Lake Macquarie libraries five year plan

BIG PLANS: Lake Macquarie City Council cultural services manager Jacqui Hemsley.
BIG PLANS: Lake Macquarie City Council cultural services manager Jacqui Hemsley.

LAKE Macquarie libraries would be overhauled, and some relocated, under a five-year plan on public exhibition until late next month. 

Lake Macquarie City Council’s plan proposes Edgeworth’s library shift to Cameron Park Plaza shopping centre, a refurbishment of the Wangi Wangi Library and an investigation into the feasibility of moving Morisset Library. 

Similar studies are mooted for Charlestown and Speers Point.

Windale will receive a new $6 million library. 

The plan also suggests opening hours may require review.

Lake Macquarie City Council cultural services manager Jacqui Hemsley said eight of the ten libraries were due for refurbishment, offering a chance to transform the service as a whole. 

“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,” Ms Hemsley said. 

“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.”

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.

- Jacqui Hemsley

The proposed 500-square-metre library at Cameron Park would also accommodate a semi-permanent social history and heritage collection in a first for the city. 

“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 draft plan is open for public comment at shape.lakemac.com.au/libraries-strategy.

Hard copies and surveys are available at all library branches during the consultation period, which runs until February 24.