Westmead Hospital Library closed for refurbishment

The Westmead Hospital Library refurbishment team: Kate O’Sullivan (chief operating officer, University of Sydney), Antonella Quinzi (library assistant), Linda Mulheron (manager), Winnie Fox (project manager), Coral Elizabeth (University of Sydney), Betty Brown (library technician), Julie Nolan (librarian) and Angela Hillis (library technician).

After more than 10 months of consultation, planning and packing, Westmead Hospital Library has temporarily closed for refurbishment.

“The library first opened in late 1978 and even though we’re very proud of it, it’s definitely time for an upgrade!” said library manager Linda Mulheron.

“All of this is now coming to fruition but it would not have occurred without all the hard work and background research over the past two years by my wonderful library team and the support of our manager Helene Abouyanni.

“We’ve been working hard with the University of Sydney and library users to come up with a design that will best serve our students, staff and visitors and we can’t wait to see the end result.”

What you want

In March this year, Westmead Hospital Library surveyed its users to find out what they want to see in the new library design. The main things were:
 Better WiFi
 More power points and charging facilities for devices
 Better spaces for group and individual study
 Better furniture
 More bookable study and meeting rooms
 Better temperature control and lighting
 Better access to online journals and other resources

“We’ve taken into consideration many recommendations received from our user survey and I’m sure everyone will be pleasantly surprised at how much has been achieved in the new design to address their suggestions,” Linda said.

Westmead Hospital Library will be upgraded to a highly engaging teaching and learning environment. It will offer technology-enabled individual and group study spaces, purpose-built rooms for student and medical staff examinations and facilities for education, training and research activities.

Themes that guided the design of the library include harmony and warmth, flexibility, creativity and collaboration, and health and wellness.

Plans also includes green, natural elements to create a welcoming and calming space.

On top of all the physical changes, the library is also adopting activity-based working (ABW).

ABW allows people to choose the type of space they need, based on the type of work they’re doing.

Library manager Linda Mulheron said: “activity-based working has certainly provided a challenge for library staff, and we hope to realise some of its benefits when the library re-opens next year. It has already helped us rethink how we work, and particularly, to differentiate between focused and collaborative work.

“We hope that moving to an ABW environment will mean that library staff can spend less time on transactional tasks like administration and processing books, and more time supporting staff and students in education, training and research.”