UPDATE: Read the latest update regarding our response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Read more.
Why a New Library?
People want more from their libraries. The modern library has to respond to the needs of a society that values multiple technologies and new ways of learning and creating. Books and quiet spaces are still important, but a library of the future is a place where all people can come and learn about their world and how to engage with it. The library of the future is a place of connection, activity, and innovation. It must be flexible and responsive, because the future is always changing.
When the community was asked what they wanted from their library service, they described a library that helps people connect, learn, discover and express themselves; that welcomes all ages and histories; is a leader in social, technological and environmental sustainability; is surprising and fun, and provides an iconic city destination. This community vision was supported by Council, who have committed to a library service that, ‘…will promote participation and the development of a strong and productive community’.
The current library service is not in a position to fulfil this vision. It consists of four small branches offering traditional borrowing services, limited computer access and room hire. Our current libraries are close to capacity, and space restrictions prevent them fulfilling their role as community hubs. They were not built to function as places to gather, where learning, creation and participation are fostered through flexible design, clever partnerships and cutting edge technologies. Adelaide City Council strives to be innovative and relevant in its services, but our existing facilities restrict potential.
Over the next 30 years Adelaide’s residential and worker populations are predicted to double. Major projects such as the Rundle Mall Redevelopment, Adelaide Oval, and Stage 1 of the Victoria Square Upgrade will deliver a vibrant and enriching city environment for our growing population A modern and responsive library service fits within this future vision. It adds value to the Rundle Mall Precinct and will integrate various Council activities.
A modern and state of the art City Library will be designed to function as a true community hub and be sustainable into the future through adaptable design.
What are the benefits of a new Library?
The City Library will benefit residents, workers, students and visitors by providing a modern, vibrant library in the heart of Adelaide. It will have easy access to public transport and parking, and longer opening hours.
Locating the City Library in Rundle Mall and extending opening hours into the evening will create a more diverse and interesting shopping and visitor precinct – there is more to do and more reason to stay.
The large flexible space will provide the City with a central meeting point, where people of all ages will connect with stories and ideas, community and culture, technology and ways of creating.
With great views, an out-door room, hanging garden and plenty of natural light, the City Library will become a haven for those wanting to escape the confines of their home or office, or take a break from shopping.
The new space will be able to provide new technologies that can respond to the increased demand for traditional services such as borrowing and community programs, and it is built to accommodate future services, such as digital training, multi-media learning and digital creation.
In partnership with the City’s educational and cultural institutions, the City Library will also be an events space, a forum for ideas and debate, and a place where people have access to explore local history.
Community engagement with Council and involvement in planning and decision making will be easier because of the City library. It will be a central place of connection to the future of Adelaide, providing ongoing opportunities to have a say about the future of our city and make a difference.
The City Library will enhance Adelaide’s reputation as a city of ideas, innovation, culture and arts by making these things accessible to all.
What does a new Library mean for existing Libraries?
The libraries at Hutt Street and Tynte Street in North Adelaide will remain open and continue to service the local community.
North Terrace and Grote Street libraries are extremely busy and very popular but they are struggling to expand their services in response to community demand. They are not able to provide additional programs, services and spaces and therefore all current services and programs will be integrated into the new City Library.
To ensure continuity of service in the South West Precinct of the City, Council will make local Library services available. This includes a 24 hour returns facility.
Library staff will be available at the South West Community Centre to assist customers with browsing the library catalogue and selection. In addition, facilities will be provided for pick up and returns. The South West Community Centre is located at 171 Sturt Street, to the west of Whitmore Square.
To find out more and to have your say, please visit our website or attend one of the upcoming information sessions.
What community engagement has been undertaken?
A significant amount of consultation and research has already been undertaken to help get us to this stage of the project.
- In 2011 an independent library expert (Dr Alan Bundy) was engaged to evaluate our current library service and make recommendations for future development.
- In 2011 fifty people attended a community workshop investigating what the community wants their libraries to be.
- In 2011 three Community workshops were held to explore community programming and service needs, including what the community wants from a future library service.
- In 2012 Council staff, library experts and library architects incorporated community feedback into a design process. The community ‘brief’ was for a space that is ‘flexible and inviting. It will be a place of possibility, where creativity and innovation are fostered through cutting edge technologies, inspirational spaces and functional universal design’. This has resulted in a library design that can accommodate change – from day to night, week to week, year to year. How the community wants to use the library will determine how the internal elements are arranged and utilised.
Additional community consultation will now focus on what people want to do in the new City library. This consultation will be widespread and include face-to-face, survey and online formats. Ideas from this consultation will determine how many of the library spaces are configured and used in the short and long term.
What are the project timeframes?
At this stage of the project the timesframes are indicative only:
March - Location announced and public consultation begins
May - Base construction of City Library commences
June - Public consultation finishes
July - Base construction of City Library
Aug - Base construction completed and Handover to Council
Sep - Internal fit out of City Library
Oct - Closure of Grote Street & North Terrace Libraries
Nov - Grand opening of new City Library
When will the new library open?
