Libraries have long been public places made for community, with reading spaces, book collections, and quiet areas. Yet, in an age of technology, a growing population, and hybrid workstyles, libraries have stepped up to become hubs of innovation for the local community.
Western Sydney is home to some of these very innovative libraries - catering for a diverse and growing population. No two libraries are the same, some with in-house studios, hot desking areas, 3D printing, tech labs, and much more. So, WEST has done the legwork and put together a list of some of the game-changing libraries in Western Sydney.
In the heart of Cabramatta on Cabrogal land, one of Western Sydney’s most vibrant and bustling suburbs, you’ll find the visually striking, very cool Whitlam Library Cabramatta.
Standing as the most innovative branch of Fairfield City Open Libraries, Whitlam Library Cabramatta was the design of one of Australia’s leading and most well-known architectural firms, Harry Seidler & Associates built in 1975 and named after former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1982, who was from the area.
With many spaces for visitors to sit and relax, we love that this library has evolved to cater to the area’s multicultural community of which 80 per cent of households speak a language other than English. The library is home to a huge collection of language texts, and the ‘Workary’ which is a thriving space for all kinds of community workshops and workspaces.
Here you will also find the very impressive Studio 2166, a high-end multimedia production studio built for digital media production and content creation. Truly a community space, members have free use of the sound-proof booth, green screen, cameras, and other premium production software. Perfect for beginners and emerging talent, free workshops are held regularly to upskill those wishing to gain creative experience and skills. Libraries really are no longer just about books!
There is also a newly updated youth space, designed for students who need a quiet and open place to study. Equipped with many desk areas, a Lego board, video game corner, and youth literature, this area is perfect for young people – and we love seeing them flourish in this environment.
Visit during the week and it’s likely you’ll get a glimpse at one of the many preschool and young children’s Storytime sessions in the children’s library. This area is bursting with colour and fitted with a kid’s wall map of the local area, iPad stations, and a very popular Lego brick wall to fuel young creativity. Big kids are welcome too.
With constant additions and features being added, each of the Fairfield City Open Libraries branches is at the forefront of the community and all are safe spaces for anyone to enjoy – the young and the not-so young. Libraries are the heart of every community.
Fairfield City Open Libraries branches include: Whitlam Library Cabramatta, Fairfield Library, Bonnyrigg Library, Wetherill Park Library, and Smithfield Library.
Visit the Fairfield City Open Libraries website for more information.
Camden is an area with many beautiful heritage buildings, one of which is the 1916-built Camden Fire Station which is now part of the Camden Library complex. It is one of the three Library branches which each serve the expanding community on Dharawal land.
Camden Library is made up of a variety of spaces perfect for different members of the community. With sunlight streaming in from the beautiful glass roof, this is a quiet place to visit in the centre of historic Camden.
With a fascinating Local Studies room, visitors can have a look into Camden’s rich history, and uncover surprising stories from the area. The Camden Museum is also within this complex and is well worth a visit.
Each of the three branch libraries, operated by Camden Council, has its own unique flare and offers a variety of great programs to the community.
Narellan Library is colourful and spacious with an indoor and outdoor play area for young children. Oran Park Library is a stunning and large complex built on the old Oran Park Raceway with some incredible artworks made from repurposed car and motorcycle parts.
All branch libraries have designated study spaces for students, and anyone needing a quiet place to sit and work. You’ll also find colourful children’s areas designed to inspire and nurture young people in the area.
Decorating Camden and Narellan Libraries is the Artist of the Month program which showcases the works of upcoming local artists. Visit and you’ll spot their works lighting up the walls of the library spaces. Camden Libraries are also involved in Sydney Writers Festival each year, investing in and promoting a love of literature and words.
We love that Camden Libraries are in touch with the locals and offer so many services.
Visit the Camden Libraries website for more information.
Bankstown Library and Knowledge Centre is a delightful and impressive community hub in the heart of Western Sydney on Dharug land.
The stunning building was designed by internationally renowned architect Francis Jones Morehen Thorp, and is incredible from the outside in. With a focus on sustainability, the library has an indoor Green Wall to purify the air, efficient air conditioning, and improved performance lighting. Visually it is inspiring and shows what great things can be achieved with a vision for public buildings.
You’ll also find the local history collection and research room, many study spaces, and a very large children’s area. There’s always something for anyone at Bankstown Library and it really is a destination in and of itself.
Visit the Library and Knowledge Centres website for more information.
In the heart of Blacktown on Dharug land Max Webber Library is a spacious and updated place to study, read, and participate in free community programs.
The library is always popular with locals, as a place to meet, read, and learn. We love that they offer a free weekly English conversation group to help community members gain language confidence. On top of that, there are knitting groups, digital literacy courses, and kid’s Storytime programs.
Max Webber Library is a great community library, with a space for anyone. It is another great example of architecture helping to define a sense of place and community, creating opportunity and an important place to come together, learn, immerse yourself in knowledge and inspire the next generation.
Visit the Blacktown City Libraries website for more information.