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Why do we need a new library? #49: 2010

Posted in on a + note by Admin on January 17, 2011

Why do we need a new library?
As most of you know, I was hired to help bring a new downtown library to Guelph. To start the process, I have been talking to staff about why Guelph needs a new main library. This is what they have told me.
1. Built in 1965, the old main library simply is worn out by the more than 20 million folks who have come through the doors during the last 45 years.
2. With huge empty stairwells and large amounts of unusable space, 100 Norfolk Street is now inefficient.
3. The building is environmentally insensitive, wastes energy, and doesn’t take advantage of new green technologies.
4. The current location is outside the main downtown footprint. A Baker Street location would revitalize the northeast end of Wyndham Street and serve as the cornerstone for community and business development in the area.
5. There is not enough usable “people space;” space is lacking for the public to do research and for the staff to facilitate programs and events.
6. The collection is split between three floors, and the archives are shoehorned into the basement. The amazing GPL collection has simply outgrown the current space available for resources.
7. The current building does not allow for enough public computers and cannot accommodate new technologies, such as RFID and self-check.
8. The building and parking lot limit access for patrons. Moms, tots, the physically-challenged, and seniors fight for a parking space and then must contend with the stairs to get to the resources they need.
9. A new main library would create real partnership opportunities with community agencies, educational organizations, and the private sector.
The GPL main library has simply outlived it effectiveness. For this and many, many more reasons, we are working towards a new main library in downtown Guelph.

Kitty Pope #49 January/11
kpope@guelph.library.on.ca

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4 Responses to 'Why do we need a new library? #49: 2010'

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  1. Diane Marchese said,

    Hello Ms Pope,
    I moved here in 2008 because of my husband’s job. My daughter and I are big library users. I believe if we put a big beautiful central library downtown instead of another mall (for instance) we would see the important influence of this city’s great academic, artistic and cultural heart. I believe the restaurants and shop keepers would be more prosperous. I think it would have in the long run a positive economic impact on the downtown area. Please push forward on this very important issue, that really should have been dealt with years ago. Then after that look at improving the Scottsdale library, this site is in need of an upgrade in facility.

  2. Jenna in Des Moines said,

    Go, Kitty! This is a great post, and I hope every one of your stakeholders gets a chance to take a look. Good luck in this new project. 🙂

  3. Bill Manson said,

    Good to have you in town, Kitty. It sounds like you’re bringing a long needed breath of fresh air.

  4. Luke Boudreau said,

    I am very much in support of the new library initiative. This will be a vital component to attracting new residents to the downtown. This could be such an amazing project. I can’t wait to see this happen. 🙂


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