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Local library open for business

17 Jul 2012

Local library open for business Image

The City of Melbourne last month opened Boyd, Southbank’s much-vaunted library and community space.

To celebrate, the library held a special open day on July 7, with a range of entertainment, plus the official opening of the centre by Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

The library is in the refurbished heritage-listed JH Boyd School building, with the changes blending the history of the building with the needs of the burgeoning community.

All up, the redevelopment cost around $20 million. The City of Melbourne purchased the site for $10.5 million in 2007 and has spent $9.5 million on its development. The State Government contributed $350,000 towards the library collection, while the Federal Government funded sustainability features to the value of $132,000.

The community hub includes a fully-fitted library, childcare facilities, community meeting spaces and a café. The site will be completed by some open space behind the library and Cairo, a 27-level tower by the Mackie Group running along side it.

The Lord Mayor, the Victorian Minister for Local Government Jeanette Powell, indigenous elder “Aunty” Caroline Briggs and City of Melbourne councillors attended the open day and there was also a large media throng in attendance.

The Lord Mayor described the library as a “jewel for the area” and said the council was extremely proud to be opening the library in an area that lacked community facilities.

“Developing areas like Southbank need community infrastructure and services to keep pace with the needs of a growing population,” Cr Doyle said.

“As the area continues to grow and evolve, Boyd will become a vital community hub and meeting place for the next generation of Southbank residents,” he added. “This starts to bring back the soul to Southbank.”

Minister Powell was equally proud of the development and stressed that libraries were vital infrastructure for all communities.

“Victorian libraries are at the very heart of our communities. They are much-loved and well used. That almost 50 per cent of Victorians belong to a local library is a good measure of how much the community values the broad range of today’s library services,” Minister Powell said.

“I’m sure this will be a very popular magnet for Southbank residents, workers and visitors,” she concluded.

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