member online at https://www.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au/libraries. Library members can access their account and more via the Libraries Victoria mobile app (Go to the site).