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What do you want to see in our new library?

about 5 years ago
This online discussion forum has concluded. You can still browse the site but the discussion area will no longer accept new comments or votes.
Prue-Community Engagement Team about 5 years ago
Lots of books
rlwalters about 5 years ago
This library will be around for a long time. In that time the whole concept of books and libraries in our society is likely to change dramatically. Anything built now should carefully consider what likely future scenarios might bring. A well designed facility will serve the community well and help us all to make the most of the changes in society. A poorly designed facility will just maintain the status quo and will end up being a place where old books are stored - a neglected curiosity.

To cater for this unknown and uncertain future, two things should be done:
1. With the community and information experts, map out a range of possible future scenarios and use these as a basis for the design specification.
2. Whatever is designed should incorporate a high degree of adaptability so that the facility can be easily modifed in future as the needs of society and our community change.

Some thought provokers:
In the future, will we need text based books much at all? Access to e-books and readers may be far more important and the 'library' could facilitate this (both at the library and on-line).
Graphic based books may still serve an important role, for children to intoduce them to books and where images cannot be conveyed effectively over the internet.
Meeting, and sharing information and ideas will become a far more important function of libraries than just having information to read. For this, equipment will be needed that help people to share information in new and creative ways e.g. projectors and large screen displays, 3D and virtual displays.
Access to a wider range of information will also become important. Think way beyond the bounds of the current council library system.
Maybe the term 'library' will disappear?
Prue-Community Engagement Team about 5 years ago
Thanks for your ideas. The draft accommodation schedule is definitely looking at adaptable / flexible uses of space (have a look at it in the library section of the page). But I think it's are really interesting idea to more actively look at future scenarios in the consultation process. I'll keep that in mind when designing the up coming consultations. Thanks
rlwalters about 5 years ago
Thanks for your response and good to hear that some aspects are being considered. I'd also suggest that adaptability in buildings is more than adaptable spaces (although this is vital). It needs to look at adaptable structures, fittings and materials. For example, removable and reusable floors, walls and shelves so that we move away from the idea of demolish and rebuild and move towards disassemble and rearrange, which is easier, cheaper and has far less environmental and social impact.
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
"Maybe the term 'library' will disappear?" I blooming well hope not!

Look at any daily newspaper. The word "library" is currently in constant use more frequently than ever before. One thing it no longer means is "a dusty repository of books, guarded by frowsty middle-aged ladies wearing sensible shoes". !
tracka about 5 years ago
I'd really like to see a variety of spaces. Room for activities like story telling and baby rhyme time to occur whilst still allowing other library uses to access the space. Offer talks and activities for all ages groups. In particular it would be great if there was a space where mums could watch their kids play whilst mums had the opportunity to engage in a class or talk. I have always found the library a retreat space to go relax, pick up a book and let my daughter browse the shelves. To the point that she has had a temper tantrum on days when we need to walk past. What a great thing that she sees it as a place she wants to be! It should be creative and inspiring but provide mostly areas of quiet to read and study and think. It should have natural light and be spacious and for this reason I think it should be modern reflecting on our current times. People should know when they walk past that it is a library and not just an old government building. Please don't use that revolting baby blue colour that is prominent in all police stations, hospitals and retirement villages. Aim for the highest green building design possible with visible information about how the building functions- this is something I really wish had happened with Enmore pool. We are very excited about a new library.
Prue-Community Engagement Team about 5 years ago
The librarians had also pegged that there needed to be better designs for allowing parents to participate - whilst having kids actively involved - thanks for that. Also agree that it's important to communicate the sustainability features of the new building. Just to let you know - Council has agreed to build a 6 Green Star rated, environmentally friendly building - which is fantastic...and we need to let the community know.
Many thanks
Trish about 5 years ago
I think it's great to have activities for children and spaces for talks but I think it's still very important that the library is able to provide quiet areas where students of all ages and other patrons are able to study/research in a quiet area. I hope this is reflected in the library plans.
ElaenaG about 5 years ago
I'd like to see space dedicated to knowledge whatever form that might be. To me that means flexible spaces that can be used by various groups/communities to share information and knowledge.
Prue-Community Engagement Team about 5 years ago
You may be interested in Living Libraries:
It's a novel way of exchanging information that has been used in Swedish libraries.
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
Hardly novel. It's a mainstream way in many places.
Mr MS about 5 years ago
Have more large print books for the ageing baby boomers. Have the new technologies buy allow time to explain them or have classes older people can attend to find out about them.
Mike almost 5 years ago
For many older readers, having e-readers is a better solution that stocking large-print editions as you can adjust the print size on *any* title.

The prices on these are falling even faster than for technologies like calculators, digital cameras etc and will be nearly give-away items before long.

It may be more practical & cost-effective for the library to subsidise/loan such devices than to manage physical stock in duplicate editions.
Max about 5 years ago
With iPads and kindles etc, the future of the book is changing.

