Rockdale Library remains a hit

Success story: The Rockdale Library has proved popular with more than 4,000 new members joining. Picture: John Veage

Success story: The Rockdale Library has proved popular with more than 4,000 new members joining. Picture: John Veage

More than six months after it opened Rockdale Library is still a hit with residents.

The new library opened in July with thousands of people taking a first look inside after the old library was demolished.

Since it opened the library has had 140,000 visitors and more than 4,000 new members.

As part of the changes new books have been bought so people have access to all their favourite reads and new technology has replaced the old computers with users now able to search the collection, download an eBook, and renew and reserve items online. 

There is also an interactive space for children and a local history space.

To cater for the multicultural community there is a large language collections in  Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Nepalese, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Since it opened visitors have been entertained with author talks and book clubs. 

Bayside Council Administrator Greg Wright said the new library has been a hit with locals and visitors.

“There’s something for everyone in our beautiful Rockdale Library,” he said.

“A lot of positive feedback has been received from users of the self-service kiosks, the smart returns chute and the smart reserves shelf, all of which allow customers to ‘do their own thing’ quickly and efficiently, removing the need to queue for service.’’

It’s a far cry from the original library service which began on four wheels as a mobile service.

It began in November 1955 and had five scheduled stopping places throughout the municipality and a stock of 9,500 books. 

It proved to be a runaway success with more than 2500 borrowers registered in the first five weeks.

Rockdale Council decided to establish permanent branch libraries after the demand for more books.

In September 1983 the library building was demolished and the Rockdale Town Hall was refurbished and opened as the new Rockdale Central Library in September 1984.

It remained there until it too was demolished ahead of the opening of the new Rockdale Library last year.

The new library was been recognised within the industry; receiving two awards last year.

Late last year Kane Constructions won the NSW Masterbuilders Excellence in Construction Award for public buildings for their work on the library.

In October the in-house project management team was recognised at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Engineering Excellence Awards.

The team won the Excellence in Multi-Disciplinary Project Management award.

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