Following an extensive upgrade, the eagerly-awaited Balwyn Library re-opened to the public at 10am on Wednesday 4 April.
The striking building received upgrade works including additional casual reading and study areas, a large community meeting room, and an improved layout allowing better access to the collection. In a commitment to the community, Boroondara invested $8.9 million for this major project.
Councillor Jim Parke, Mayor of Boroondara, said, “We are pleased to reopen this library to the students, book lovers, seniors, entrepreneurs, toddlers and parents who we know will enjoy its resources. The new modern library is set to serve a new generation of users who can pursue their passions and quest for knowledge.”
“We consulted closely with community and library users when designing the new-look library. It’s a great blend of the old and the new and the result is a multi-functional facility that will meet the needs of our community for many years to come."
Other improvements to the 40-year-old library include increased natural light, more comfortable furniture and a separate quiet study area.
As the busiest of the five libraries in the Boroondara network, Balwyn Library attracts close to a quarter of a million users every year.
"The redevelopment brings new life to this popular community hub where people have been meeting, reading and studying since 1978. In recognition of its rich history, we retained key architectural details from the original Daryl Jackson-designed building, while adding contemporary, environmentally-responsible design features such as a partial green roof and water tanks," Cr Parke said.
Indeed, for the next six weeks, the library will pay tribute to its past even as it celebrates its future, with an exhibition exploring its first 40 years displayed in the library. Meanwhile, kids can burn off some energy at the Fit-tastic Easter Holidays program, with fitness-themed story times and performances on selected dates in April.
Maling Ward Councillor, Jane Addis said the library caters for users of all ages and interests. “The renovated library will become a centrepiece for the Balwyn community. I encourage everyone to pay the library a visit and make the most of its great new facilities," Cr Addis said.
A community open day will be held on 26 May. For more information visit Boroondara Libraries.
Balwyn Library is open seven days a week at 336 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn.