Ryde Public Library is a library in Ryde, New South Wales. It was founded on January 27th, 1884 by public vote. The library’s location was chosen to be the Town Hall as it was centrally located and had space for bookshelves which were donated from other libraries.
The idea of building a permanent home for the collection came about in 1890 when George Lawson offered land at the corner of Beauchamp Street and Church Street (now known as Lawson Parade) which he had purchased from Joseph Smithies of Oak Beach Estate. A design competition was held with only one entry received: that by architect Benjamin Backhouse who proposed an elaborate Queen Anne style building costing ₤5,000 (£750).
The land for the proposed library site was purchased with funds donated by philanthropist Edward Swan.
In 1891 a design competition, open to architects throughout Australia, was announced and in April 1893 Backhouse’s scheme won first prize of £150 (£2250). The winning design provided an imposing facade which could be seen from Church Street; this was to become a feature of the library.
The library opened on July 12th, 1897 with an official opening ceremony by Sir Edmund Barton who had been Prime Minister at the time of its founding and became Australia’s first Prime Minister in 1901.
The building is now listed on the Register of the National Estate as one among many notable public buildings in New South Wales that represent the Federation era.
The library comprises two storeys of book shelves with a large reading room on the ground floor and an open balcony at first-floor level from which to enjoy views of Church Street, Lawson Parade and Dunningham Gardens. The interiors are designed in late Victorian style featuring extensive use of ornate plaster work.
Why is the Ryde Public Library Important?
The Ryde Public Library is important because it provides the people in Ryde 2112 with a space where they can go to read books and magazines. It also offers information on various topics that are relevant for all ages. The library functions as an attraction by providing interesting reading material like historical documents, letters and old newspapers from years ago.
The Ryde Public Library is important because it has been in existence for over a century and throughout that time, people have come to rely on the library as an invaluable resource. The library offers programs which are open to all ages like reading groups designed for children or adults, creative writing workshops or citizenship courses.
Finally, the purpose of the Ryde Public Library is to create a space where people can come to feel safe and find information.
The library has undergone renovations over the years in order for it to meet the needs of its current patrons but retains much of its original Victorian style architecture which adds character and history to this community hub.