About Us

At the Albany Public Library, we offer you friendly and welcome access to a world of information and entertainment to enrich your life.

Albany Public Library is one of the thriving community hubs that cement Albany's position as one of Australia's most liveable regional cities. Unique partnerships with the University of Western Australia (UWA), the State Library of Western Australia (SLWA) and a collection of over 70,000 items put us in a strong position to meet the information needs of the public. 

We operate as the Regional Library for the Great Southern Region, providing support to smaller country libraries to ensure they are able to offer a high quality of service to their customers. For more information on how this system works, or to learn more about services that your local country library can offer, please contact the Library Team Leader. 

If you are interested in local history the Albany Public Library houses the Albany History Collection, where you can access historical archives of newspapers, photographs and oral histories to name a few. More of the collection is being made available for access online and you can explore in more detail here.

Our work doesn't begin and end at checking out books either; the library is equipped with computers to offer free internet access as well as printing and photocopying facilities that are open to the public with no membership required.

Pay us a visit today! Check out our Opening Hours & Locations here.

Our Team 

The Albany Public Library is fortunate to have a dedicated team working hard for our community. Here are some of the familiar faces that you will see when you pop in. Feel free to say hi!

Paul Nielsen, Manager Arts & Culture

I love my job, because I believe in the power of public libraries to play transformative roles in people’s lives. I am passionate about the role libraries play in society and am excited by the challenges ahead to ensure they evolve with Paul Nielsenchanging technologies amid a tight economic landscape. It is my privilege to lead a passionate and dedicated team to deliver the best possible service with the resources at our disposal to the Albany community.
Following a recent organisational change, my role has expanded to include oversight of the Vancouver Arts Centre and Town Hall, as well as the library. I am very excited by this change and look forward to delivering some exciting projects across the Precinct in the near future
Contact me on (08) 6820 3610 or via email.

Soraya Majidi, Library Team Leader

As Library Team Leader my role is to manage and promote library services for the City of Albany. I lead a team of dedicated and gifted library staff who are committed to providing excellent customer service and the delivery of high quality programs and events.Soraya Majidi
The Albany Public Library is seen by many as the heart of the City of Albany, offering an inclusive welcoming space which caters for multiple needs. From using a computer, to quiet reading, engaging in a Book Chat event or bringing children to joyful story time and rhyme time sessions, the Albany Public Library is a special community meeting place.
I am passionate about finding ways in which the Albany Public Library can continue to support, collaborate and connect with the community. In my spare time I love to read, walk on Albany’s gorgeous beaches and spend time with friends and family.
Contact me on (08) 6820 3617 or via email. 

Katrina (Kate) Houderrani, Adult Services Librarian

Responsible for developing and promoting the Library collection and services for adults and the general community for the City of Albany.
I began working in Libraries 20 years ago shelving books at the UWA Architecture Library where I was studying at the time. I then went on to work in Libraries in Perth, and then London, where I completed my Masters in Library and Information Services.
Katrina HouderraniI am a born and bred Albany local so it was great to return here and begin working in the amazing Albany Public Library in 2008. I love working with the local community and in my time here I have covered many roles including Children and Youth Services and eResource content selection.
I love reading with my favourite genre being contemporary fiction. I run the Library Book Chat groups, help organise Author talks and other events and am part of the City of Albany Green Team where we look at and promote sustainable practices in the work place and the community at large.
In my spare time you will find me upside down doing yoga, bushwalking or bike riding, having a go at surfing or on the sidelines at soccer.
To get in touch, email me at katrinah@albany.wa.gov.au or call 6820 3628.

Dora Adeline, Youth Services Librarian

I have the absolute pleasure of being responsible for developing, promoting and delivering Library services and programs for youth and the general community for the City of Albany and am lucky enough to be working with the best team.
Dora AdelineI am passionate about building early childhood literacy and nurturing children’s love of reading.  Delivering programs to families with young children like Rhymetime and Storytime is the highlight of my day and a welcome break from administrative tasks.  I love seeing how much joy the library brings to children and families.

