Today, 3 October, marks 60 years since the official opening of the City’s first Library. Libraries across the City are celebrating the milestone with giveaways, colouring competitions, author talks and history displays throughout the month.
Mayor John Giardina said, “Libraries play a huge part in bringing the community together and are important educational, cultural and social hubs. Despite the transition into a more digitalised world, it’s been wonderful to see our libraries continue to thrive.”
The City’s four libraries are a stark comparison to the original fibro huts purchased by the Darling Range Roads Board (DRRB) in 1958, which were situated at what is now known as Kostera Oval.
In 1963, a new and improved building was constructed on Railway Road and officially opened for use on 19 April. The Lapidary Club moved into the old fibro buildings at Kostera Oval, which have since been replaced for new clubrooms.
The introduction of mobile library services quickly followed, helping to service the outlying communities of Forrestfield, High Wycombe, Bickley, Pickering Brook, Lesmurdie and Maida vale. This was the first ever mobile library service in Western Australia and continued through to the late 80s.
The mobile services soon transitioned into permanent buildings, with the construction of the Forrestfield Library in 1980, a dual use library at Lesmurdie High School in 1982 and High Wycombe Library in 1987. By 1984 the population had grown significantly, leaving the Kalamunda Library in need of more books and floor space, triggering the need for a single level extension.
The stained glass window featured at the Library was designed and built by the community and artists as part of the then Shire of Kalamunda ‘Community Arts Programme’ 1987/88. The glass panels feature the unique landscape and flora of the Hills region. It is the largest community-built stained glass window in the Southern Hemisphere and attracts many visitors to the Library.
Since then, the City’s Libraries have evolved to become diverse, adaptive, vibrant community hubs enabling learning, fun, information and provision of technology for all. To find your nearest City of Kalamunda Library visit www.kalamunda.wa.gov.au/Services/Libraries/Locations-Opening-Hours today or phone 9257 9999.