Residents of the growing northern suburbs will soon have greater resources with two new library services planned for 2023.

The decision to provide free library services was established at City of Whittlesea’s council meeting last week where administrators identified two locations – Mernda Town Centre and a library hub at the Kirrip Community Centre at Wollert East.

Chair administrator Lydia Wilson said the two new libraries were a response to the community interest in a library service for both Mernda and Wollert in past community budget submissions.  

“Libraries play an incredibly important role in the lives of many people, with more than 1.15 million people – or one in every six Victorians – visiting libraries in person each year,” she said. 

The Mernda Town Centre community library, located near the shopping centre, will feature seating, reading and workspace areas, public computers, and printing access, in conjunction with council’s community services with programs delivered by the youth development team.

Developed in partnership with Yarra Plenty Regional Library, the facility will also give residents access to programs and resources until a permanent library is built in the town centre precinct in the future.

Ms Wilson said the experience of a temporary library would help shape the features of a permanent library.

“Being located near public transport in the Mernda Town Centre means there will be fewer barriers to access for the community.” she said.

“The community library will provide council with the opportunity to trial a range of services that will inform the design and functionality of the permanent facility.”

The Kirrip Community Centre library hub, located in the foyer of the De Rossi Boulevard facility in Wollert East, will provide new educational and social development, including bookshelves, adult and children’s seating, self-checkout kiosk areas, with collection items available in a variety of languages.

The hub is expected to open by the end of 2023, and Mernda Community Library to open in the shopping centre in August 2023.