In my spare time I like to squeeze in some excitement like challenging swims and runs with the Albany Surf Lifesaving Club and more recently keeping up with one of my children as we negotiate the Mt Adelaide mountain bike tracks.  I also enjoy playing Guitar Hero with my other children including Jamie.

Contact me on (08) 6820 3611 or via email.

Kimberley, Library Systems Coordinator

I have worked at the Library since 2009 in the role of Library Systems & eResource Coordinator. This role involves setting up and supporting library technology, software and online resources.
I get a lot of satisfaction when things go to plan, but also enjoy the challenge when Kimberleysomething breaks. One of the most satisfying parts of my job is showing people how to use our wealth of online resources. They are always fantastic moments when someone downloads an eBook for the first time!
Outside of work I like to spend time with family and friends, travelling, gaming and reading.
Contact me on (08) 6820 3600 or via email. 

Sue Lefroy, Local History Coordinator

In what I consider one of the best jobs in the library, my principal role involves assisting patrons retrieve information in relation to local and district history as well as collecting, preserving and promoting access to historical archives and information.  The discoveries of research are exciting and engaging and the exchange of information through conversation makes my job a rich and rewarding experience. 
Description of imageEnquires are broad and can relate to genealogy, historic residences and other buildings, local events, civic figures, places and localities, military connections, exploration and development, indigenous history, European settlement and natural history.  Working with treasured historic records of images, indexes, original documents and publications, manuscripts, maps, newspapers and film, I am constantly reminded of their unique definition of our heritage.  My role brings me into contact with a wide range of patrons whose enquiries may be general or specific to the needs of schools, educators, academics, authors and historical agencies.
I have the best of both worlds in the library, working in the specific area of local history as well my regular shifts on the front circulation desk where I attend to general enquires.  When patrons can leave the Albany History Collection and the library further informed on any topic, it becomes an enriching experience for us all.  
Contact me on (08) 6820 3624 or via email.


 

Customer Service Charter

Part of maintaining our reputation as a treasured public institution is the provision of quality customer service. To this end, and to support the City of Albany’s vision “to be Western Australia’s most sought after and unique regional City to live, work and visit, the Albany Public library has created a Customer Service Charter. This charter enshrines our commitment to our community and the Library vision.

Our Vision

To be a Library committed to;

  • Creating an engaging, accessible and inspiring “home away from home” - a physical and virtual ‘community hub’.
  • Being a place that celebrates knowledge and learning; and provides life-long learning opportunities
  • Providing a safe, inclusive and stress free space for all the community
  • Collaborating and building strong partnerships within the wider community
  • Collecting and preserving our social and documentary heritage for current and future generations.

We Engage Enrich Educate Entertain and Excite You!

To discuss this charter, or share your ideas or feedback please contact us.

Albany Public Library History

The beginnings of the first public library in Albany occurred in 1852 when the Albany Mechanics Institute was formed.  Following the establishment of the Swan River and Fremantle Mechanics Institutes at the beginning of 1851, a public meeting was held in Albany at the Octagon Church on the lower side corner of Duke and Parade Streets.  Officers for the Albany Mechanics Institute were elected and included many prominent members of society.  Thomas Brooker Sherratt made his Octagon Church freely available for the cultural purposes of the newly formed Institute.  

The Octagon Church was home to the Institute until Town Lot 187 was released by the Government in 1853.  This lot was on the corner of Vancouver Street and what is now Collie Street where the Fire Station exists today. When the building for the Institute was erected it became the first section of the Albany Municipal Library.

Membership stood at 44 in 1860.  In 1866 a new Reading Room was added offering newspapers and periodicals to the public.  Accommodation facilities were also added for a caretaker.  The opening hours were 9am – 9pm with the library being considered a valuable source for good literature, English and inter-colonial magazines and newspapers and lectures of cultural interest.  By 1884 membership had increased to 91.  At the end of 1885 it was recorded that library membership was 112 with a book stock of 1650 items.

