Campbelltown's HJ Daley Library will be ‘bigger and better’

Welcome: Mary Jeftha, Cathy Parsons and Julie Levell at the pop up library in Campbelltown Mall. Picture: Chris Lane
Welcome: Mary Jeftha, Cathy Parsons and Julie Levell at the pop up library in Campbelltown Mall. Picture: Chris Lane

The works being carried out at the HJ Daley Library may “sound boring”, but they are part of a much grander plan to convert the buildings into vibrant community hubs.

Long gone are the days where libraries were just quiet places filled from floor to roof with books.

They have undergone and are still undergoing a revolution that will see them become a place for reading (both digitally and traditionally), gathering, working, studying and most importantly – connecting.

The works being carried out – including laying new carpet and ceiling tiles, as well as moving computers into the main section of the building to create a bigger activity space – began at the end of November and will continue till December 22.

Parts of the library have been cordoned off during the works, with the building closed completely until December 10.

A pop up library was set up in Campbelltown Mall to ensure the community still had access to library services, with the temporary library to remain until December 15.

Campbelltown Council’s executive manager of community and cultural services, Jusine Uluibau said visitors to the pop up had been “really impressed”.

“The library offers such a valuable service and with the holiday period coming up, we didn’t want to stop that access to learning. We didn’t want to stop those services altogether,” she said.

“It’s located outside Woolworths and has a small picket fence and fake grass – it’s like a mini library.

“It’s also a good way to promote what the library is doing hopefully attract new members.”

Ms Uluibau said the libraries had come a long way in the past decade.

“Libraries are not just a place to borrow books anymore,” she said.

“They are a place where people come to connect and gather.

“Some come here to do online tutorials instead of going to university and other people do work here instead of going to the city. They are also a place where people meet to work on projects of a similar nature.

“They’re not quiet anymore.”

The new activity space which will be able to accommodate a range of activities from English and coding classes to knitting or robotics groups, was particularly vital given the library was already at capacity.

The council is currently developing a strategic plan into the future Campbelltown libraries and Ms Uluibau said some of the feedback provided had already been acted on.

“We trialled a coffee cart out the front because the feedback we got was ‘we want coffee and food if we are spending a long time down there (at the library),” she said.

For more details on the works or the pop up library visit campbelltown.nsw.gov.au or call 4645 4000.