The ability to access library subscriptions and download articles or books should be looked into.

Less room planned for multiple shelves stacked with books. More room for reading or studying or working with electronic devices.

The library may become a place for study or for work away from the office.

Access to computer terminals, specialist software like video editing suites and Adobe Creative suites.

Carbon neutral. Good relationship with the site and the heritage buildings. Inviting for the public to wander in.

Small community meeting rooms, perhaps with teleconferencing technology.
Mike almost 5 years ago
There's a lot of subscription services for research materials, multimedia, genealogical resources that could be served well in a local library. If you're doing ad-hoc research the cost of individual memberships is prohibitive.

I'm also conscious of how rents are driving a lot of bookshops (new and used) out of business. These places have a valuable social place for social creatures who aren't satisfied with just downloading their entertainment. Even in Seattle, Jeff Bezos of Amazon was commonly seen going to great bookstores like Elliott Bay for an experience that can't be replicated online. Going to buy media (books, art, music, video) is rather different than buying clothes or food, and the loss of the "vibe" of such places is a loss to the community. The idea of the "third place" (which has been developed well in Seattle bookstores) to be not just pubs and bar, but book-oriented places is one that should be cherished by librarians. Bring authors (local or not) in to do readings - does this ever happen in Marrickville? No idea if that happens even after 20 years living there as it's certainly not promoted by the council.

I would even support larger library buildings having areas for private booksellers to operate. Make them real hubs for ideas.
Mr DM about 5 years ago
I'd really like a study / research space that's designed for quiet concentration and more isolated from the general open space. Most people have computers at home, but the library is a place I go to hide and get away from distractions (e.g. when preparing for an exam or cramming a tough assignment). I don't think most people would want an entire silent library - but I think having a least one silent space is essential for a good library.
Mr DM about 5 years ago
Free fast Wifi. (802.11n/5GHz & 802.11g/2.4GHz)
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
More, much more, of what's already established.
Flexibility and space to allow for future needs and developments in technology.
More stack space for books not currently in high demand, to avoid the current neccessity to discard rapidly.
Historical/Local collection to be housed more appropriately.
Reference collection given a dedicated space.
Community meeting rooms.
Space for quiet reading/study.
Meditation space.
More car parking, bike bays.
Close access to child minding, gym, coffee lounge, bookshop, newsagent.
Library of tools and equipment (lawn mowers, electric drills, floor polishers, etc.)
Much larger collection of AV and IT materials.
Comprehensive collection of car manuals.
Interstate and international daily newspapers - maybe on line, but easily accessed by the technologically ignorant.
Staff in a trendy, recognisable uniform.
Lockers for your belongings if you want to spend time without lugging your shopping around.
Increased accessibility for the disabled - wider aisles, wheelchair friendly desks, no books shelved below knee-height.
Decent lighting. Buildings that are filled with light.
Accessible, wheelchair-friendly toilets/washrooms.
Baby changing and nursing room.
More readers' advisors on duty at desk and roaming.
Storytelling for and by older adults.
More attention to gaps in the collection. Stock editing should be pro-active, not re-active.
Adult literacy collection.
Maintenance, development and extension of the branch library network. Why is there no library in Petersham?
Reduction in fees for inter-library loans.
Larger, more diverse collections of materials in languages other than English.
Retention/purchase of classic materials, especially classic fiction.
Skweekah about 5 years ago
I agree with Reduction in fees for inter-library loans. What on earth are they thinking??? ATTN GM! Lower or remove this fee!!! You will not make any money doing this as the service will cease to be used! It is common sense!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
Thank you Skweekah. I was faced with a $15 fee for an ILL from the library of a neighbouring municipality just this week. I am fortunate to be able to just go to the neighbouring library, join, and reserve the item for $1.50. However, many elders and disabled persons do not have that option.
Skweekah about 5 years ago
Yeah Phil. This charge is ludicrous. What next, charging for membership? Charging for 'free' wifi? Charging to use a word processor?
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
It's not very long ago that municipalities with adequate libraries refused membership to residents of neighbouring municipalities who had inadequate provision. I don't think we want to return to that scenario.
Trish about 5 years ago
What do you mean library of tools (lawn mowers, electrical drills, floor polishers) It's a library, not bunnings hire centre!!
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
There are many of us who have not the means to get to Bunnings. (Have you ever tried to get a lawn mower onto a bus?) (Have you ever tried to hire a sewing machine for a two-hour job in the afternoon?)

The great library visionary and organiser, Melville Dewey, allowed for "realia" in his classification system, with subject entries like garden tools, butter churns, lighting and household ornaments.

I agree that it's a pretty "out there" idea. It was, however, pioneered in Australia by the Fitzroy City Library in Melbourne, with very great success. A reasonable fee was charged (waived for pensioners), and a refundable deposit or surrender of your library card was neccessary. I cannot see that Marrickville library should not be a pioneer of new ideas.

