The Strathfield Council Library Service was established in 1947 prior to the amalgamation of the Homebush Municipality with Strathfield Municipality. It was one of the first established in the Sydney Metropolitan area under the NSW Library Act.
The Library was located at 75 Parramatta Road Homebush and the Mayor at the time was Colin Hudson. (Hudson Park was named after him). The Library served a population of 15,751. (This was prior to Homebush and Enfield being added to the Municipality).
Between 1947 and 1954 these areas were added bringing the population to 25, 829.
The library on Parramatta Road remained the only service point, until 1956 when the Strathfield South Branch at 64 High Street opened. The Mayor at the time was William Dunlop.
In 1967 the Library at High Street became the Central Library and the Library on Parramatta Road became the Branch. A highlight for the Parramatta Road Library was the installation of hot water to the wash basins in July 1972.
Library accommodation at High Street was “tight” and a demountable was attached to the rear of the Library to provide workspace for the Chief Librarian and the Library Secretary.
In 1975 land was purchased at 65 Rochester Street Homebush as the future site for a new Central Library. The land was purchased for $35,000.
A 660 square metre Library was built on the site. The Library was officially opened by the Mayor Alderman Clarrie Edwards on 3 December 1976.
The old Library on Parramatta Road closed on the following day and the new Central Library opened to the public on 7 December 1976. Strathfield South Library again became the Branch Library. The Central Library served the public until 24 December 2002 and was demolished in February 2003 to make way for a new 1900 square Central Library.
The Central Library moved to temporary premises in Fitzgerald Park, 27 Broughton Road, Strathfield and operated from a very small demountable while a the new library was being built.
The new Central Library opened to the public at 9.30am on Monday 29 March 2004 and welcomed more than 1100 people on the first day of business. The design is intended to reflect the library’s role as a major public and service facility. The building is open and light filled with glass frontages encouraging views from the street to the various internal spaces. The atrium leading off the foyer can also be used as a reading area. It has good access for people with disabilities.
The new library is 3 times the size of the old, open longer hours and has all of the traditional library functions as well as some exciting new areas:
- Multi media facility for electronic research
- PCs for public use
- Group study rooms
- Separate local studies room
- Large reference library
- Multi purpose room for children’s activities
- Quiet reading areas
- Newspaper reading areas
- Meeting room with data projection equipment and kitchen facilities that can cater for up to 80 people or can be divided into 2 smaller rooms.
- Council Customer Service Centre
The building was the 2004 winner of the Master’s Builder’s Association Excellence in Construction Award for public buildings up to $5 million.