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 library’s name acknowledges the community co-operation in allowing the memorial to be moved.

The original library building of 790m2 was build 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 organisation of the collection and increased community access to much of the material.

The library stock has grown from 13000 items in 1972 to the present volume of around 42000 and the materials offered have expanded to include non-book materials such as DVDs, audio books on CDs and MP3, jigsaws, board games and a growing digital collection comprising of eBooks, eAudio Books, eMagazines and film streaming service.

In March 1994 the service automated its loans and stock management functions, replacing manual cards with computerised system. Over the years the Library Management software developed into the modern system incorporating online catalogue and streamlined lending of library materials, culminated in introduction of self-checker in 2017 and RFID in 2021.

Public Internet access and word processing facilities have been available since January 1997, library website and online catalogue went live in 2008 and free WiFi access was introduced in 2014.

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 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 but the application was rejected by the Western Australian Planning commission. 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 the 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’ Building- Concept and Schematic Designs were approved at the Ordinary Council Meeting. 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 reminder comprising meeting rooms and foyer with community noticeboard and public toilets. The library has public internet terminals and photocopier, a Local Studies section with a research room and conservation area as well as dedicated areas for reading and study, children, young adults and seniors.

The west face of the new Library features design by Nyoongar artist Joanne Parfitt. Joanne designed an image of the campfire with the river linking all panels to give the feeling of continuous flow along the building, just as the Swan River flows through the Town of Bassendean. The image, said Joanne, ‘makes the connection to our people in the way we lived and the campfire was a special place where the Elders spoke about the dreamtime stories to the young children and their stories were passed down from generation to generation’. (Bassendean Briefings March 2005 issue no 42)

On Monday 23 March 2020, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the library closed its doors to public under the Emergency Management Act 2005 and remained in lockdown until 25 May, when it re-opened with the new look: safety screens, social distancing and hygiene requirements in place, as per COVID-19 Safety Plan. Over the next two years, the library had to adjust to ever changing conditions in order to provide its community with support and services it desired. But the library always embraced the need for change.

In 1972, the library opened its doors for 19 hours a week with, the primary purpose of the library was ‘that of education in any field desired by our residents’. In 2022, that education desired by our residents its still the library’s primary goal. Now the library is open 50.5 hours a week and our services has evolved to not only educate, but to inform, entertain, bring together and inspire. Our Library has grown into a community space, and we can trace these changes all the way back to 1972.

  • 1972 - Bassendean Memorial Library is open for business.


  • 1986 - The Local Studies Collection was begun, a separate space that allowed the curation of historical information.
  • 2000 - The appointment of a part-time Local Studies Librarian was undertaken, resulting in the improved organization of the collection and increased community access to much of the material.
  • 1994 - The library automated its loans and stock management functions.
  • 1997 - Public Internet access and word processing facilities are made available.
  • 1999 - Town of Bassendean commissioned a review of the library service. This review identified the need for a modern facility.
  • 2004 - Old library is demolished to make way for new facility


  • 2005 - The Library opened in new building in October 2005


  • 2008 - Library website and public access catalogue goes live
  • 2010 - Broadband for Seniors: a one-on one computer classes commenced with Commonwealth funding.
  • 2011 - First issue of the library newsletter ‘the Word’ was published in July
  • 2012 - Introduction of eBooks via Western Australia Public Libraries Digital Media Collection
  • 2014 - Introduction of eAudiobooks and eMagazines;
    • WiFi access available in the library;
    • Facebook page set up for the Library Service
  • 2016 - First Library Craft Group meeting in October;
    • First Literary Salon with Tess Woods in November;
    • Local Studies Free Community Guided Walks along Old Perth Road;
  • 2017- Self-check service station available for patrons;
    • introduction of free film streaming service (Kanopy)
  • 2019 - Mahjong group meets at the library every Tuesday
  • 2020 - COVID-19 changes the way library services are delivered with greater focus on technology and digital services
  • 2021 - RFID - Radio Frequency Identification system introduced to the library circulation module.

Bassendean Library’s Adult Services has changed when change was needed. Literary Salons, Evening and Lunch time Interludes, Historical walks and talks, Mahjong, Community Health sessions, Cyber Citizens, Craft group, Book launches. Our library grows as the world grows, and we try and make sure everyone is included. On July 1st, 2022, it is Bassendean Memorial Library’s 50th Birthday. We

sincerely hope you are here to help us celebrate it.

Children Services

Bassendean Memorial Library loves our Children Services because it’s all about the kids.

Kids on Thomas the tank, kids’ sticky and glittery with glue, kids building and decoding, drawing, jiggling, and reading. We want our kids to love the library their entire life long, so we’ve tried to create a space that is bursting with colour and energy.

We’ve had Halloween in the first week of many Octobers, with bats and stories, badges, and costume parades. Better Beginnings kicked off in 2007, so we visited mums and bubs at the Infant Health Care Centre and gave out BB bags with glee. We clapped and wriggled doing our new Rhymetime in 2009, and Storytime bounced along from our old library to the new. Our Early Reader collection, phonics, decodables, ABC reading Eggs, grew as our young readers grew, and our team thoughtfully pointed patrons to our Yellow Dot collection when tricky questions needed to be answered.

Our Lego League jumped into technology and decoding with Mindstorm and Brik4kids, as our young patrons built robots and planned circuits. Chickens have hatched, and our beautiful Bassendean mural was painted. The Tardis stills stands tall in our foyer, a fond favourite from Children’s Book Week in 2017. Our library and its children have sung, written, designed, and composed.

The first child to walk in our door in 1972 is now 50 years old. We sincerely hope that they have experienced all the joy and discovery that our Children Services have created. We wish that unknown person a huge happy birthday on behalf of our half century library.