I can remember when storytimes for children were treated with derision: "It's a library, not a kindergarten!!"
Trish about 5 years ago
Sorry, I don't think it's an 'out there' idea. Council libraries are already struggling for funds, they don't need to be buying equipment so that people can sew their trousers or dig up their gardens. I'm not sure what Fitzroy library you are talking about, because the Fitzory City library in Melbourne does not lend tools. Also, I remember storytime at my library forty years ago, so I'm not sure what you mean when libraries treated storytime for children with derision.
Just out of curiosity, where would a library store all this equipment?
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
I'm sorry, I thought this was supposed to be a discussion, I don't wish to argue. But I think we should all think outside the box on this issue.

Fitzroy City Library's tool library possibly did not survive the Kennett years. It's City Council certainly didn't.

I remember no storytimes at my public library 50 years ago, but I do remember my Mother (a municipal councillor at the time) coming home in tears after debating the issue at Town Hall.

A library should be build with sufficient provision to store all its materials.
Mike almost 5 years ago
This seems more like something that could be handled by the Community Centre on Marrickville Road, either by providing tools-on-loan or rooms in which sewing machines are available.

The only problem of course is distribution across a suburb as huge as Marrickville. If the council provided its own local-loop bus services it would help with people trying to get around and do things that don't involve buses built only for humans. Having spent a lot of time in Europe where people have urban transport systems that allow them to get around with their pets (even to get them to the vets), large shopping items (or moving a lawn mower) without a personal vehicle I have a lot of sympathy for this. Sydney's transport is built for simple commutes, not for supporting all the reasons that people are mobile.
Philip Sydenham almost 5 years ago
Is there a Community Centre on Marrickville Road?

The local bus service which could accomodate pets and large luggage is an excellent idea!
Mike almost 5 years ago
Sorry I meant to say Addison Road, not Marrickville Road.

I've suggested having local loop buses to the Council before, partly in response to the issue of people dumping shopping trolleys from Marrickville Metro in our parks and side streets. However there are many more reasons that people have for being mobile in urban areas that need better equipped buses and trains. People can get around London and Paris with large items without the burden of a car that Greater Sydney requires.
library about 5 years ago
Spacious design - lots of quiet spaces to sit and read
Easy access to all elements of the library collection (books, DVDs periodicals etc)
Flexible large & small meeting / group rooms, including large auditorium available for community meetings, workshops etc
Activities & services which attract & engage all ages (children, adolescents, adults & the elderly) and indiiduals and groups within the commnity (Aboriginal community members, CALD community, young & old)
Beck* about 5 years ago
I'd really like to see a museum/heritage space for exhibitions. I'm NOT saying the council needs to incorporate a museum and collection within the library....I'd like to see a proper museum developed in the future.....hmmmm I thought I heard that's what the old Town Hall was supposed to be?? What is going on in there??? Big fence, no access????
Anyways, I'd like to see space for historical displays that could tell the story of M'ville based on research done locally and perhaps even the odd travelling exhibition that places like Leichhardt have incorporated from time to time. I saw a great one about milk bars and old cafes some time back over there.

Council has enough council run galleries and art spaces....we need more of the other type of exhibition.....please.
And then we can get to a proper museum space when you get this project done and dusted!
Prue-Community Engagement Team about 5 years ago
No decisions have been made yet about the old library site. Once we have received feedback from our community and have a good idea of what services will be transferring to the new library, then we'll look at the old library and make some decisions about what the community and Council would like to see in the old library building. cheers
Beck* about 5 years ago
Thanks for that....but comment was about The Old Town Hall in Illawarra Rd....the original Town Hall. I don't expect any plans for the old Library for a long time to come!!! That would be a touch demanding at this point in time!
Prue-Community Engagement Team about 5 years ago
Oops sorry - my mistake!
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
The old, Illawarra Rd, Town Hall is no longer council property. The plans are, I believe, for a Greek community Centre
mniko about 5 years ago
As I librarian myself, I would highly recommend designers/council staff see the high level/cutting edge services offered by the Library of Melbourne Library,
Like many suggestion offered on this forum they offer a variety of space options from small individual semi open rooms/study (1/2 glassed non closing door) to large conference room projectors/kitchenette etc to multi playstation/wii Nintendo games area... they offer full self service for borrowing. Self service kiosks allowing you to borrow, renew and even pay library fines.
They visitor and borrowing numbers have increased over time,,, just checking their website just now they even offer Freegal Download and keep up to three Sony Music tracks in the MP3 format each week.

