New libraries at Bega Valley, Rockdale and Speers Point

Clockwise from top: Tura Marrang Library and Community Centre, Rockdale Library and Speers Point Library

Clockwise from top: Tura Marrang Library and Community Centre, Rockdale Library and Speers Point Library

The Bega Valley officially opened the new Tura Marrang Library and Community Centre on 25 June. Opened by Mayor Michael Britten, State Librarian Dr Alex Byrne and The Hon. Andrew Constance, Member for Bega, the event was a resounding success with 1,125 people attending.  What was once a dark inward looking tavern is now a light, bright, dynamic community asset.  In its first month, the library has welcomed 295 new members, welcomed back 367 old members, loaned 7,166 items and had 8,033 visitors.  The dedication shown by staff to see this space serve the community is at the heart of this project’s success. The space also provides a number of places for meetings and gatherings.  Members can access a full range of library services, including free WiFi and computer access, a variety of reading and study spaces, kids and youth zones and an exciting range of programs.

By Cassandra Margules, Coordinator, Customer and Library Services, Bega Valley Shire Library

The new Rockdale Library opened its doors to the community on 30 July.  Our new library was first proposed 32 years ago, and even though it took that long to build, everyone agrees it was worth the wait.  The new library is a place where the community can explore, learn, discover and play. Our Children's Forest is a place where kids can crawl into nooks and read or be read to. Our interactive local history space enables our community to explore its history with touch table technology. Our self check technology enables our staff to spend more time assisting our community with enquires at our Info Zone and roving throughout the library.  In our first week of opening we had over 9,000 visits and 5,800 loans. A testament to the ongoing relevance of public libraries and proof that new libraries activate public spaces and communities.

By Paula Pfoeffer, Coordinator Library Services, Rockdale City Library and Community Info Service

Lake Mac Libraries celebrated the opening of the recently renovated Speers Point Library on 28 July.  NSW State Librarian, Dr Alex Byrne, joined Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Jodie Harrison, to mark the special occasion. Over the last four months the branch has undergone significant refurbishment to create a whole new look, feel and function.  Significant changes include the relocation of the Community History section to the front of the library, greatly improving access to important community resources, and a layout that provides reading areas and spaces for engagement, and programming opportunities. The refurbishment was funded by the State Library NSW Public Infrastructure Grant and Lake Macquarie City Council. 

Gillian Wilson, Marketing Officer, Lake Macquarie City Library

This post also featured in the Spring 2016 issue of In the Libraries enewsletter.