Library upgrades part of wider strategy

Following on from the successful development of the new City Library and Museum, Shellharbour Council is embarking a renewal program for the city’s branch libraries.

The program is outlined in Council’s Libraries & Museum strategy 2024, which was designed to provide direction on the future of the city’s libraries.

Shaped by an extensive consultation process, the strategy aims to ensure all of Council’s libraries are flexible, responsive, and meet the needs of the community. Extensive community engagement and best-practice provided were used to prepare recommendations for each branch library. 

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said Council was committed to making sure everyone in the community had access to libraries and museums, as well as opportunities to connect, discover and enjoy a world of learning.

“Our libraries are important community spaces and places for people to interact – our community living rooms,” Cr Saliba said. 

“We’re living in an exciting time for libraries and the communities they serve. All over the world libraries continue to evolve, becoming active community hubs for lifelong learning, connecting with others, and accessing resources and technology. 

Cr Saliba said the new City Library at the Civic Centre was integral to the success of revitalising branch libraries and maximising investment in them.

“The community, Councillors and staff have strongly expressed the view that branch libraries will remain an essential part of the community,” Cr Saliba said.

The DA has been approved for a new Warilla Library at Warilla. The tender for construction went out at the start of September. The purpose-built building will progress during 2019 to provide 790 square metres of space.

Oak Flats
An architect was recently engaged to develop plans for a refurbishment which will involve an altered entrance and a more flexible layout that will improve accessibility. Interior flexibility to help future-proof the library and provide spaces for activities, programs and technology.

Shellharbour Village
Shellharbour Village Library will be relocated to The Waterfront, Shell Cove, co-located with other community facilities and visitors centre.

The new library will be almost 10 times the size of the current Shellharbour Village Library in order to meet the library needs of projected population growth.

The library’s home service will be expanded to provide for the needs of ageing residents of the Village. Shellharbour Village Library was built as a baby health centre in 1961 before being internally redesigned as a library in 1996.

At 65 square metres, it is only 34% of the minimum recommended size of 190 square metres for any branch library and about 12% of the 580 square metres recommended for the projected population of the catchment in 2018. 

Albion Park
Expansion of Albion Park Library is planned for 2023. In the meantime, residents will notice some improvements at the library including recent re-carpeting and lighting upgrade.

The extension will be part of the master-planning of the entire precinct to provide shared benefits with other community buildings and improve functionality of services operating in this location. 

Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 0448 361 008.