The sense of space and light, comfy furniture, areas for serious, quite study and areas for socialising -
Most of all the staff needs should also be considered... as they need ownership to make the place work... I find it challenging/professionally embarrassing at times in my dealing with staff. I keep putting it down to working in obvious crap, dingy the end of the day its the people that make a place no matter the design.
Prue-Community Engagement Team about 5 years ago
Thanks Mniko
The library looks really interesting - thanks for the link. Our library staff have been fantastic and have done a lot to contribute ideas and thoughts about current and future needs for the community. I totally agree that it all works together - good design, job satisfaction, good service etc.
Locallocke about 5 years ago
Apart from ensuring the not for profits already using this area are suitably rehouses (and perhaps others can join them), I'd like to see some of the space, or area not yet used that is part of the facility, dedicated to incubators environments for local businesses. Am thinking very environmentally sound, funky, affordable (less than commercial) office and meeting facilities to help small businesses get established, so they can ultimately contribute back to the community in some commercial way.
kt1800 about 5 years ago
I'd love to see some quieter work areas too. I work from home, and sometimes I like to just work in a different environment. I've been to the Marrickville library before but there is nowhere really to sit and do some quiet work or study.
The idea of downloadable books is also great - for an ipad or a kindle.
chris about 5 years ago
Childrens area, computers, lounges, childrens computers, storytime daily, crafts for kids, school holiday activities for preschoolers
Caine about 5 years ago
I would like to see the new library be a space for learning, connecting, and further social community engagement. Be creative and be futuristic in your planning. A space for people to be social and connected without the need for a dead silent library would be useful. The internet and electronic mediums are becoming more and more the preference of much of the community. I agree with the comments about Free, Fast Wi-Fi.
I think a space for young children to interact with a book (electronic talking books) and maybe be read stories would be a great.
This is an important opportunity for Marrickville to be a leader in bringing back the Library as a space where the community wants to use it and enjoy it.
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
We have the opportunity to fulfill a vision.

The site is ideal to enhance a streetscape already graced with two listed Churches, the town hall, fire station and other landmark buildings. To embed an innovative space for learning, engagement and connection in this milieu is something not to undertaken lightly.

I'm particularly appreciative of your comment: "This is an important opportunity for Marrickville to be a leader in bringing back the Library as a space where the community wants to use it and enjoy it." We can all be proud of our municipality, but its library service up until now has been inadequate, to make the best of it. The basement of the town hall, and a few recycled buildings as branch libraries is not enough. Canterbury council provides a much better service with the basement of a shopping mall, and a few purpose-built branches. But Marrickville can do much better, and deserves much better.

The oldest free public lending library in the world, Innerpefferay (Scotland) began with a few used Bibles and prayerbooks, but was soon lending sewing needles, cauldrons and spectacles.

The thing is to assess the community need, anticipate the future need, and make flexible provision for both.
Rg6459 about 5 years ago
I think the new library should have a rug,chairs and tables,lots of Andy grifths books,and a mini cafe.
leonie about 5 years ago
Lots of great ideas in the discussion. The more diverse the library services and the more accessible the space, the more it will connect the community.
I would like to see the concept of 'borrowing' extended as far as possible - tools, cars, bikes, prams, camping equipment, sports and play equipment, toys, party and catering supplies, roof racks, computers, printers, scanners, video cameras.... There is so much stuff that we have just in case or use only occasionally. Utilizing an item to its' capacity is a much better use of the energy that has gone into producing, packaging, transporting and eventually disposing of it.
The notion of shared responsibility and shared ownership will be increasingly important in creating sustainable communities. We don’t all need a spare room or a garage to keep all our stuff in. We can maintain our lifestyles with access to that stuff which we want or need rather than ownership. We may even enhance our lifestyle by forming relationships where we share interests and skills as well as things.
Obviously there are practical and budget restrictions to maintaining collections of various items but certainly a library could be a central point for co-ops, non-profit hire enterprises, paid membership and user pays systems. We would still all be a lot better off financially, socially and environmentally.
Jodan about 5 years ago
New library could have permanent exhibit showing Marrickville's changes through time. The children's book, My Place, by Nadia Wheatly/Donna Rawlins used this idea to great effect. Survey Book clubs, mobile library users,current library membership and on-site users, local schools-staff and pupils, for views on what they like/dislike at the current library & what they would like the new library to include. Current non-profit tenants to be re-housed and included in plans for future site use as they contribute positively to local community.The new Library should be an inviting and welcoming space offering a range of spaces for individuals,groups and community to enjoy.
Skweekah about 5 years ago
A nice looking building, not some monstrosity. Marrickville has so much potential. Just like Surry Hills, Paddington, Newtown. Marrickville has all of the building blocks of a fantastic suburb. This new library should reflect this. Make this a place that's more akin with a community centre than a library. The Surry Hills library is a good example. Let's do this right the first time! Books, Internet access,, computer facilities, meeting rooms, authors talks, seminars.

