Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba is proof you can take Warilla out of the girl but you can't take the girl out of Warilla.
"This is fantastic. It puts a smile to my face," the mayor said yesterday when announcing that construction of the new Warilla Library was now 75 per cent complete.
"As a child here in Warilla I used to visit an old garage which was our first library here in Warilla.
"For me now to see a purpose built library in Warilla is just fantastic."
The library, located within Keith Fletcher Park (behind Warilla Grove Shopping Centre), is a modern, flexible, and welcoming space.
Once completed, it will provide a new branch library for the city, replacing the existing Warilla Library located on Lake Entrance Road.
"I expect people over there will do some shopping and then come over here and enjoy using the library," Cr Saliba said.
"This is going to be just such a different environment for them compared to the old library in Warilla. It continually leaked when there was heavy rains, we had flooding in the car park and a whole range of things."
The council has invested $6 million in the library's construction.
It has over 900m2 of indoor and outdoor space, comfortable seating, a technology hub including free Wi-Fi and computer access, meeting and study rooms, dedicated children and youth spaces and good accessibility.
The building wraps around an external courtyard with a timber verandah and concrete seating provides a secure and external alternative for kids play, reading and/or adult reading.
It's going to be like a community living room for residents of Warilla.Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba
"It's going to be like a community living room for residents of Warilla," Cr Saliba said.
"I've watched it come up out of the ground and it has just been magic to watch.
"When it's complete it's going to be a great asset for kids and adults alike. Libraries are not the way they were in the old days of quiet places where nobody could say a word.
"We want to hear laughter and we want to hear people having fun in this library, like they do in the city library.
'And like we've seen in our city library, we expect to see an increase in library services and visitation."
The interior fit out is rapidly progressing, with internal walls linings, floorings, services, painting and finishes being installed.
The final phase will see the completion of the building and external works including car parking, footpaths and landscaping.
Council aims to finalise construction and physically move in before the New Year. The existing Warilla Library remains operational during the construction.