$200,000 for new technology at new Marrickville Library

Inner West Council has welcomed a grant of $200,000 to fund new technology at the new Marrickville Library, to be constructed on the old Marrickville Hospital site.

Inner West was one of seven councils to receive the maximum $200,000 grant from the Public Library Infrastructure Grants program, which is administered by the State Library of NSW on behalf of the Library Council of NSW.

The grant funding is earmarked for Macintosh and PC computers, Wi-Fi, wireless printing, computer training areas (and associated programs), self-check in and out machines, digital room bookings, smart screens, iPads, and A/V systems such as projectors.

The new Library is scheduled to open in December 2018.

“The vision for the new library has always been for a vibrant, accessible community hub – a leader in public infrastructure, showcasing diversity and sustainability in its building, operations and services,” said Administrator of Inner West Council Richard Pearson.

“This grant will help us achieve our vision.”

The new Library is costing $30 million. The design (by BVN architects) and facilities were subject to extensive community consultation.

“In 2011–2012 Council invited the community to identify a vision, determine what should be included in the design, and choose the winner of a concept design competition,” said Mr Pearson.

“Over 4,000 people participated – the highest community response ever for a project at Marrickville,” Mr Pearson said.

The new Library will host English, language and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) classes, computer classes in community languages, free Wi-Fi, computer and online resources that will assist the estimated 16.1% of inner west households considered low-income.

Lifelong learning is another priority. An estimated 20% of the inner west population is under 18.

The former Mayor of Marrickville and current LRAC member Sam Iskandar said the new Library has been a long time coming.

“Now completion is in sight. The community deserve this incredible community facility, which will boast 3,600 square metres of library and event space, 1,200 sqm of landscaped outdoor garden and a 100 sqm children’s playground. There will be a café, six quiet study rooms, five meetings rooms with an associated catering kitchen, 60 underground car spaces, and a local history and museum and exhibition space,” Mr Iskandar said.

Acting NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive Lucy Milne said she is delighted that the funds will assist councils to implement crucial IT infrastructure upgrades.

“These funds have been directed to projects which will develop and improve public library services for the people of NSW,” Ms Milne said.

“The State Library is a proud supporter of public libraries through its responsibilities under the Library Act 1939, and we are pleased to see that public libraries are highly valued community spaces, with over 35 million visits last year.”

 

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