One other thing, slightly off topic, but important none the less. The the library manager, your new interlibrary loan charges are ludicrous! What were you thinking!!! Im sure youre now making millions. You have the staff, offer the service. It's not all about money! Silly, silly decision.......
Viva La Marrickville about 5 years ago
Interactive spaces, not just technology and books, but interactive spaces for community. A baby space that eg. includes Baby Rhyme time. A Youth Space - we know the library is popular with kids from the African continent, and since often their parents dont have reading and writing literacy, its really important that these kids be in this space. An Aboriginal Space, that develops some sense of ownership by Aboriginal communities in Marrickville. It can tell the stories but also be a meeting place. Its not so long ago that this very space was used by IWACC.
Rosebud about 5 years ago
Marrickville is seeing more and more families in the area, so PLEASE, Please !, provide a decent parent room like they have at Westfields shopping centres. The library needs to be accessable to families and that includes breast feeding mums with babies and toddlers. Its really disgusting that in so many places, breast feeding is expected to take place in the toilets (and what are you supposed to do with your toddler while breast feeding in the toilet ???)
All public infrastructure like libraries should be child and family friendly so please include an appropriate parent room ie breast feeding cubicles, enclosed play space with play equipment, child and parent toilet and change tables. thanks
Rachael about 5 years ago
I would really like to see an excellent book collection. I also want up to date electronic media, however it would be a tragedy to replace books with media rather than extend overall capacity. The current collection is skimpy by the standards of other libraries and this is a great sadness for book lovers of the area.
dominocb almost 5 years ago
I totally agree with you, Rachael...More books!!
sotetno almost 5 years ago
Yep, definitely more books (and CDs and audio and newspapers etc). I agree current collection is skimpy but hopefully a new library will give the space to increase the numbersand the proposal will also factor in money to increase the collections.
Class 3CM about 5 years ago
We would love to see a mini cafe, playstation 3, wifi, comfy seats and a kids area.
AJS about 5 years ago
I like to see a section on the history of Marrickville and some suburbs around Marrickville.
ssharwood about 5 years ago
A bus stop outside the library door - preferably for more than one route. And/or a bus connecting the two train lines in the district and stopping outside the library.
Lots of secure bike parking.
E-books to borrow.
Meeting rooms for community organisations, available until late evening.
BVP about 5 years ago
There are clearly many needs, new trends and desirable possibilities to be catered for, so the space available does need to be significantly larger overall. For example, planning for e-books and Wi-Fi is a must, while silent study spaces are highly desirable and so is a less buttoned down youth area. Planning to make the new design forward-thinking, adaptable, bright, modern and inclusive is critical, so there’s no sense of “fusty old library” at all. By all means look at the Melbourne one for ideas as suggested, and others too, as there are some wonderful local libraries up and running now.

Also, Philip of Sydenham is right on the mark with most of his points, although I don’t think that tools and equipment, a gym and newsagent belong, although they could be on the broader site. On that point, while ideas like the café, child minding and meeting rooms should definitely be incorporated, can these at the same time be shared with a broader take on development for the whole site, not just the library component? The elephant in the room here is how much can be afforded, what money is available? A possibility I guess, is to try for it all in a grand design, study the price tag & then revise the plan see if the same things can be done less expensively to match the probably much more modest funding.
Philip Sydenham about 5 years ago
Thank you BVP for your positive feedback on my post. You've hit it right with your comment "on the broader site". Council could build a facility with rentable spaces for the private sector and NGOs to provide the ancilliary services. Surry Hills branch of the City of Sydney Library, and Fountain Gate Library on the outskirts of Melbourne are examples.

(By the way it's not "Philip of Sydenham" that makes me sound like a crusader. Sydenham is my surname.)
Lyn about 5 years ago
1. A local studies museum, well-equipped with display cases.

2. A separate reference area with hard copy of key works such as the OED.

3. A wide-ranging fiction collection, including CLASSICS. Some readers want traditional material in addition to the latest Booker finalists.
beej almost 5 years ago
I would like to see a toy library similar to Randwick library. Children should be able to interact with the library in a number of different ways to foster a lifelong relationship with it.
sioux almost 5 years ago
Libraries should contain books.
There is also room for Compact Disks, both music and talking books. The present system whereby one can borrow CDs of Greek music, for example, should not be stopped. Catering for our multicultural community benefits us all. A wide range of films on DVD is also appropriate. Some French films would be appreciated.
The role of the local historian in the library remains important.
The access to data bases from home is appreciated but could be extended further, especially in English and Australian literature (as opposed to that of the US).
The ability to borrow audio books on line from home is an excellent service and cannot take up too much physical space but please extend this to Mac users.
australiana almost 5 years ago
Just make it great.