The new City Library is due to open at the end of 2013.
Which libraries will close?
The new City Library will replace the nearby Grote Street Library and North Terrace library.
When will they close?
The Grote Street and North Terrace libraries will close approximately three weeks before the new City Library opens so that the collection can be moved.
Will there be quiet spaces in the New City Library?
Books and quiet spaces are important. The new City Library is a multifunctional design. It will be able to respond to the increased demand for traditional Library services such as borrowing and spaces to read, while accommodating future services by providing flexible meeting, learning and engagement spaces.
What will the new library offer that the old libraries don’t?
Borrowing and access to information resources will continue to be an important part of the new City Library, but it will also offer:
• a bigger floor space
• more space for the Digital Hub and Innovation Lab
• more meeting rooms
• a dedicated area to explore Adelaide’s history
• multifunction event and exhibition spaces
• space for a pop-up café
• opportunities for community selection of books and DVD’s
Where will the new City Library be located?
The new Library will be located on the podium level of the new Rundle Place development, "The Place". The Library entrance will be at ground level in Francis Street, just off Rundle Mall.
The City Library will have a dedicated lift access located at the main entrance on Francis street. This lift will go directly to the library without stopping at other floors. It is planned that customers will also be able to access the library through the main shopping centre lifts.
Where can I park my bicycle?
Thirteen wall-mounted bike racks are to be installed in Francis Street which is where the Library entrance is located.
Current bicycle parking in and around Rundle Mall includes:
* Six bike parking rails in Charles Street, north of the Mall, 70m to the east of Rundle Plaza
* Thirteen bike parking rails in Gawler Place, immediately north and south of Mall, 70m to the west of Rundle Plaza
* Four bike parking rails along Grenfell Street, adjacent Regent Arcade, 80m to the east of Rundle Plaza
In addition, as part of the Rundle Mall Upgrade it is proposed that four bike parking rails be installed in Twin Street, south of the Mall, 150m to the east of Rundle Plaza.
What about parking and access for the disabled?
The City Library will have a dedicated lift access located at the main entrance on Francis Street. This lift will go directly to the library without stopping at other floors, and will be able to accommodate pushers/prams, wheelchairs, gophers and the like. There will also be lift access from the car park.
Onstreet disabled parking spaces are available throughout the city. In addition, disabled permit holders have the following concessions available:
How big will the new City Library be?
The new Library will be 1900sqm. This is approximately 700sqm larger than the combined areas of Grote street, North Terrace and the Pirie Street storage area.
Will the new Library be a 'green' Building"?
The City Library has incorporated a number of sustainable features as part of its design including energy efficient LED lighting, lower environmental impact and maintenance requirements of materials being used for fixtures and fittings, metering of energy and water, waste and recycling facilities and inclusion of green wall.
Will the opening hours change?
The new City Library will offer longer opening hours in line with the Rundle Mall trading hours, including evening trading.
How much will the new Library cost?
The City Library will cost Council $2.2 million to build. This is a financially responsible budget in the current times of fiscal restraint and compares favourably to the cost of other libraries around Australia that have recently been built or are in development. New library construction budgets range between $4 million and $45 million.
The value of the new City Library will be maximised through productive partnerships with cultural events, businesses and community groups. Partnerships will contribute to a vibrant programme and to Council’s ability to offer cutting edge technologies and facilities without significant maintenance costs.
How can I provide my feedback?
There are a number of ways you can provide your feedback:
The City Library Feedback Form asks specific questions about the project and provides an opportunity for general comments. Feedback forms can be completed online at yoursay.adelaidecitycouncil.com or returned to our Libraries, Community Centres or Customer Centre on Pirie Street.
Council has a dedicated website that will provide monthly updates of this project and opportunities for quick and efficient online feedback.
Visit yoursay.adelaidecitycouncil.com for more information about the project and to have your say.
Comments, ideas and suggestions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Written submissions must be received by 5.00 pm on Friday 31 May and should be addressed to:
GPO Box 2252, Adelaide SA 5001
Attend one of the following information sessions to provide more information about the City Library project and to discuss your specific concerns and potential opportunities:
Grote Street Library
Held at 18 Grote Street, in the Digital Hub
Wednesday 1 May, 10.30am – 12.30pm, and
Friday 3 May, 5pm – 7pm
North Terrace Library
Held at The Hetzel Lecture Theatre, State Library Institute Building
Corner of North Terrace and Kintore Avenue
Tuesday 30 April, 12noon – 2pm
Meet with staff member
Give Belinda Van Drine a call on 82037260 to arrange a suitable time for you to speak directly with our staff in Council’s Planning Lab.
What happens to my feedback?
The new City Library is designed as a flexible space so that it can respond to the needs and ideas of the community. Your feedback will be used to help us develop partnerships that benefit the community, plan what goes on in the new City Library and how the space is used during the day and into the evening.
Where can I find more information?