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The future of libraries

Wollongong Council's Library Manager, Jenny Thompson, with Wollongong Deputy Lord Mayor Chris Connor at Thirroul Library.

Wollongong Council’s Library Manager, Jenny Thompson, with Wollongong Deputy Lord Mayor Chris Connor at Thirroul Library.

IMAGINE your ideal public library of the future.

Wollongong City Council, as part of its Beyond Books: Your Libraries’ Next Chapter strategy, is collecting information between now and Friday August 28 through a series of engagement activities.

The information will be fed into the development of the libraries’ long-term strategy. The document is linked to the Wollongong 2022 Community Strategic Plan, which underpins everything Council does.

“Whether it’s having a hoverboard charging station, a book collection that’s entirely digital or reading nooks with comfy chairs and soft cushions we what to hear what your thoughts are on the library of the future,’’ Wollongong Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Chris Connor said.

“As part of our work on this strategy, we’re looking at a range of questions including whether there are even physical buildings housing libraries in the future? Or, do we have more but smaller branch libraries? These are really interesting concepts and we want to hear what the community thinks our libraries should be like in 2022.

“One of the ways we’re asking people to provide us with information is through Community Circles where people get together with friends, such as book clubs, and talk through a series of questions. It’s a really interesting way to collect information for both the participants and Council.’’

People will find Community Circle conversation packs on Council’s website which they can download. Hard copies are also available in our libraries.

Wollongong City Council operates seven public libraries which, along with traditional book-lending services, offer a range of programs for babies through to young adults to foster a love of reading, school holiday activities, workshops and drop-in information sessions to bring people up to speed on using the latest technology, and our popular Comic Gong festival.

“Please, have a look at the Have Your Say pages on Council’s website and fill in one of the feedback forms and let us know how you imagine your library of the future. This is such an exciting community engagement and we’re really looking forward to sifting through the feedback and seeing how we can meet our community’s changing needs,’’ Cr Connor said.

For more information you can contact Customer Service on 02 4227 7111, or visit Council’s website.

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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