Brighton Library gets $1.2 million upgrade

Brighton Library will undergo a major upgrade to remodel the building’s interior.

The $1.2 million refurbishment project, to begin immediately, will include creating flexible study zones, quiet reading areas, an upgraded meeting room and an accessible program space.

Bayside mayor Alex del Porto said the refurbishment of the library would cater to the changing needs of the community.

“The way our community uses libraries has changed, particularly since the introduction of Wi-Fi. Bayside residents have high mobile device ownership with many home based workers or students bringing their own devices to the library. As a result, quiet study space is often at a premium,” he said.

Cr del Porto said community feedback ranked study and work spaces as the most popular library service, after books and the children’s program.

The upgrade will also improve accessibility for people with disabilities by replacing and lowering shelves to make it easier to access book collections.

Funding for the refurbishment will come from Bayside Council, and the State Government will make a contribution of $315,000 as part of their Living Libraries Infrastructure Program.

Local Government Victoria’s director of governance and programs Colin Morrison said the Living Libraries Infrastructure Program was designed to improve the state’s library facilities and make them more accessible to the public.

“Public libraries are at the heart of the community. They provide inclusive and safe spaces that help to develop strong and connected communities, and support a reading culture and lifelong learning,” he said.

From February 2016 to January 2017, Brighton Library has loaned more than 335,000 items, had 18,590 members and 302,597 visitors.

The upgrade works are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.