Library buildings and spaces

The State Library can provide you with assistance when you are planning renovations, extensions or new buildings

Public Library buildings continue to change and develop.  It's important to remember that mobile libraries provide crucial services in areas where people do not have convenient access to a library building.  

People places: A guide for public library buildings in NSW

PDF iconPeople places: A guide for public library buildings in NSW

 Sydney: Library Council of New South Wales,  Third edition 2012, is an important planning tool for New South Wales public libraries. This publication, endorsed by the Library Council of New South Wales, contains practical advice and tools to assist in the planning of public library buildings to meet the needs of your community.

For enquiries about the hard copy publication, please contact Public Library Services.

Tools and templates to help you plan your library building

The following People Places tools and templates are also provided to assist with library building planning.

Office spreadsheet iconService Based Benchmark spreadsheet

Office spreadsheet iconPopulation Based Benchmark spreadsheet
Microsoft Office document iconLarge Library Building Brief
Microsoft Office document iconSmall Library Building Brief
Office spreadsheet iconLocational Matrix
PDF iconPost Occupancy Survey Template



Library design examples

As part of the development of People Places 3rd Edition, FJMT architects compiled examples of library designs:

PDF iconAmerican Libraries

PDF iconAustralian Libraries.(PDF 44 MB)
PDF iconEuropean Libraries (PDF 55 MB)
PDF iconNSW Libraries(PDF 74Mb)
PDF iconScandinavian Libraries (PDF 70 MB) 
PDF iconBuilding Element Exemplars


Public Library Services staff have added images of public libraries to Flickr to provide ideas and inspiration for New South Wales public library staff who are planning changes to their libraries. These images will help with plans for renovations and rebuilding.

We have set up two groups to enable public libraries to share images of their libraries with us and with each other. One group is for New South Wales public libraries to add their images to, and the other is for public libraries from the rest of Australia and the world.
Note: your images will need to be geotagged for them to be added to these groups.

Mobile libraries and outreach services

mobile library van

Warringah Council pop Up Library van

Mobile libraries and outreach service models in NSW public libraries

The State Library of NSW commissioned a project to explore the mobile and outreach services that are currently offered by NSW public libraries. The report identifies the range and scope of NSW public library mobile and outreach service models; explores the strengths, weaknesses, benefits and opportunities of different outreach models and provides good practice guidelines for outreach service models in NSW public libraries.

Mobile & Outreach Services NSW Public Libraries: practice, standards and guidelines (PDF 2.3Mb)