$3.5 million hospital library refurbishment opens at Westmead

Parramatta MP Geoff Lee is given a tour of the new facility by Westmead Hospital Library manager Linda Mulheron.

Westmead Hospital’s new-look $3.5 million library has officially opened, offering staff and students a renovated, contemporary space to study and learn.

Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee officially opened the new Westmead Hospital Library, following months of construction work.

The refurbished library, which was first built in the 1970s, was funded by the University of Sydney and delivered by Western Sydney Local Health District, and includes a vast digital and print collection, along with a new lounge area with the latest journals on display, new clinical scenario simulation rooms, purpose-built rooms for exams, and a pathology tutorial room, housing historic specimens.

It also includes a consultation pod, where users can seek more extensive assistance, phone charging stations and bookable meeting rooms.

WSLHD chief executive Danny O’Connor said the investment in education, training and research facilities would support western Sydney’s growing population and increased knowledge-based jobs.

“This space is ideal for Westmead’s diverse students, educators, researchers and clinicians in their life-long study journey,” he said.

“It is a place where expertise will grow, discoveries will be made, and knowledge will be shared among peers and colleagues.”

Mr O’Connor said the library embodied the spirit of innovation and collaboration that Westmead is known for.

“Westmead is committed to embedding education, training and research in everything we do. It is reflected in our teaching and learning partnerships across the precinct, and in our evidence-based approach to patient care; the new library provides a space to continue and build upon this great work.”

Director of the university’s Westmead initiative and representative for the vice-chancellor Professor Chris Peck said the library was an important component of the ongoing redevelopment of Westmead as a global centre of health, research and education excellence.

“The library’s facilities are not only upgraded, they are transformed,” he said.

“The university is committed to the original vision for Westmead, first developed in the 1960s, to be a place where game-changing innovations in health, education and research can thrive; such innovations depend just as much on smart facilities as talented people, and the University of Sydney is proud to be part of the renewed transformation of Westmead to that end.

“The library is an important component of the ongoing redevelopment of Westmead as a global centre of health, research and education excellence.”

The opening of the new library is the latest in a series of collaborations between the university and the health district, which included the new Westmead Education and Conference Centre – a $9.3 million state-of-the-art teaching and learning space that re-opened at the hospital last year.

The university and WSLHD will continue to work together to build contemporary teaching and learning spaces, as the university prepares to occupy 1.5 floors in the new central acute services building at Westmead. The building is set for completion in 2020.

The Westmead health, education and research precinct currently supports around 2000 students and 13,000 scientists, clinicians, educators and other professionals and the figures are expected to grow to more than 6000 students and 30,000 staff by 2036.