Yarrila Place Services and Programs Start to Take Shape

Innovative, educational and engaging new services and programs – alongside old favourites such as Library Storytime sessions – are taking shape for Yarrila Place.

“Having the Harry Bailey Memorial Library and Yarrila Arts & Museum (YAM) together in Yarrila Place will expand the scope of services we can offer to the community and visitors,” said Nikki Greenwood, Acting Director Sustainable Communities. “The new and larger library and YAM will support the liveability of the Coffs Harbour region by increasing equitable access to learning and cultural experiences through additional interactive youth and community spaces, education and leading-edge technologies, as well as cultural spaces that support local artists, writers and creative industries. The cultural facilities will also continue to build and develop ongoing community partnerships with our region’s First Nations and multi-cultural communities.”

The expanded services, programs and facilities require an increase in staffing and Councillors have agreed to a partial expansion in staff which will cost an additional $310,000 a year from 2023/24. Councillors also agreed to support the principle of moving towards a full level of service operation within YAM and the Library in the future.

The agreed additional funding level will support the activation of the following spaces:

  • The Workshop – an interactive arts workshop connected to YAM;
  • Story Space – a dedicated storytelling/presentation space in the Children’s Library on the ground floor;
  • Make Space on Level 1 – a space designed to support STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) learning activities;
  • The Digital Studio – a digital creative studio on Level 1, with high-end computers running creative suite software and digital recording facilities;
  • Young Adult Library and the Deck – the Level 1 library space dedicated to youth, with relevant collections, collaborative study spaces, gaming facilities, and an outdoor terrace area providing youth program opportunities;
  • Learning Lab – a flexible learning space on Level 2 designed primarily to support the Library’s digital literacy programs; and
  • Family History and Local Studies Room – a dedicated room to hold Local Studies and Family History resources supporting the development of skills in history, research and writing.

The Harry Bailey Memorial Library will operate over three floors with multiple library service points to provide customer service, manage collection access and provide adequate supervision. There will also be a significant increase in free customer facilities, including public computers, printers/photocopiers, self-service kiosks, seating and study spaces.

YAM will operate five exhibition spaces in total featuring an increased number of temporary and touring exhibitions, more exhibition-based events and programs, with greater demand expected for education and school programs. In addition, there will be a YAM retail outlet on-site.

“The Yarrila Place building will be open seven days a week with YAM open every Tuesday to Sunday,” added Ms Greenwood.  “The new funding level means that the Library will now also operate seven days a week.”