Wollondilly Library Strategy

The library is Wollondilly’s premier cultural institution. It is perceived as a lifeline, sanctuary, memory place and potential futures thinking hub. It is a trusted space and reliable partner in learning, practical skills, creativity and social connections.
Wollondilly Library Strategy 2020-2026 outlines what needs to be done to prepare for an expanded library experience as part of the proposed Community, Cultural and Civic Precinct.
It balances pragmatism with aspiration.

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Wagga Wagga City Library Review

Opening in 1999, Wagga Wagga City Council’s $28 million architect-designed civic space, anchored by a purpose-built library over two generous floors, was ambitious.
The city library’s spatial design – high ceilings, generous light filled floors, expanse of windows and clear potential for expansion – has served the City well, although it still bears the architectural imprint of a 20th century book-centred philosophy.

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Sanctuary

The 19th December 2019 proved to be one of Wollondilly Shire’s most dramatic days, in a bush fire season that had already had its fair share of drama.

It was a hot day, 42 degrees; an angry red sun hovered above, shrouded by billowing smoke. The towns of Buxton, Balmoral, Bargo and Tahmoor had received catastrophic fire warnings. They were at the epicentre of the Green Wattle Creek Fire, one of the day’s deadliest.
Road closures were in place, and people were warned to avoid using roads in and around Picton.

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Ode to Oodi

Oodi Helsinki City Library is an unequivocal civic triumph, a temple to democracy when democracy itself is threatened.

 

Since it opened in December 2018, Oodi has welcomed over three million people. The 10,000 square metre building was a birthday present to the city to acknowledge 100 years of liberation from colonial rule, first Swedish, then Russian.
How apposite that Oodi looks out over a large civic square to Parliament House, an architectural relic from another era. This is the real ‘people’s palace’. This is where civic experimentation is taking place on an epic scale.
I spent five days at Oodi in September 2019.

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The Creative Library

‘If everyone can be creative, and if creative thinking and ideas already permeate Victorian public libraries, then what is The Creative Library? What could it be?’

In 2016, Creative Victoria’s Creative State Strategy was released. An investment of $115 million was attached to strategy implementation. Victoria’s 47 public library services were not referenced in the Creative State document. Not one cent of the $115 million available to “put creativity at the heart of Victoria’s future” would go to the extensive cultural infrastructure and programs embodied in the state’s public library network.

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Macksville Library

Gumbaynggirr Country

The Nambucca Shire is situated on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales. From the coast to the hinterland, it spans the ancient and productive lands of the Gumbaynggirr Nation. The population is around 20,000, mainly Anglo-Celtic but with significant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The Nambucca Library Service comprises two branch libraries; one at Macksville, the Shire’s administrative centre; and another at Nambucca Heads, a busy tourist town. Like the rest of the Mid-North Coast, the landscape is spectacularly beautiful.

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Creative Melville

Always in flux

‘History is buffeted by numerous variables; sometimes stationary, sometimes volatile, but always in flux.’

I wrote this sentence for Creative Melville, the City of Melville’s cultural strategy 2018 – 2022.  It could describe the strategy development process itself. Working with a forward-looking team to craft a sensible and ambitious cultural strategy was a privilege. It took longer than anyone expected.  We chose a highly participative strategy development process, involving everyone who worked in libraries, galleries, museums and arts programs, as well as broader community and arts-related groups.

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Jane Siberry’s ‘Songwriters in the Round’

Siberry Salon in Sydney 2019.

People who inhabit the spaces between categories, who seek a form of creative expression beyond formulas, people who choose the road less travelled, invariably exhibit sisu.

People like Jane Siberry.

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