City library in running for design award

NATIONAL RECOGNITION: The $1.3 million transformation of the Newcastle Region Library has been nominated for a national design award.

NATIONAL RECOGNITION: The $1.3 million transformation of the Newcastle Region Library has been nominated for a national design award.

I am delighted to report that Newcastle Region Library has been nominated for the 2019 Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Library Design Awards following its 2017 refurbishment.

It's great to see the city's $1.3million transformation of the library, housed in the War Memorial Cultural Centre behind Civic Park, recognised on the national stage.

In 2017, we unveiled new electronic return shelves that automatically detect when a book is returned, self-serve kiosks for borrowing items and a digital makerspace where visitors learn more about cutting-edge technology, such as 3D printing

Upstairs the library holds the extensive Hunter Region local history collection, which draws researchers from all over Australia, while downstairs the new children’s area, the Makerspace and refurbished meeting rooms offer activities for all ages.

Sponsored by Architecture AU, Raeco and the State Library of Queensland, the bi-annual ALI awards celebrate design excellence in new and refurbished libraries across Australia.

The awards have been developed in the context of other competitions internationally.

The winning libraries in three categories – public, school and academic – will be announced at the 2019 Library Design Awards Conference as part of the Asia-Pacific Architecture Forum in Brisbane in March.

Matt Murray