Investment in libraries continues with refurbishment of Wallsend Library ready to begin

19 May 2022

An extensive refurbishment of Wallsend Library will deliver an enhanced experience for library members as part of ongoing significant investment into the city’s library network.

The project, which will kick off next month, is the latest in a program of works that has seen City of Newcastle invest $7 million into libraries during the past five years, with $865,000 allocated in the draft 2022/23 Budget.

It follows other major infrastructure upgrades including the extensive renovation and introduction of OPEN+ technology to facilitate extended community access at Lambton Library, and the establishment of the city’s first Digital Library in Newcastle West. The Digital Library provides access to cutting-edge technology including industrial 3D printers and a podcasting studio.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said libraries play an important role in local communities, which is why City of Newcastle is continuing its significant investment in library infrastructure to ensure the much-loved facilities meet members’ expectations and changing needs.

"With more than 100,000 library members across Newcastle, we know our community values their local libraries, which is why we have allocated around $7 million over five years of capital works programs, including almost $1 million in the 2022/23 draft Budget, to enhance and upgrade these popular community facilities and ensure the collection remains up to date,” Cr Clausen said.

“Wallsend Library hasn't undergone a major renovation since opening in 2006, so it's fantastic to be able to improve the amenity of our largest branch through this current refurbishment project.

"We've listened to member and staff feedback to inform the work, which will provide improved access to technology, the creation of additional spaces including upgraded, private study spaces, a quiet room, along with creative and collaboration areas.

"The refurbishment will prioritise sustainability, collaboration and creativity by delivering an improved library that can cater for vibrant events and programs that celebrate culture, partnerships, inclusion and diversity.”

The project will also deliver enhanced flexibility for multi-use spaces through mobile shelving, lightweight furniture and innovative book displays to allow broader use of Wallsend Library for events and activities.

Wallsend Library will be closed from Monday 6 June to accommodate the work, with the project expected to be completed by the end of July. During the closure period members will be able to access many library services such as reservations, returns, Grab and Go collection and printing from a pop-up service onsite, which will be operating from Tuesday 14 June. Project information and progress updates will be available via the Newcastle Libraries website and newsletters.