Book Lovers Delight As Library And Community Centre Opens In Carlton

Residents in Carlton and surrounds will benefit from the restoration of a heritage-listed building, home to the new Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre.

The City of Melbourne project, partly funded with $288,000 from the Victorian State Government’s Living Libraries and Infrastructure Program, was opened today by Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins.

The Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre is a modern library with over 40,000 items, learning and training rooms with a computer lab, a recording studio, meeting rooms, activity spaces for older people, a social entrepreneur café and free WiFi throughout the building.

The Centre is a beacon of sustainability, boasting thermal solar hot water heating, rainwater collection and storage, radiant heating and cooling, and a focus on air quality through natural ventilation.

Ms Hutchins said it is also the first Melbourne City Council building to be exclusively illuminated by LED lighting.

The Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre is built on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people.  As an acknowledgement of the traditional owners, Wurundjeri artist Mandy Nicholson was commissioned to develop artwork which is located in the foyer, while elements of her artwork have been reflected in the signage throughout the building.

The Andrews Labor Government has extended the Living Libraries and Infrastructure Program, with $4.3 million included in the 2015-16 Victorian Budget.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government, Natalie Hutchins

“Victorians love reading. Public libraries are visited more than 32 million times each year, and almost half of all Victorians are a member of a public library.”

“This fantastic new facility will provide the residents of Carlton and surrounding communities with a place to meet, learn, connect and socialise.”

“Libraries are at the very heart of our communities. The Andrews Labor Government recognises the role public libraries play in fostering lifelong learning and providing free access to information.”

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