Model Programme for Public Libraries

Kultur styrrelsen



Library at The Dock

Library as Urban Developer

City of Melbourne is a fast growing capital city aiming to be: A bold, inspirational and sustainable city.

Docklands is its newest neighbourhood on the waterfront with a rich indigenous and industrial heritage. Library at The Dock (LaTD), a next generation library and community centre, is fast becoming the centrepiece of Victoria Harbour’s new civic heart in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne providing a welcoming and inclusive place which celebrates culture, inspires community interaction and enables learning and creativity.

Library at The Dock is a vital connector for vertical communities who may be otherwise isolated. The range of cultural and creative programs is contributing to the development of a vibrant and interconnected community which is diverse and multicultural.   Library at The Dock is a stunning example of the library as placemaker and is already contributing to making Docklands a key destination for all the people of Melbourne as well as its own community of residents, workers and students.

Excellence in sustainability

Library at The Dock achieved a 6 star Green Star rating which is the highest level of attainment in Australia. Its many sustainable features include full height glazing to capture natural light, 85kw solar panels on the roof supplying 30 percent of the building’s total operational power.  A 'lung - like' natural ventilation system is a feature of the building structure. It promotes air circulation, increasing fresh CO2 levels conducive to best practice in learning environments, and reducing artificial heating and cooling costs. Water is collected from the roof and discharged to a 55 m3 tank in the adjacent park for re-use within the building.  The combination of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and beautiful recycled timber celebrates history while embracing 21st century technology.

Read, Learn, Connect, Create

The design of the Library at The Dock was very much informed by the Melbourne Library Service mission of Read, Learn, Connect and Create.

The Ground Level represents Connect with its Café, Kid’s Library and Activity space which can open up to the urban park creating opportunities for outdoor and more active programs.

Level One reflects Learn with its quiet study space, more traditional nonfiction collections and a Reading Lounge. It also houses a magnificent heritage gallery designed to showcase local history and culture.

Level Two is the place to Create with a maker space, recording studio and music practice rooms as well as the performance space. There is also an operable ceiling to instantly create a rooftop outdoor space for play and recreation over summer.

Read is a constant throughout the building with carefully curated collections strategically placed in clear subject zones to enhance access and reader centred presentation.




Learning Space

The flexible and sophisticated learning spaces at LaTD encourage innovation and entrepreneurial activities by providing opportunities for prototyping, startups and new creative technology partnerships with both social and economic benefits to community.

Literacy remains at the heart of what the library does. The unique and seamless blend of the digital and physical spaces at LaTD supports both basic literacy, information literacy and digital literacy. The library encourages learning for fun and playing to learn for both kids and adults and the maker space provides engaging ways of learning new digital and maths skills using the 3D printer and electronic gadgetry. A more traditional quiet study space is one of the most highly used spaces in the library - still an important core offer for the library.

Inspiration Space

Library at The Dock is a bold and inspirational building and the inspiration continues within.

The library’s beautiful Reading Lounge is host to a number of vibrant literary activities including one of the most popular - Storylounge – lunchtime readings of carefully selected stories which attract a diverse audience.

A state of the art Gallery is located on Level One and includes stunning views of the harbour.  Melbourne Library Services runs a bi-annual photography completion and this year’s theme was “Melbourne by the Water” inspired by the new library on the waterfront. Photo: Dianna Snape.

Performative Spaces

Level Two boasts a fully equipped professional performance space with retractable seating for maximum flexibility.  The space can accommodate up to 120 people and can be used for top draw events as well as seminars and conferences.  The Recording Studio is primarily aimed at emerging musicians and the creation of local content utilising professional equipment. 

The flexible spaces throughout the library can be used for impromptu cultural events such as poetry readings and musical performances.

Social Space

The Ground Level has a café and promotes connection through food and conversation. Many of the events and programs are enhanced by good food and wine promoting conviviality and enjoyment of the spaces and programs and encouraging people to linger. There are many beautiful nooks throughout the library which encourage conversation and engagement and the comfortable lounge seating invites people to stay. The panoramic views of the harbour are a big drawcard and promote relaxation and reflection throughout the library.

A Multi-channel TV appeals to the international students and the multicultural Docklands community and is like a home away from home and promotes friendship and connection.

What is special about this library?

The Library at The Dock sets a new benchmark in sustainability and is the first public building in Australia to use Cross Laminated Timber, the world’s most sustainable building material.

The library provides a high-digital learning environment focussed on creativity and learning.

The design is inspired by the waterfront location and is a beautiful human scale building in an area dominated by high-rise buildings. This Library fits into the City of Melbourne’s Community Hub model that is part of a wider precinct - The Dock. The precinct will also include a Family Hub adjacent to the Library which will offer a range of services including a range of family centred services. The Library is available to the community after hours, and there are 12 bookable spaces available at low cost to the community.

18. Sep 2017 at. 13:38

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