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Don't Say "Shush"

Loud At The Library started as an initiative to support local artists, by providing a venue to play live.

Every Friday lunchtime the Darwin City and Casuarina Libraries come alive, as local artists create a vibrant atmosphere in a space that is no longer somewhere customers have to be quiet, but a community hub for all kinds of events and activities. 

Musician Anna Boustead has been playing gigs as part of Loud at the Library for many years. She says it felt strange at first, having not entered a library “since the days when we were told we had to be quiet at all times.”

“But libraries these days are dynamic, open and interesting places. At lunchtime on a Friday they are full of young families, seniors, teenagers, carers, people on their lunch break – and sleep-deprived new mothers with babies in tow, of which I am now one!”

She says that breaking the silence with her guitar and voice was daunting, but she now really enjoys the opportunity to play in such an intimate setting. 

“It is a great place to test new ma-terial, as you can read the audience and get true feedback on your songs. I also like to throw in a few covers. People don’t feel intimi-dated to talk to me or buy a CD like they might do when you are playing on a stage. My biggest fans are often the babies, who seem drawn to the rhythmic songs in particular. My next challenge is to write some children’s songs, to complement the daily mantras I sing to my daughter, who is working up her percussion skills on the rattle.”

Singer-songwriter David Garnham echoes these sentiments.

“As a performer it’s great to play at the library, as you can reach people in the community that might not be able to make it to night time gigs because of young kids, or a lack of transport. And it’s the closest I ever feel to being a badass – because traditionally, who in their wildest dreams would have imagined being allowed to make a racket in the library?”

Stacey Rosser is the Projects Officer for City of Darwin Libraries, and she believes that Loud at the Library is a wonderful way to enjoy local music – while reacquainting yourself with the public library service.

“The crowd is varied, we have people who come along specifically to see the music and those that continue with their activities but also enjoy the atmosphere.

“If you haven’t looked inside a  public library recently, you might be surprised what you discover when you do.”

Every Fri | 12-1pm | Casuarina & City Libraries

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