Why is Council relocating the library from Edgeworth to Cameron Park?
Feedback received as part of the creation of the Arts Heritage and Cultural Plan revealed that contemporary libraries should feature a mix of service and experience elements and opportunities for our customers. Our collections, in a range of physical and digital formats, are our core business and remain central to our service delivery.
Cameron Park shopping area was first flagged in the 2011 Library Services Delivery Model in response to the insufficient space, limited parking, increased traffic impacts of the current location of Edgeworth Library. The Lake Mac Libraries Strategic Plan 2019-2024, highlighted the opportunities a converged Library/Museum would bring to the north west of the City, with opportunities for engaging interpretations of the West Wallsend community history and mining heritage.
Where will the new library be located?
The new library will be located at the corner of Portland and Northridge Drive, Cameron Park.
When is the project expected to be complete?
Depending on the design and approval process, we expect construction will commence in late 2021 and be complete by late 2022.
Why are you calling it Sugar Valley Library Museum?
The name Sugar Valley is in reference to the valley area surrounding Sugar Loaf Mountain.
The Sugar Valley area includes; West Wallsend, Holmesville, Barnsley, Seahampton, Stockrington, O'Donnelltown, Killingworth, Wakefield, Edgeworth which was Young Wallsend, Minmi, Rhondda, Teralba, Boolaroo, Speers Point, Salty Creek, Awaba, Northville next to Barnsley, Happy Valley near Barnlsey (no longer a suburb name), Mafeking and Ladysmith near West Wallsend (no longer a suburb name), Fairley near West Wallsend (no longer a suburb name), and Esteville (now Cameron Park).
Will Edgeworth library still be open during this time?
Yes – services will continue from Edgeworth Library until the Sugar Valley Library Museum is operational.
What happens to Edgeworth library after it is closed?
Council is still in the process of investigating options for the site, once library services have moved to the Sugar Valley Library Museum.
Will there be a bigger collection to browse and borrow?
The collection will be responsive and driven by customer use and requests. There will be a focus on improved browsing, collection display and turnover, fostering a love of reading and building literacy outcomes in the City’s north west.
Who is funding and how much will it cost?
Council is funding the $6 million project from Development Contributions. The Library Museum was identified in the Glendale and Northlakes Contribution Plans.
Why is a museum planned for this location?
The Sugar Valley Library Museum will be 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 – presenting the West Wallsend story through exhibition and display. This includes external touring exhibitions and presentations of other local themes and stories from our past.
The City’s north west was highlighted as a preferred location due to its opportunities to provide a starting point for a wider heritage precinct experience with planned future expansion to include a heritage trail from the Library Museum to the heritage precinct at West Wallsend, and to partner with the West Wallsend District Heritage Group Inc. and volunteers.
What happens to Community and Family History Services at Lake Mac Libraries?
A review of our collections and services are currently underway to bring improved connectivity to local and family history services across the City’s library network, and for researching at home using our digital resources. During construction Family History services will remain based at Speers Point Library, delivered in partnership with volunteers from the Lake Macquarie Family History Group Inc. Options around the inclusion of a family history hub at the Sugar Valley Library Museum are also being explored.
A digitisation plan is in development for key resources held by the library, along with an accessibility review of our main genealogy and history databases to improve access for our customers. We continue to consult and work with our heritage partners and advocates across the City through our Heritage Network meetings, updates and training opportunities. Community History staff will continue to work across Lake Mac Libraries locations, including Speers Point and Swansea and in the future Sugar Valley Library Museum.
What will be in the Museum exhibition collection? Can I suggest or donate objects to the Museum?
Council is working with the West Wallsend District Heritage Group Inc. to develop a museum collection and exhibition program.
The exhibition program will focus on local stories, told through objects from the West Wallsend District Heritage Group Inc. as well as travelling shows from state and national collections. Exhibitions will change quarterly.
After the Library Museum has opened we will assess available storage space and explore options, including donations, to expand the collection.
If any community members have items of historical significance that they would like to donate they should get in contact with Jessica Dowdell, Lifelong Learning and Audience Engagement Coordinator by contacting Council on 4921 0333.
Will there be opportunities to volunteer?
Yes, community members will be invited to join the Art, Culture and Tourism Volunteer team. If community members are interested in getting involved before the Library Museum opens they are welcome to apply to join other volunteer teams at SEEN@Swansea, or Rathmines Heritage Centre. Contact Jessica Dowdell, Lifelong Learning and Audience Engagement Coordinator on 4921 0333.