Emphasising social impact and library sustainability to drive innovation, define action areas and build community.

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Casey Cardinia Libraries (CCL) is one of Victoria’s largest public library services. Among the fastest-growing municipalities in Australia, the cities of Casey and Cardinia are set to experience rapid population growth over the next decade, particularly in young working populations and families. As libraries are becoming increasingly important as a place of community connection, belonging and wellbeing, CCL will need to adapt to this change and meet the growing needs of the community.


Ellis Jones collaborated with CCL and its key stakeholders to develop a library plan that channels the voice of its diverse and changing communities and guides the achievement of the council and global (SDG) goals.

Using hybrid research and design-led approach, the Ellis Jones social impact team designed a response that comprised:

  • Desktop analysis and benchmarking to identify gaps and opportunities from a range of data sources such as Public Libraries Victoria, ABS, SEIFA index and Casey Cardinia Libraries member data.
  • Key stakeholder interviews with council and community leaders.
  • Surveys to better understand the Casey and Cardinia population (particularly those who identify as CALD) to understand how they interact with the libraries.
  • Surveys and workshopping with library employees to define ideas to strengthen library outcomes and input into ideal library team members to achieve outcomes.
  • Virtual co-design workshops with key community organisations and council representatives to determine opportunities, partnerships and outcomes.


Ellis Jones delivered a library plan, supporting research reports and artefacts/tools that define CCL’s future vision and strategic pathways to 2025. We used a shared value approach, emphasising social impact and library sustainability to drive innovation and define action areas.

The strategy had four focus areas that highlighted the objectives, actions, outcomes and measures CCL would take over the next four years. These include:

  • A place to gather and learn: Create safe, welcoming spaces that provide free access to information, knowledge and resources.
  • Partnership and innovation to achieve shared goals: Strengthen partnerships and encourage innovation to broaden and deepen impact.
  • Facilitate community connection and wellbeing: Contribute to thriving, healthy and inclusive communities.
  • Organisational excellence: Strengthen CCL’s capacity to lead, adapt and innovate to meet changing community needs.

Importantly, we were able to assist CCL to navigate the challenging context of changing council priorities related to COVID-19 impacts on funding and community needs.

The strategic approach and action plan have been endorsed and it is being implemented.