Local libraries are heart of community – Wollongong

For many people, libraries are the heart and soul of the community serving as vital accessible spaces that bring people together.

Wollongong City Council is thinking about what actions could be taken to make libraries places where people can discover, learn, and connect. That’s why community members are being called to share their feedback on the draft Library Strategy 2024-2028.

Here in the Wollongong Local Government Area, there are seven libraries from Helensburgh in the north to Dapto in the south. These facilities serve their community by offering free events and programs, providing access to technology and of course, lending books.

If you’ve been to your local library recently, you will have noticed that it’s changed a lot since the days of catalogue cards and a stamp in a physical book. This is because libraries are evolving spaces.

“Our libraries have adapted to meet the changing needs of our community. Over the years, libraries have become dynamic and contemporary spaces that offer a place to study or catch up with friends, free programs and events, technology, computers, WiFi, and an evolving collection of books, DVDs and CDs.” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“At the same time, the concept of libraries being confined to a physical space has been upended. With a new Library app, and an extensive collection of eAudiobooks, eBooks, online programs, films, and educational resources, it’s now possible to access the library 24/7 so long as you have an internet connection.”

One of the big changes that Council is working towards is the planning of a new community centre and library for the southern suburbs of Wollongong. The new Southern Suburbs Community Centre and Library is a long-term project that will serve the communities of Berkeley, Lake Heights, Cringila, Warrawong, Port Kembla, Primbee and Windang.

The high-quality space will offer a wide range of services and will be inclusive, safe, welcoming, and accessible.

“The Southern Suburbs Community Centre and Library has been a collaborative project that’s relied on extensive engagement with the community. Having seen the success of our other facilities, such as the Thirroul Community Centre & Library, we’re planning the new centre to be a multipurpose space that is accessible, makes the most of lots of natural light and greenery and can be adapted for of a range of different activities,” Cr Bradbery said.

“This is a long-term project, and we’re taking time to make sure we get this right. We’ll share an update with our community soon. For now, stay tuned and get involved in the process of making our libraries a great place to be by looking at the draft Library Strategy and sharing your feedback.

“The draft Strategy provides the framework for us to create a world-class library service. In the Strategy we share the actions and objectives we plan to work towards. Please take the time to look over these actions and let us know if they align with what you want to see prioritised over the next four years.”

Feedback on the draft Library Strategy 2024-2028 closes Sunday 6 August 2023. Visit the Our Wollongong website

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