Shellharbour City Library won a prestigious national design award on Thursday night.
The library has taken out the 2019 Australian Library and Information Association's Library Design Awards in the public category during a ceremony in Queensland.
The library was one of four libraries shortlisted in the public libraries category, and the only one in the state.
The City Library was described by the judges as a "jewel of the city" and had "a long, elegant and sophisticated facade with a design that adheres to a thoroughly confident and well-researched library strategy".
"Some of the more iconic aspects of the design include the dynamic ceiling panels, the wave floor, floor-to-ceiling glazing and distinctive white acoustic discs that float from the ceiling," the judges said.
Shellharbour City Mayor Marianne Saliba said was thrilled with the news and said the community deserved to feel extremely proud.
“This is a tremendous achievement for our city. To achieve recognition at national level is just amazing," she said.
"We’ve always known how wonderful and unique our library was, but to have it acknowledged among Australia’s best is just fantastic.
“I would like to pay special recognition to our library staff, who work so hard and truly believe in delivering a wonderful experience to guests.
"They are the heart and soul of the library and without them, our library would not be the standout facility that it is.
“I also commend and thank the staff involved in the planning of our library and the community consultation they undertook to ensure the facility reflected the wants and needs of our community."
The judges also said the library had achieved a "living room of the city" feel which residents requested during planning stages.
"Shellharbour has made serious efforts to create an environmentally friendly library and gained a 5-star environmental rating," the judges said.
They also welcomed the incorporation of public art, particularly the Aboriginal weaving designs embedded into concrete outdoor seating pads.
City Library opened its doors in January 2018 as the centrepiece of the Shellharbour Civic Centre. It grew its member base significantly with over 4000 new members joining in the first year alone.
The award comes just months after the Shellharbour City Museum won a Museums and Galleries NSW Imagine Award for best New Build in the ‘Capacity Building, Capital and Sustainability Programs’ category.