Conference | Creating Communities with Communities

09 August 2021

Authored by Hayball

The case study of Young High School and Community Library presented by David Tordoff (Hayball) and Dr Julia Atkin (Learning by Design), explains the design and engagement process with the stakeholders.


While shared use of school and community sports facilities is relatively common, it is only recently that joint use projects involving learning facilities have emerged. Conceiving a joint use school and community library as a community learning hub actualises the repeated call for supporting learning throughout life.

There are few places of public infrastructure that represent the learning culture and pulse of a school or community like a library. For communities the information they contain, the events hosted, and the spaces for hire are intrinsically tied to the culture of the local community. In secondary schools Libraries are at the heart of learning. Libraries are places that students inevitably gravitate to as a space for collaborative project work, social interaction, meetings and events. In regional towns, the roles of both are magnified.

These different library aspirations both complement and compete while opening up opportunities for use of a wide variety of school learning facilities by the community and re-integrating school with community. Hayball and Dr Julia Atkin have collaborated with School Infrastructure NSW, Young High School, Hilltops Council and State Library of NSW to design a joint use Community Library/Learning Hub to support ‘whole of life learning in Hilltops’. The project demonstrates a successful merging of a previously separate community, school, Indigenous language, art, cultural, health, wellbeing, and tertiary studies facilities within a new hub in the regional centre of Young, NSW.

Like all projects that break new ground, the process of seeing this project through from idea to design is a story in itself.

Edutech Conference (2021)
Creating Communities with Communities

Authors: David Tordoff (Hayball) and Dr Julia Atkin (Learning by Design)