The Institute proved to be a valuable resource to the community until the impact of Image 1the First World War was realised.  By 1916, membership was down to 12.  A proposal was put forward that the library come under the direction of the Municipal Council with this being adopted in 1917.  The Albany Municipal Library was officially opened in 1917 with membership being on a subscription basis.
In 1956, the library moved into a building which stood on the site of where the Albany Public Library stands now. “Victoria House” accommodated the library until the building was demolished in 1966 to make way for the new municipal administrative centre.

Image 2At the end of 1955 there was lively debate concerning the promotion of a free library service with the State Library Board encouraging local councils to join the scheme.  The debate over costs raged for ten years with much controversy surrounding the division of costs between the Town and the Shire.

The new ‘free library’ service operating out of the new administrative offices in York Street was officially opened in 1968.  By the 1970’s the library boasted a book stock of close to 20,000 titles and had a membership that had reached 10,000.  This period also saw the commencement of a home library service, the opening of the Sir Claude Hotchin Art Gallery at the western end of the library building and the commencement of the Regional Library Scheme.


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The 1980’s saw the establishment of the Local History Collection and the indexing project of local newspapers.  A branch library was also opened at Wellstead and the Albany Lions club donated automatic doors for installation to the Albany Public Library.
In 1990 the library acquired the space in the building that the Art Gallery had occupied.  This was also a period when the Rotary Club of Albany Port funded the commencement and continued operation of the Albany Oral History Programme.  The library introduced an ‘Oracle’ automated library management system and a major library refurbishment of staff areas took place in 1995 with the Local Studies area being moved off-site to the Old Bond Store. 

The AMLIB library software system was introduced in 1996. A government grant enabled the Language Learning Centre to be established in 1997 and in 1998 internet access became available to the public.

In 2001 approval was given for a $1.32m redevelopment of the Albany Public Library.  The funding recognised a partnership with the University of WA in that the library would become a joint use facility.  The building was given an extra 500sm floor-space by extending the building up against Alison Hartman Gardens.  This allowed space for housing the UWA Library collection as well as the Local Studies Collection that had moved back into the building at this time.  The Albany Public Library Redevelopment opening was held on Friday 24th January, 2003.  

In preparations for the beginning of the ANZAC Albany Centenary commemorations in November 2014, the Town Square development was completed. This has transformed the space around the library and is a fantastic community-gathering space in the heart of Albany’s bustling CBD. 

Today, the Albany Public Library is a thriving community hub with over 70,000 items listed in stock. For the period of 2013 – 2014, Albany Public Library issued more than 375,000 items to 14,000 members. Regular cultural enrichment activities such as author talks, local society presentations and school holiday programs, keep a steady stream of new faces coming through the door and the seed of public service that was planted back in 1852 has blossomed into an institution that stands ready to meet their needs.


Image 5Image 4    Description of image

Public Library Services

While the services provided by the Albany Public Library have evolved since its humble beginnings in 1852 so has the legislation and policy that underpins and supports them. West Australian Public Libraries have forged strong partnerships with their local councils, the State Library and, of course, the public they serve through consultation, joint decision making and agreed standards.

One of the great strengths of the West Australian public library system is that a client may access any resource held anywhere in the State. It is free for library clients to request items from any other public library within WA. Library service provision in WA is governed by: 

the Library Board Act of Western Australia 1951

Library Board (Conduct of Proceedings) Regulations 1955

Library Board (State Library) 1956

and Library Board (Registered Public Libraries) Regulations 1985

State & Local Government Partnership

The State Library:

  • provides public library collections of catalogued books and other materials, and
  • facilitates the provision of a wide range of information services to the people of Western Australia through a State wide network of public libraries managed by local government.

Framework Agreement 

In June 2010 a new Framework Agreement for the provision of public library services in Western Australia was signed.  This framework agreement provides an overarching framework of broad parameters for the future direction of Western Australia's public library services. 

Legislation and framework agreements relevant to the provision of Library services have been collected and categorised for browsing below. If you have questions about any of these processes, please contact us.

2010 Framework Agreement

Framework Agreement between State and Local Government for the provision of Public Library Services in Western Australia