History

Bassendean Memorial Library opened its doors to the public for the first time on 2 July 1972. It was built at 46 Old Perth Road, on the previous site of the war memorial. The inclusion of the word 'memorial' in the name of the institution, acknowledges the community's co-operation in allowing the memorial to be moved, thus ensuring that the library would be within the civic precinct and centrally located for the whole community.

Library ImageThe original library building of 790m2 was built on two levels, with the undercroft area accessed by a stairway from 1986. The Local Studies Collection for the Town of Bassendean was created as a separate entity with its own space and equipment in 1986 and in 2000, the appointment of a part-time Local Studies Librarian was made. This resulted in the improved organization of the collection and increased community access to much of the material.

The library stock has grown from 13.000 items in 1972 to the present volume of about 43.000 and the materials offered have expanded to include non-book materials such as videos, DVDs, CDs, audio books on cassette and CD, MP3s and jigsaws.

In March 1994, the service automated its loans and stock management functions, using a management system called LMSi, a Comsoft product, which is Western Australian produced and supported.

Since January 1997 public Internet access and word processing facilities have been available.

In 1999 the Town commissioned a review of the library service. This review identified the need for a modern facility which would be able to support the more sophisticated and extensive technology required, to meet the pressing public demand for easy access to electronic resources and word processing facilities.

In July 2000 the Town introduced its proposal to build a new library on the Bassendean Oval and in September 2001 it submitted a development application to the Western Australian Planning Commission, requesting permission to move forward with that plan. In September 2002 the WAPC rejected the application. In 2003, whilst re-addressing the question of another library site, the Town initiated a series of community stakeholder workshops to gain feedback on the preferred site of a new library. The existing site was chosen, the architectural firm Bollig Design Group was appointed and on 27 April 2004, the New Library Facility and Integrated "Civic Precinct" Buildings - Concept and Schematic Designs were approved at the Ordinary Meeting of Council. The old library was demolished in December 2004, construction of the new building commenced early in 2005 and the library moved to the new premises in October 2005.

The new facility is 1200m2 in total, with 840m2 dedicated to library functions and the remainder comprising public toilets, meeting rooms and public space. It has 10 public Internet terminals, a Local Studies section with a research room and conservation area, as well as dedicated areas for quiet reading, study, children, young adults and seniors.

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