Upgraded library resumes popular programs

June 15th, 2024Upgraded library resumes popular programs

The redeveloped Ballarat Library is open and attracting hundreds of people to its weekly programs.

The redeveloped Ballarat Library is open and attracting hundreds of people to its weekly programs.  

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson officially opened the redeveloped library in recent days with a tour of the facility.

The $7.48 million redevelopment and upgrade of the Ballarat Library was funded with $6.98 million from the City of Ballarat and a $500,000 State Government contribution.

The redevelopment of the Ballarat Library included an expansion of the second level of the building, and major internal and external works, such as:  

  • A new main entrance with improved accessibility, landscaping and interaction with the Gov Hub, Civic Hall and CBD precincts.
  • Reimagined internal spaces with improved flexibility, upgraded floor finishes, fittings and fixtures. Highlights include the light filled Rotunda on the ground floor, offering views to the Civic Hall Plaza and curved work benches providing space for 45 people to work, study and read.
  • Boosted WiFi and power, with increased seating to accommodate 450 people.
  • Additional public meeting rooms, with upgraded AV and conferencing technologies.
  • An expanded children’s space, comprising a children’s ‘discovery’ space and mini computer lab.
  • A baby feeding/change lounge and parenting facility, located adjacent to the children’s section.
  • The Co-Lab, or youth space, complete with a community demonstration kitchen.
  • A designated performance/event space with streaming technologies.
  • Landscaping adjacent to the library, creating informal seating areas and safer pedestrian access.
  • Kitchenettes
  • Refurbished public amenities, including Changing Places facility
  • The Maker Space, which is dedicated to learning through experimentation and play. It offers access to popular creative technologies such as 3D printers, laser cutters, sewing and crafting equipment. 

Since re-opening in recent months, the Ballarat Library has relaunched its full suite of children’s programming, including daily story times, which regularly attract close to 100 people.  

Library staff are also launching new programs for adults, including two ‘Book Chats’ and an album club.  

Library staff in the Maker Space — a new addition to the library featuring 3D printers, vinyl cutter and heat press, sewing machines and digitisation equipment — are offering inductions to the space* and drop-in hours for members to use the equipment. Programs in the Maker Space will expand in the coming months. 

Library staff will also be launching regular youth programming in term three, with a weekly rotating roster of programs, including Dungeons and Dragons, craft and popular culture clubs.  

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said the redeveloped Ballarat Library is so much more than books available for loan and a quiet place to read or study. 

“With a suite of new facilities that go well beyond the historical service offerings of libraries, the newly redeveloped Ballarat Library offers a glimpse of the future of libraries in Australia that function as important community hubs,” Cr Hudson said.  

“These spaces are designed to be places for the community to come together, learn new things and support each other in creative ways — it’s great to see so many community members participating in the Library’s programs.”  

Member for Wendouree Julianna Addison said the Ballarat Library is a much-loved community facility for people of all ages.  

“There are so many reasons to enjoy the library, including borrowing books, social connection, gaining access to the digital world and story time for little ones. I encourage everyone to pop in and see all that it has to offer,” she said.  

Ballarat library redevelopment almost complete

February 20th, 2024Ballarat library redevelopment almost complete

The $7.48 million revamp of the Central Ballarat Library is almost complete, with staff beginning to shift equipment and some 75,000 library resources back into the Doveton Street site. 
City of Ballarat Mayor Cr Des Hudson and Executive Manager Libraries and Lifelong Learning Jenny Fink in the new youth space in the Central Ballarat Library, which has almost finished undergoing redevelopment.

The $7.48 million revamp of the Central Ballarat Library is almost complete, with staff beginning to shift equipment and some 75,000 library resources back into the Doveton Street site. 

Building contractors H Troon have handed the facility back to the City of Ballarat, with only a few finishing touches still being made internally. These works include cladding of the new internal staircase, installation of the library self-check system and installation of the tiered seating in the Atrium. 

The Central Library will re-open to the public in mid-March.  

The Ballarat Library at the city’s town hall — the temporary pop-up library that was installed in November 2022 — will close on 12 March to allow for the books and other resources to be returned to the main library location.  

Following the closure of the temporary site, there will likely be a short period in which there are no library services available in Ballarat Central, however residents can still access the Sebastopol and Wendouree facilities, which will remain open as normal during this time.  

The Ballarat Library at Town Hall has proved a popular alternative during the redevelopment works, averaging about 1,100 visits per week.  

When the Central Ballarat Library re-opens, staff will be operating a reduced programming schedule for a few months to allow Library staff to fully set up at the new facility – as such, some programs that community members regularly attend may be temporarily unavailable.  

The City of Ballarat contributed $6.98 million towards the redevelopment project, with the State Government funding $500,000 from the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program.   

City of Ballarat Mayor, Cr Des Hudson said it was exciting to see the project moving forward.  

“Once the Central Ballarat Library is complete and operational, we’ll be able to offer our community a bigger and more exciting library space,” Cr Hudson said.  

“While there will be some disruption to library services in Ballarat Central in the coming weeks, I’d encourage all community members to make the most of our other fantastic libraries across the municipality.”  

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