Frankly, the experience and knowledge of most people is too limited to come up with really good design ideas. Instead of giving people what they think they might want surprise them with a truly wonderful knowledge and learning space that they will use in ways they hadn't even thought of before the library was built.
Philip Sydenham almost 5 years ago
There seems to be a great deal of concern that the construction of a new library will result in the closure of the existing branch libraries.
This fear should be alleviated by a statement that no libraries will close as a result of this development.
Consideration should also be given to limited service "Library Link" services, such as the City of Sydney conducts at Town Hall and Pyrmont. In the Marrickville LGA, such links for the return of borrowed items, and collection of pre-booked materials, with full access to the catalogues (and maybe ebooks) would be appropriate in Petersham and at Steele Park. Perhaps also at the secondary schools?
fudge almost 5 years ago
Sometimes statements are made but not adhered to, I fear that one of the smaller branches will close so they can consolidate staff and money into the bigger, newer library.
fudge almost 5 years ago
I think that as a library we need to remember that even thought there are a lot of new technological advance the humble book should not be forgotten. Book stock should not be foregone for techno devices.
Invest in the future but remember that for some the simple pleasure of reading a good book in bed is something that e-readers do not accommodate.
We need to be mindful that this building is going to be around a long time so there must be room to grow and expand as time moves forward, and not to the determent of the collections in the library where we diminish collections to no more than a book or two on a subject.
We should remember that Marrickville has always had a large non English speaking community and we should be inviting to everyone in the community.
So we need to maintain the books in languages other than English, we need to make sure that we have books in large print.
Book shelves which are not to high so easy access is available to everyone and also so a clear sight line from all areas of the library are maintained.
A good easy to access community information notice board for events of the community to be displayed.
An area for groups to meet and conducted training or meetings with access to interactive equipment, e.g. screens, projectors, laptops.
We must also try and utilise the front of the space facing Marrickville Road as one of the biggest issues is quite a few people do not even know where the library is so it needs to be on the main road visible and easily accessible to all people including those with disabilities and prams.
The work areas for the staff should be a priority as well make sure that they have enough space to do what they do behind the scenes. There should be good storage, space to go if they are feeling unwell.
Parking need to be addressed as well as it is already quite hard to get to parking.
The parking area needs to be well lit as the library does not close till 8.30pm on week nights.
Toilets , parents room with facilities for parents to feed the child, a micro wave to warm food for the child are a must.
That is all for the moment.
Mike almost 5 years ago
Reading in bed with an e-reader is quite simple and is also rapidly getting more pleasurable as screen quality improves. Some of the large hardbacks I've lugged to bed recently would have been easier to manage on a much lighter Kindle or equivalent.

Being able to instantly enlarge the text is a blessing for older eyes and comes at no extra cost unlike large-print library editions.
asta almost 5 years ago
I would like to see more audio-visual material. While the library has a great book collection, the film and TV collection is a bit lacking and would open up the library to new and different types of users and services! Thank-you for asking these questions of your users!
sotetno almost 5 years ago
Whilst I agree things may change over time and extending access to online books and e-books etc is great, the humble printed book is still a wonderful thing and I would love to see the collection extended with a library upgrade, not in anyway reduced. The collection at Marrickville is pretty poor compared to other "main" libraries and my main hope with a new library would simply be the space and capacity to hold more stuff in all areas (fiction, non fiction, children's, audio, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, community languages etc).

Wi-fi connection at all areas of the library (and even in the parklands out front) is also important.

As a parent I would love to get to the children's area without going up a lift/stairs. And I'd love to be able to scour the library catalogue and access internet whilst in the children's area keeping an eye on my kids (as they head there as soon as we walk in the door).
Jetzin almost 5 years ago
Storey book reading sessions for children and other activites to interest them in books and engage their imaginations.
Bill Koutalianos over 4 years ago
I think it's premature to ask the community "What do you want to see in our new library?" before the all important question of "Would you like to pay 6.72% via a Special Rate Variation over 15 years to finance a new library?" Council is putting the cart before the horse. The library cart is also heavily loaded with a voluntary 6 star green energy rating, which will no doubt add a considerable cost burden onto ratepayers. This is on top of the $12 to $14 million interest bill to service the $23 million loan.
I want to see greater financial responsibility and transparency from Council and a greater understanding of the global economic challenges that lie ahead for the Australian economy, if we are to avoid the paths of Greece and Spain. Less talk and time wasted in consideration of inefficient, exorbitantly expensive and largely decorative screw type wind turbines sitting on top of the library, would be a good place to start. Such immature distractions indicate a Council culture engaged in frivolity, to the detriment of logic, reason and economics and suggest a complete disrespect for the management of ratepayers monies.
pvsolar over 4 years ago
I have previously suggested that a Music Space component could fit with the new library site.
It's not easy or convenient to find music education for very young kids locally.
If there is parking for families to come with kids, or by bike, whatever you can do, then a parent can bring their child for a educative experience in music while also using the facilities of the library.
If suggested Auditorium space is included then there's a place for performances.
If the cafe has a small stage then informal or pre-booked performance can occur.
A Music Space can work in with say the Conservatorium of Music as a place for music education students to practice teaching and giving experience including performance to others.
It can attract working and visiting musicians to give input for workshops or performances.
There is a great cross cultural opportunity with music in a diverse community like ours.
Music speaks across language and cultures. The developmental benefits of music education to kids are well known.
The old hospital has rooms that might suit this use. Funding might be found through sources related to infrastructure and education and the Conservatorium might be able to help as well as corporate sponsorships to help create and maintain the Music Space and make it an active and integrated part of a new Library and Civic centre.
Many arts can potentially fit with a library. It will take some thought and imagination as well as clever networking to set this up and keep it happening, but I think it could add a lot to the value of this investment by the community in its self and it's future, building human and social capital which does pay off well for communities who make such investment.
Peter Erling
Annelise over 4 years ago
The library of the future could be many things – a learning resource, a technology hub, a business network, the ‘heart’ of the community where social and special interest needs are met. There are many people that for one reason or another can become isolated socially, and need somewhere (and preferably one place only) to go for information, counseling, learning, activities and company (eg newly arrived immigrants, people with disabilities, elderly, recently widowed adults, etc etc). There are many community groups that need a regular place to meet or have events, that are low cost or free.

