Hunter-first library museum gets green light

Lake Macquarie City Council

Community Museum Officer Meg O'Donnell with skip tags once used in the mines (Custom).jpg

A development application to construct the Hunter’s first library museum in Lake Macquarie has been given the green light.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Cr Kay Fraser said the Sugar Valley Library Museum at Cameron Park would be an engaging, innovative cultural destination at the forefront of public libraries in the region, with the capacity to exhibit thousands of historically significant items.

“I’m excited to see this new community hub bring together innovative technology, traditional library services and a dynamic program of events and exhibitions,” Cr Fraser said.

West Wallsend District Heritage Group’s collection of some 7,000 items, telling the cultural and historical stories of the region, will form the backbone of the new library museum’s exhibitions.

Other items will come from a large collection donated in 2019 from the Dudley Public School Museum.

“There is so much history in our City, and it will be wonderful to finally have a venue to recognise and celebrate it properly,” Cr Fraser said.

Council’s Lifelong Learning and Engagement Coordinator Jessica Dowdell said the museum would help the community interact and engage with local history.

“This purpose-built facility will bring the area’s unique history to life,” Ms Dowdell said.

Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley said the library museum was part of Council’s innovative approach to enhance and transform how library and cultural services were delivered.

“The ultimate aim is to bring people together to learn, create and connect using technology, information sharing, creativity, and immersive storytelling,” Ms Hemsley said.

Tenders to construct the facility are expected to be called in the coming months with construction anticipated to begin early in 2022.

Edgeworth Library will remain open until the new cultural facility opens. Once construction is complete, library services at Edgeworth will relocate to the new building.

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