Four new libraries are part of the next chapter for Wyndham’s growth, in a council plan to ensure most Wyndham residents live within three kilometres of their local library.
Wyndham council’s draft library service strategy proposes building new libraries along Black Forest Road North, the East Werribee Employment Precinct, the Riverdale precinct and the Oakbank precinct in Tarneit North between 2025-30.
It also calls for the Werribee Library, which is in the Wyndham Cultural Centre on Watton Street, to be upgraded and relocated to the planned Wyndham Integrated Learning Community Hub on Comben Drive. This is expected to happen in the 2022-23 financial year.
The planned move has been prompted by forecasts which predict Wyndham’s population will skyrocket from 222,000 in 2016 by 424,000 in 2036.
Wyndham is currently serviced by five libraries, three of which – in Point Cook, Wyndham Vale and Tarneit – have been built in the past 12 years.
Recent council figures show there were 1,035,131 visits to Wyndham’s five libraries during 2016-17.
Councillor Josh Gilligan said Wyndham’s libraries would be even more responsive to the needs of the community.
“A move to an ‘open library’ model which uses swipe cards and CCTV to give authorised access to libraries 24 hours a day and new models for picking up and dropping off items, such as library lockers, couriers and virtual browsing will also help to make our libraries more accessible,” he said.
The strategy noted that about 50,000 residents living at the edges of the urban growth boundary – particularly those in Truganina and Williams Landing – would be up to seven kilometres away from the nearest library, compared to two to three kilometres for most Wyndham residents.
Werribee South and Little River residents would also be much further out.
Councillor Kim McAliney called on the council to start planning for libraries in Williams Landing, Truganina and Point Cook to address the future growth in those areas.