Flexible rooms for meetings, community interest groups etc (to be available free, or at minimal cost)
Facility for larger scale community meetings/events (to be available free, or at minimal cost)
Quiet areas for reading
Child care/crèche
Space/specific area devoted to Marrickville area historic records, pictures, books, artefacts etc
Space/specific area devoted to environmental/sustainable information, ideas, books, tools (to borrow), etc
Music room – plus classes, instruments to borrow, music sheets to borrow, recordings, etc
Office facilities for small business/home business operators to access at low cost
Lots of after-school and holiday learning/activity programs for children of all ages
Courses for adults (eg languages, English for non-english speakers, computer skills for older adults, other sorts of newer technology courses for older adults eg iphones, ipads, ipods, etc etc, how to pay bills electronically etc)
Activities and social groups for older adults, migrants, disabled people – that may be isolated socially
Open poetry and prose readings
Art exhibitions
Craft classes
Jen over 4 years ago
I think the visual presentation of the library designs distorts their size so they appear to be bigger than what they are. I believe the project should be relabelled "Library & Community Centre" so as to really reflect its modern function.
Col over 4 years ago
A number or contributors to this discussion have questioned Council's ability to deliver the new library project. The good news is that Council delivered the new Enmore pool on time and under budget, and it's a great asset to our area.

Secondly a number of people have suggested that the site be developed with a private partner. Council has investgated this extensively and the figures don't add up for a commercial project without seriously breaking council's planning guidelines, and I hope all will agree that Council should not break its own rules.

The old library is a poor resource for our community, and a well managed modern library will give important access to information to the poorer members of our community as well as provding an important cultural asset that brings our community together. Indeed this project is an important part of community building.

The role of government is to provide, with taxpayers money, public resources that make our lives better. The pool at Enmore and the new pool at Petersham were built with the same kind of levy, and we're all better off (even though I don't use the pools).

Council's proposal is a modest, prudent and costed process, and I hope it will receive the support of all who want to build our community.
Jacinta over 4 years ago
If it is true that it was voting on motions in regards to the library that caused Councillors not to turn, I am appalled, I would like to see a statement from each of the missing Councillors on why they think it is acceptable to skip a meeting
AmcD over 4 years ago
I particpated in a phone survey regarding the new library. One of the questions was "the community has told us the facility needs to be iconic...". This is just silly. The building needs to be well designed, functional and include facilities that will be used frequently by the community. Money does not need to be spend making the building "iconic". That might be the Councillors aspirations, but it is certainly not mine if the money to build has to come from increased council rates.
Philip Sydenham over 4 years ago
An iconic building building does not have to be more expensive than an ordinary building.
The City of Sydney's libraries are mostly iconic as a result of sensitive recycling of historic buidings, or good architecture.
The precinct in which the new library will stand has a cluster of iconic buildings.
In ten years' time, a newcomer should be able to arrive in the neighbourhood, look around, and recognise the Town Hall, the Fire Station, the two Churches, the old hospital, and the LIBRARY at a glance.
sugarsnap over 4 years ago
Libraries are the centre of the community; a safe, community space for everyone. Make it a comfortable place, somewhere people like to linger (in the best possible way), lots of greenery, places to sit around the library, light, airy.

Agree with comments about equipping the library for the future. The traditional things about libraries, eg quiet, respect, a place of learning, even that old book smell should still be part of the modern library however
Laika over 4 years ago
I will never use this library and don't like my rates being used to build it. I prefer to find out information on the internet any day - it is more up to date and readily accessible. If I was after specific information relating to a particular topic then it probably couldn't be found in a local library anyhow and would have to go to a university library instead. If I want a particular book then I would probably buy one even secondhand so I could re-use it.

Maybe the library will be useful for people that live close by but it isn't that close to us.
keen on new library over 4 years ago
The library and proposed community hub will offer lots of options for a range of people.
Having a green urban space and forecourt as part of the development will allow a range of activities
outside and it will be a place to sit and meet friends or to sit and read or bring young children .

