Model Programme for Public Libraries

Kultur styrrelsen

Realdania

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Success Public Library

Interaction with surroundings and local culture

Located in the centre of a thriving shopping and business precinct and close to young rapidly growing suburbs, the Success Library is the centrepiece of the Cockburn Health & Community Facility. The vision for the centre was to provide holistic services to the communities in the surrounding suburbs. Co-locating health, welfare, social, educational and community services under one roof assists people to make easier links between services and fosters improved life and health outcomes. The development of mutually beneficial partnerships also becomes easier when organisations with similar interests are located under one roof.

5 minutes from public transport node, 1 minute from shopping and high-rise apartments, close to surrounding suburbs.

The building is positioned at the corner of two busy main roads with Youth Centre and major shopping and business precincts within easy walking distance. A public transport node is a short walk away. Wheelchair lifts and ramp access adjacent to accessible parking bays assist people with disabilities to gain access to the building. Bike parking and car parking is provided close to the building with lift access available. Watch drone footage of the building here.

Australian Aboriginal artworks created by local artists are installed at both main entrances to create a peaceful transition from the urban shopping and business precinct, into the internal gallery of the health and community hub and library. Colourful glare reduction fins in the colours of the Australian Aboriginal Flag provide protection for the windows, link the building with the Aboriginal community and make the library a highly visible building.

Australian Aboriginal artworks created by local artists.

Collaborative partnerships

The development of partnerships with organisations co-located within the Cockburn Health & Community building has positioned the library as a centre for community engagement and capacity building.  It has diversified the role of the library from a traditional lending model to that of a hub for lifelong learning and community wellbeing.

This model provides a wealth of opportunities for the development of collaborative and sustainable programs. The library has already established valuable partnerships with co-tenants; Curtin University, Fremantle Multicultural Centre, the General Practice Clinic, Bump WA Postnatal Services, and Allied Dental Services.

Celebrating diversity through cooking classes and sharing food in the demonstration kitchen.

The library also supports the future primary medical care workforce of Western Australia by working cooperatively with Curtin University Clinics to provide work experience opportunities for physiotherapy, nursing, speech therapy and occupational therapy students through partnering with them to deliver innovative, multi-disciplinary programs to the community. Current joint programs in partnership with Curtin University include the Memory Café, iPad Training Classes, the Adult Reading Group for Recovery from Stroke, Aboriginal Healthy Lifestyle and the monthly Health Check program. An added benefit of these courses is that participants are being assessed for additional health problems whilst they are participating in the activities. Referrals can be made to medical or welfare services within our building and in some circumstances home visits can be arranged for those with additional needs.

The library has also developed an excellent partnership with Fremantle Multi Cultural Centre who provide computer training, job seeking, and conversational English classes to migrants using the library’s public access computers, meeting rooms and Wi-Fi service.

Inspire Me Programme for migrants.

Flexible Spaces

The Library has created a truly flexible space that can be easily reconfigured to meet the demands of changing programs, events, trends and technology. The Magazine Room can be used as a makerspace or quiet study space depending on customer demand. The room is furnished with a large screen TV and other AV equipment that can be used to broadcast news, educational activities or promotional material for the library.

The Large Meeting Room seats 170 people and has easy access to catering facilities and a full suite of audio visual equipment. These rooms are used for cultural events, City of Cockburn meetings and events, State government seminars, Not for Profit community group activities, author speaking events, library programs and by the local business community.

The large meeting room seats 170 people.

The Community Rooms have a full commercial style kitchen which acts as a demonstration kitchen for healthy eating classes, cooking activities and book launches. The kitchen is also used as the catering area for conferences and community gatherings.

Engaging with families

Encouraging the development of literacy skills is one of the library’s key objectives and the new Children’s Zone with its colourful, practical and very modern design enables staff to devise engaging and diverse programs which draw large numbers of children and parents. The use of sculptural lighting adds excitement and interest and the reading tents provide delightful opportunities for parent and child interaction. It is a large flexible zone with ample floor space to easily host early literacy programs with up to 150 attendees. 

A kitchen area is provided for food preparation and is invaluable for cleaning up spills. All the furniture and shelving is moveable to increase presentation space and to allow staff to react to changing needs, trends and technology. The space is able to cope easily with this number of people while allowing the rest of the library to go about its business with little disruption. The Library has developed partnerships with several co-tenants to add value to the children’s services. The Pharmacist provides baby supplies as gifts to mother’s who attend the Pram Jam sessions and student Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Audiologists contribute to children’s programs by leading sessions or providing information to parents in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.

Learning space

The design of the library provides a good mix of modern casual seating and formal study areas. The ample casual seating all around the library encourages the formation of study groups.  All areas of the library have access to Wi-Fi and power for easy use of mobile technology.

The semi-circle computer desk is used for small group training sessions and ad hoc public use. Fremantle Multicultural Centre staff use these workstations to provide the Inspire Me program for migrants and refugees. The small glass sided meeting room is used for one on one meetings such as adult literacy lessons, tax help, study groups and small meetings. Modern study carrels provide opportunities for individual study.

The circular computer desk holds 12 public access computers which are used for study, work, leisure and gaining access to social services. Graphic Novels and Manga are shelved inside the circle which also acts as a casual meeting and reading place. Sculptural lighting, zonal space planning and the use of colour in floor coverings and furniture, creates intimacy whilst retaining the openness and natural light provided by the high ceiling and floor to ceiling windows.

Sustainability – 100% powered by the sun and using water wisely

Green principles were integrated to the building’s design concept. The location of the building provides easy access to public transport. Bike travel, walking and electric vehicle usage is encouraged through the supply of end-of-journey facilities - showers, lockers, secure bike parking and electric vehicle charging posts. The building is powered by photovoltaic systems and has 389 solar panels on the roof which provide 100% of the library’s electricity needs. Windows allow for natural lighting and intelligent LED systems and air conditioning are environmentally controlled. Rainwater tanks installed under the building, water-wise gardens, and water-wise appliances and toilets ensure that water consumption is kept to a minimum.

The colourful glare reduction fins in the colours of Australia's Indigenous culture also provide protection for the windows. The fins, and ‘eco pelmet’ reduce 75% of the sun’s glare and the windows are high performance low ‘e’ double glazing. The colours on the fins are based on the Australian Aboriginal Flag and these colours are used on external finishes around the building and link it firmly with our Aboriginal community.

The library acts as a community recycling point and colour coded public and staff waste recycling bins are located internally and externally. The library also features a Sustainable Living collection which includes scientific works as well as works describing how citizens can effect change on a personal and global level.

Strengthening community and improving health and social outcomes

Including Success Public Library in a building devoted to health, welfare, tertiary education and community services has been an excellent decision. It has given the library service greater opportunities to develop meaningful community engagement and health programs that assist the City of Cockburn to work towards the achievement of its strategic Community & Lifestyle goals.

Make your own contribution via the Facebook group

If you have any comments to this case, or if you have a library or a similar institution in Denmark or another country that you think, would provide other public libraries with inspiration for new interior design and layout solutions, please feel free to contribute via our Facebook group.

14. Nov 2016 at. 09:00

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