When thinking of libraries, stern bespectacled librarians hissing ‘shhh’ at disruptive readers and trying to come to grips with the Dewy Decimal system often spring to mind.
Well that’s all set to change with the region’s first ‘library of the future,’ which is set to be a key feature of the City of Newcastle’s new Newcastle West administration building.
The library concept, which will be co-located with the customer service centre and Council Chamber, will give visitors the chance to create podcasts, test out virtual reality gear and view 3D holograms of planned developments.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the space would be one of the stand-out features of the Stewart Avenue building, which is just months away from occupation.
“When complete, this concept will put the City at the forefront of bridging the digital divide and deliver an advanced digital library focussed on digital literacy and inclusive access for our community,” she said.
“It will redefine the library experience for people of all ages and create opportunities to experience emerging technologies and spark future innovation across our services.”
The digital library will also offer coding classes to tech-minded students, novices or industry professionals eager to upskill their digital knowledge.
Elements of a more traditional library including books, magazines and newspapers, which can be borrowed or read on comfortable lounge chairs will also feature.
“Libraries have, through history, been places for people to learn, relax and collaborate, and this project will take that experience to the next level by blending traditional book lending with curated digital content and a strong customer service focus,” Libraries Manager Suzie Gately said.