Council & City

Library of the future

Libraries are not just about books. They are about people. They are a place for our community. This bold redesign for our Central Library provides space to learn, meet, perform, make, watch and chill.

Opening our living room doors to everyone

We love our Central Library building and respect its heritage and design. We want to ensure it's ready and relevant for the next generation with an improved layout, better connection to the street, and more access to the latest technology.

See below for preliminary designs from the architects and an outline of the key elements of the project.

There is still some preparatory work to do before we engage a contractor and start remodelling. We're currently doing detailed assessments to ensure the project is fully scoped. This will help us manage the current challenges of the construction market, including constraints on the availability of skilled labour and materials, and give us confidence we can ensure the long-term sustainability of the heritage building that is home to the library, while also delivering on the library of the future concept.

Council’s commitment to this project is reflected in its inclusion in the 2018-28 10-Year Plan.

Image shows cafe opening onto the Square as part of the architect's preliminary design.

The preliminary design for the facade of the building viewed from The Square.

Ground floor: New entry and café

Photo shows artist's impression of new cafe with a giant video screen, tiered seating and French doors open to the street.

A new café and events space will open out on to The Square

A ground floor entrance, café and events space will be created in the area previously tenanted by the Public Trust. This area will feature tiered seating and enable direct connections to the Square, the library’s mezzanine floor and George Street via an internal laneway.


  • Café serving fresh food and drinks
  • Doors will open the space up to the street – there will be outdoor seating as well
  • Raked stairs will provide terraced seating during events and direct access to the mezzanine level
  • Projection wall
  • Acoustic buffer

Mezzanine level

This will remain the building's formal entry.

What you'll find here:

  • Our magazine collection and access to global news
  • Casual digital devices and computers for short-term browsing
  • Comfortable seating
  • Community area for groups to showcase their services and activities
  • Public meeting rooms
  • Public toilets and showers

First floor

There will still be plenty of space for you to browse our collections and to sit and relax while studying or reading. We're also introducing some changes aimed at improving what we offer children and young adults. These include:

  • Digital teaching space and audio visual displays
  • Extended and refurbished children’s library
  • The return of our youth collection (Youth Space in Coleman Mall will also get a new, expanded book collection)
Architect's illustration of people inside the redeveloped library foyer.

The new makerspace area on the ground floor

Ground floor: currently events central

Magical things are going to happen in this area that fronts onto George Street. This flexible space will be our community’s creative zone, equipped with everything you need to experiment with new technologies, make and create. Visitors will be encouraged to ‘roll up their sleeves’ and get stuck in.


  • Latest technology to aid creativity and education
  • Music booth for recording
  • Bi-fold doors to improve the library’s connection to George Street

Second floor

An improved layout will allow study and communal events to happen at the same time, and there will be better digital access to enhance community engagement with our outstanding heritage collection.


The community archives will be relocated to the ground floor of the library to provide optimal conditions for their care and preservation. A display area will be visible to the public.

Image shows a living wall of plants as part of the architect's preliminary design.

A view of the lane running between The Square and George Street. A living wall of plants on the outside of the building will allow the balcony on the upper level to be reopened to the public.