Monday, 8 August 2022

History of Mona Vale Library 




The Mona Vale Branch Library of Warringah Shire Library Service opened on 3 September 1972.

Olive Beaton turned the first sod of dirt before the construction of Mona Vale Library on 10 July, 1971. A special ceremony was held in her honour, to recognise her tireless work and passionate advocacy in bringing the project together. The library was created by the same architects who had designed the Sulman award winning Dee Why Library. It was believed to be the best equipped branch library in NSW at the time.


The Reference library was housed on an open upper floor. The high vaulted roof and windows introduced natural light, and the innovative ‘easy pit’ for children’s reading was created. The first librarian was Jane Hunt, and some pesky local problems were addressed by the library’s bookmark inscribed: ‘Please leave the sand on the beach.’

From April 1970, the Friends of Mona Vale Library formed to help stock the library, including an extensive vinyl record collection, a hit with the youngsters of the time.

In September 1982, Olive Beaton was guest of honour to celebrate Mona Vale Library’s 10th anniversary. 1982 was also the ‘Year of the Tree’, and a planting took place in the library’s garden in Park Street.

The library officially entered the digital world in 1989 with the introduction of computer catalogues for users.

In May 1992, Pittwater seceded from Warringah Council, and Mona Vale Library became the central library for the new Council area. Pittwater Library Service was officially formed on 7 November 1992 when their computer system came online, with Carol Gerrard becoming the first Library Manager.


Mona Vale Library celebrated its 21st Birthday in September 1993, with a civic reception, followed by a speech from famous local writer Morris West. 

At the turn of the twentieth century, Pittwater Council voted for a new library building at Mona Vale. Architects Brewster Hjorth introduced a semi-subterranean concept that included plenty of natural light connecting the outdoor with the indoors.

Mayor Patricia Giles officially turned the first sod as part of the Village Park Redevelopment, Mona Vale on Friday 6 June 2003, along with long time library advocate Olive Beaton.


The library was officially opened by the Mayor of Pittwater Councillor Lynne Czinner on the 15 September 2004. Opening celebrations included a Family Fun Day, attracting community members from across the Northern Beaches.

On 12 May 2016, Warringah, Pittwater and Manly Councils amalgamated to form Northern Beaches Council. Mona Vale Library became one of the six branch libraries of the Northern Beaches Library Service, which for the first time united the Northern Beaches Libraries collections and services for the community to access under one membership.

During the trying times of Covid lockdowns the popular Library2U service continued to provide the community with home delivered items, providing a sense of connection and normality in a stressful time.

Committed to innovative services within an inviting inclusive environment, Mona Vale Library continues to serve the needs of our diverse and vibrant community.

Happy 50th Mona Vale Library!

Mona Vale Library will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on the 3rd September 2022. Please come along and help us celebrate on the day.

There will be a photographic exhibition of the History of the Library covering the period from 1971 to the present day, a talk by our Local History Librarian on the History of Mona Vale and afternoon tea.

Find out more about our local area’s history on History Hub:

Share your stories and memories from Mona Vale Library over the years. Email your stories and photos to us at

Don't forget to register your interest to receive celebration updates.