The Library Reimagined

The Library Reimagined

What's fresh? What's possible? What's needed?

The Library Reimagined explores and articulates the kind of spaces, services, skills and partnerships that will support and sustain Western Sydney University’s library of the future.

Emphasising collaboration and collective imagination, The Library Reimagined program comprises four interconnected projects: Data Gathering; Library of the Future; Service Model; and Future Strategy.

Data Gathering Project

Employing an eclectic definition of what constitutes ‘data’ - perceptions, hopes, day-to-day experiences and statistical insights - the Data Gathering Project canvasses a broad set of questions with Library staff, students, academic and professional staff, and the wider Western Sydney community.

It investigates questions like:

  • Who is the Library for?
  • What’s the purpose of the Library?
  • In what ways can the Library best collaborate, communicate and support knowledge creation?
  • How can the Library service model evolve?
  • What does the Library stand for?
  • What will the Library stand up for?

The Students as Partners team met with Library staff during a workshop held in the Penrith campus library.

Library of the Future project

The Library of the Future project involves the redevelopment of the Whitlam Library on the Parramatta South campus.

This is led by the Library of the Future Working Group, which includes Library representatives and the University’s Office of Estate and Commercial.

The outcome of the project is a functional design brief speaking to place and its multiple histories; incorporating functional spatial needs and potential use; including technical and digital technology specifications based on immediate and anticipated learning needs.

The design brief incorporates the ideas, stories, hopes and dreams accumulated throughout the conversations and activities in the Data Gathering Project.

Service Model Project

The Service Model Project focuses on the library as a place of possibility and as an interdependent system, where skills, student/staff/community interfaces and underlying culture all contribute to an innovative and forward-looking service. Staff-led consultation, ideation and experimentation processes explore:

  • What will students and academics need in the future?
  • What place-based services, digital design, outreach, and capabilities will be needed?
  • Where are the critical community and service touch-points, and how might they be reimagined?
  • What kinds of partnerships can help amplify Library services?

The outcome for the project: summary documentation that indicates a cohesive library service model, and the next steps to achieve it.

Strategy Project

The Strategy Project is the last element of work in the Library Reimagined program.

The outcome for the project is a conceptual framework that reimagines the Library as the new heart and focal point for our communities on campus, providing places and services that embody innovation, sustainability, creativity and transformation.

The framework includes, but is not limited to:

  • A reimagined Library service model
  • A deeper understanding of interdependencies across the Library system
  • Guidelines for cross-boundary collaboration
  • Priorities and action steps for 2023.

The framework provides a meaningful, practical and sustainable Library strategy that’s inclusive, inspiring and hopefully, radical. It answers the questions:

  • What does the Library stand for?
  • What does the Library stand up for?

The Students as Partners team held a workshop on what the Library Reimagined would look like.

Timeline for the program

Starting in August 2022, and continuing into early 2023, The Library Reimagined culminates in a comprehensive and forward-looking strategy.

Library Reimagined timeline graphic showing the dates of the various phases.

Your voice

Keep an eye out for the various consultation activities taking place between October and December. If you have any ideas or suggestions about how your WSU Library can be reimagined, feel free to contact Annie Talvé, The Library Reimagined Project Manager.