Lake Macquarie City Council seeks feedback on draft five-year strategic/business plan for Lake Mac Libraries

OPPORTUNITY: Jacqui Hemsley at Speers Point Library. Picture: Supplied
OPPORTUNITY: Jacqui Hemsley at Speers Point Library. Picture: Supplied

MORISSET Library could be moved, and Wangi Wangi Library would be refurbished under a five-year plan on public exhibition until late next month.

Lake Macquarie City Council said the changes were in response to the shifting needs of the community.

A draft five-year strategic/business plan now on public exhibition calls for Lake Mac Libraries to embrace technology and transform into more active multi-use community facilities.

Libraries would incorporate digital hubs, workshop areas, museum and exhibition spaces under the mooted changes.

Council’s cultural services manager Jacqui Hemsley said eight of the city’s 10 libraries were due for refurbishment.

That provided an opportunity for a significant transformation of the entire service, she said.

Lake Mac Libraries

“This is a very exciting time for Lake Mac Libraries and the people who use them,” Ms Hemsley said.

“The changes outlined in our draft plan will see Lake Mac Libraries expand from a traditional service, based largely on physical loan items to one providing more active and innovative participation programs.”

Under the plan, Wangi Wangi Library would be refurbished to also serve as an arts and culture studio space.

A feasibility study would be undertaken to investigate moving Morisset Library while design and construction of a purpose-built multi-use facility was completed.

Edgeworth Library would move to Cameron Park  Plaza shopping centre to serve that suburb’s burgeoning population, with the new site developed as a library museum.

Similar studies would help shape the future of Charlestown and Speers Point libraries.

MORISSET: Moving?

MORISSET: Moving?

In Windale, a new $6 million building would replace the existing facilities.

The draft plan also cites the need to review library opening hours, following “minimal” changes over the past 20 years.

“Exactly what will change will vary according to the needs of the communities each library serves, but over the next few years we’re likely to see new maker spaces, gallery and exhibition spaces, performances and sound studios, digital hubs, workshop spaces and meeting rooms,” Ms Hemsley said.

The proposed new 500s-square-metre Library Museum at Cameron Park would include a semi-permanent social history and heritage collection – a first for Lake Macquarie.

“Library users in Lake Macquarie borrowed more than one million items in the past financial year,” Ms Hemsley said.

“That’s a fantastic result, but we need to continually improve and innovate to keep the customers we have and attract new ones to our service.”

The five-year strategic/business plan also includes 10 strategic goals, covering everything from supporting literacy, learning and reading in the digital age to celebrating Lake Macquarie’s Indigenous culture.

Hard copies and surveys are available in all Lake Mac Libraries branches. Consultation is open until 24 February.

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