St Albans and Deer Park Libraries plan for future growth

Brimbank City Council has adopted the St Albans Library and Deer Park Library Preliminary Study, which is the first step in planning for the redevelopment of the facilities.

Brimbank’s library network plays a critical role in supporting the community through fostering learning into the future, and Brimbank’s Community Services and Infrastructure Plan 2018-2038 had identified the need for the St Albans and Deer Park libraries to expand as the Brimbank community continues to grow.

Brimbank Mayor, Cr Georgina Papafotiou said Council was keen to make sure these spaces continue to evolve to meet the needs of the community and to allow for future growth.

‘The study reviewed library trends within Australia and internationally, and engaged with the community to better understand what libraries should offer into the future.

‘The review of trends found the role of libraries has developed far beyond that of being just a place for books; they are increasingly becoming epicentres of community life and act as ‘community living rooms’ where individuals, groups and families can study, relax, play, work and simply connect.

‘The study recommends the redeveloped libraries should be bigger and this increase can be accommodated by expanding on their current sites.  The new libraries will be part of community hubs offering a range of community functions.

‘While collections are still core to what libraries provide, the increased floor space means that the redeveloped St Albans Library and Deer Park Library can also offer a lounge area, computers, children’s space, outdoor space and study and meeting areas as well as other exciting new offerings,’ Cr Papafotiou said.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the temporary closure of library doors to the public and this has highlighted the need for our libraries to be more agile than ever and adapt services by developing new and innovative approaches to meet these changing community needs.

The next stage of planning, subject to the availability of funding, is to determine the additional services that the St Albans and Deer Park community hubs will offer and develop a business case for each facility.

‘Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the Preliminary Study. Your ideas and suggestions for the future of St Albans Library and Deer Park Library have been very valuable as we take this first step towards the redevelopment of our libraries,’ Cr Papafotiou said.