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Library museum plans unveiled in Lake Macquarie


Plans for a combined library and museum have been released by Lake Macquarie City Council.

The proposed Sugar Valley Library Museum is slated to be constructed next to the newly opened Cameron Park Plaza on Northlakes Drive.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the facility promises to be a flexible and inclusive space where everyone was welcome.

“The Sugar Valley Library Museum will be one of only a few in the world, and the Hunter Valley’s first converged library and museum building, fusing contemporary library services, technology and community facilities with opportunities to celebrate, promote and captivate through storytelling of local history,” Cr Fraser said.

Once the project opens in late 2022, library services at Edgeworth will cease.

The council says the move was identified in the Library Services Delivery Model 2011, and the Lake Mac Libraries five-year Strategic/Business Plan 2019-2024.

Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism, Jacqui Hemsley, said community consultation showed the public was supportive of the proposal.

“We are excited about this opportunity to provide a modern facility with the latest technology and a diverse educational experience,” she said.

Ms Hemsley said the new library museum would provide contemporary creative experiences for residents in the city’s northwest. 

“Our new library museum will provide an engaging, innovative space at the forefront of what a quality cultural facility can be – multi-use, diverse and engaging,” Ms Hemsley said.

“The ultimate aim is to deliver an enhanced experience where people can come together to learn, create and connect.

“It’s not just about books anymore, it’s about technology, information sharing, creativity, storytelling, gathering and immersion.”

In addition to providing library services, the proposed facility will feature a museum collection showcasing the history of the region, with the opportunity to attract touring exhibitions.

A view inside the proposed Sugar Valley Library Museum.

“Exciting interactive and immersive experiences will allow our community to engage with West Wallsend’s unique history at the museum and via trails to the township of West Wallsend,” Ms Hemsley said.

“We have been working with the West Wallsend District Heritage Group to develop the museum collection and exhibition programs to allow the community to relive the history of the area.

“We expect the new facility will see library membership and visitation in the north-west increase by 30 to 35%.”

The council is asking the community to provide feedback on how they can use the spaces proposed in the Sugar Valley Library Museum.

The community is encouraged to have its say by clicking here before Tuesday 8 December.

Pending approvals, construction is expected to start in late 2021.

Edgeworth Library will remain open until the new cultural facility is operational in late 2022.

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