Kempsey’s libraries take a first step into future

The four libraries spread across our shire are making plans for big changes in the future, starting with the redevelopment of Kempsey Library to include a new student space.

Kempsey Shire Council are asking the community to share their thoughts on how our libraries should change and develop in the next five years including ideas for a new South West Rocks Library.

Council has received Public Libraries of NSW funding to refurbish the Kempsey branch including a new technology inspired youth space with study pods, redesigning the children’s area, improving the meeting room and overhauling the disused courtyard area into an inviting outdoor reading and activity space. The community is invited to provide feedback on the plans between now and 17 January at

Work has also begun to develop concept plans and funding options for a new multipurpose library and community hub at South West Rocks. Council wants to hear from the community how this space could best be used, what that it might look like and what services it could provide.

In addition to the broad community engagement, Council will undertake face-to-face engagement and work with key community groups directly to get more detailed feedback in the new year.

Council’s Manager Community Partnerships, Lyndal Harper, said Libraries are changing and strong feedback from the community is vital for creating welcoming, free community spaces.

“Libraries are the hearts of our community, more and more they are becoming shared loungeroom spaces for learning, connecting and relaxing and we want to be sure that the plans we develop are in line with how people want to use these spaces,” said Ms Harper.

“Ideas about the South West Rocks Library and Community space will help us develop concept plans to apply for grants and other funding opportunities and community engagement is immensely helpful to securing those funds.”

The Kempsey and South West Rocks library projects will form part of an overarching five-year plan for Kempsey Shire Libraries. The planning process has begun and you can have your say on our libraries future through the Your Future Libraries page on Council’s engagement hub Your Say Macleay at between now and March.

Exterior of Kempsey LibraryCouncil has received funding to refurbish the Kempsey Branch of the library

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