Developing an inspiring library network for one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions

Moreton Bay Regional Council, QLD

Delivering a long-term plan for Moreton Bay Regional Council’s library facilities network

The Moreton Bay region is Australia’s third largest local government area, and one of South East Queensland’s fastest growing communities. The population is expected to grow by more than 40% over the next 20 years to house approximately 645,000 people. Moreton Bay Regional Council recognises that accessible and quality community infrastructure is fundamental to supporting the future growth and change of its region.   

Cred worked with project partners Ethos Urban and Mantric Architecture to develop a long term and region-wide plan for Moreton Bay Regional Council’s library facilities network. Council has a bold ambition to position itself as industry leaders in the delivery of inspiring library services to its community.

Through the provision of engaging spaces and creative experiences and by embracing brave ideas, the network wants to extend itself beyond the traditional perception of public libraries and become a platform for its customers to expand their world.

A recent snapshot of Moreton Bay’s library network. (Source: Cred Consulting).

How we did it

The strategy was developed through:

  • a comprehensive review of the current library network including library buildings and location, programs and events, available facilities and services and borrowing and patronage trends
  • extensive internal stakeholder consultation
  • analysis of population and demographic trends and projections
  • benchmarking of facility provision and floorspace, and
  • best practice analysis and investigation of emerging trends and models.

Our Needs Assessment approach. (Source: Cred Consulting).

The outcome

Our library network diagram. (Source: Cred Consulting).

What resulted was a clear and prioritised plan for the future which reflects the diversity of Moreton Bay’s community and neighbourhoods, and introduces new models for delivering its highly-valued and valuable library service.

The strategy also recognises the important and varied roles that libraries play as places for gathering, connecting, learning and exploration – as well as places of retreat and refuge in a changing climate and during weather events.

The strategy included recommendations for new libraries and upgrades and extensions to existing facilities. In recognition of the region’s significant growth and diverse settlements a spectrum of “library links” was also prepared, which provides different models for delivering library services, from pop-ups to reading rooms.

Working with Mantric Architecture, we also developed functional guidelines outlining complementary spaces and their key design and spatial characteristics which could be incorporated into new library facilities.  This ranged from ‘quiet’ rooms, to rehearsal spaces and co-working spaces.