There's a huge need for a space like this on Marrickville road and like the Enmore Pool, this new infrastructure
will be a great addition to our community and to the Marrickville town centre.
Annelise over 4 years ago
the library of the future should play a larger role as a community learning and social hub. not just books, but more opportunities for people to meet and engage with each other.

a variety of free, flexible rooms for all sorts of uses, functions/activities such as
- small community meetings (interest groups, action groups, etc)
- social activities
- learning
- art and craft
- cultural events
- study groups
- meditation or yoga

offer free courses for all ages
- early learning
- english for non-english speakers
- conversation groups to practice english
- computer skills for older residents unfamiliar with computers and other technology (eg iphones)
- how to live alone at home skills for older residents
- sustainable energy ideas
- yoga, meditation, gentle exercise
roosnanna about 4 years ago
I should like to see an area outside where there are seats. tables, shade cloths. and a c afeteria. This should be simply landscaped to make a pleasant envirenment for researching, reading and studying.
I should like an area inside the library where art classes can be held for seniors as well as younger people with an interest in drawing and painting. Obviously these classes would not be free but not too expensive either. This area could also be used for other classes of interest to the general population.
I live opposite the new library site so I feel it is important to get rid of the Ibis because they foul everything and smell dreadful in the summer.
Anais about 4 years ago
I have an 18 month old child and we have only once been to the existing Marrickville Library.

We prefer to drive to Maroubra Library as they have a toy library, a place for young children and toddlers to play and read, and a room where they run activities for children like Babies Love Books - songs, stories and musical instruments. It's a great place for parents' groups to meet. Plus there is a cafe. This is what I would LOVE to see in the new library. Basically an indoor version of the Magic Yellow Bus (which is FANTASTIC).

So sad to see so many candidates for the Local Govt election this week are against the little rate increase - $1 a week and it goes to something so wonderful that we can actually see and use in our community. I guess they believe money grows on trees. Every other bill I have goes up so much more than my Council rates each year - and no extra services are received. I wish the Council would do a Poll Vote on the rate increase to get everyone's feedback on this. Or do some major surveys to show the Councillors that people want this! Take them to places like the Magic Yellow Bus - you'll get so much support! As it looks at the moment my child will be 18 years old before anything is built!
iso about 4 years ago
I love all these comments. Could the library be a trail blazer in sustainability too? Solar panels, rainwater tanks, indigenous plants? I am so excited about this, no matter what the cost. I'm currently studying at the state library because I prefer the natural light coming through. I looked up and saw this quote, which prompted me to write to you: '...the health of our civilization...and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support out libraries' Carl Sagan (1934-1996)
Also, I know Marrickville is becoming more trendy and 'Anglo', but please maintain/update your other language sections - it is such a treasure trove for my mother-in-law to be able to borrow Greek books and DVDs
Thank you!
sdrk92 about 4 years ago
lots and lots and lots of

desks desks desks desks desks desks desks desks desks desks

it's really concerning when you can't have a place to sit and read a book on a traditional surface. or do studying. most people in the 14-25 age group go the library to study, so all they need is a desk and a chair.

desks desks desks desks desks desks desks desks desks desks

ok thats all xoxo
sandt almost 4 years ago
As one of undoubtedly hundreds of parents of babies and younger children across the Inner West who are finding it difficult if not impossible to secure spaces at existing childcare centres (and especially those who have been recently informed by Council that they don't have a place for 2013), I'd have thought it would be glaringly apparent that $30million would surely be better spent on new childcare centres?
Did I miss a critical meeting at which it was deemed vital to allocate funds to a book repository rather than 5-6 new centres for babies and children? Obviously, as the new library is undoubtedly pressing ahead, why not integrate a council-run long daycare centre within it to at least offset in some minor way the demand-supply imbalance?
Yes, people need access to education, knowledge, community and social interaction, but getting it via a dedicated space at the expense of provision of quality, professional childcare seems to me extremely short-sighted. The Marrickville LGA area has the fastest-increasing population across Sydney - and to me that's a simple equation: more people (professionals, families, immigrants) = more demand for childcare. I can't immediately see where you squeeze more demand for library facilities into that. Perhaps special rate variations couldn't be applied if childcare centres were to be constructed...
Sandy5 almost 4 years ago
Please include a substantial area - walled or glassed, not just a corner of a larger space - set aside for silent study. Libraries are one of the few places in modern society where quiet space for reading and reflection is available. Many people seek out libraries for precisely this reason, even if they have desks available at home. They hope that in a library they won't be distracted by television, or music or the telephone, or other people talking. It would be tragic if these few remaining places of quiet are all overtaken by group discussion areas and multimedia rooms. After all, if people want to get together and talk, there are always parks or cafes or public meeting rooms.