Australia’s best library

Article image - Australia’s best library Shellharbour City Library, named Australia’s Best Library at 2019 Library Design Awards Conference.

Shellharbour City Library, New South Wales (NSW), has won the prestigious Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Public Library Design Awards 2019.

Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, presented the award at 2019 Library Design Awards Conference at the State Library of Queensland.

The prestigious awards recognised some of the best new library designs in Australia. Shellharbour’s City Library was one of four libraries shortlisted in the public libraries category, and the only one in NSW.

The award comes just months after the Shellharbour City Museum won a Museums and Galleries NSW Imagine Award for best New Build in the ‘Capacity Building, Capital and Sustainability Programs’ category.

Mayor, Marianne Saliba, said, “This is a tremendous achievement for our city. To achieve recognition at national level is just amazing.

We’ve always known how wonderful and unique our library was, but to have it acknowledged among Australia’s best is just fantastic.

“I would like to pay special recognition to our library staff, who work so hard and truly believe in delivering a wonderful experience to guests. They are the heart and soul of the library and without them, our library would not be the standout facility that it is.

“I am constantly being told by the community how helpful and kind our library staff are and it is just wonderful to receive that feedback.

“I also commend and thank the staff involved in the planning of our library and the community consultation they undertook to ensure the facility reflected the wants and needs of our community.

The judges said, “Shellharbour’s City Library has understandably been described as a jewel of the city. Some of the more iconic aspects of the design include the dynamic ceiling panels, the wave floor, floor-to-ceiling glazing and distinctive white acoustic discs that float from the ceiling.

“Extensive community consultation identified a clear need for a central library to constitute the living room of the city and the planning and building implemented have achieved a dynamic and rich facility.

“Shellharbour has made serious efforts to create an environmentally friendly library and gained a 5-star environmental rating. The judges welcomed the incorporation of public art, particularly the Aboriginal weaving designs embedded into concrete outdoor seating pads.”