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We want to hear about your ideas on how to renew, rethink and revitalize the library programs and services you need to support learning, community building and literacy in your neighbourhood. The new Central Library and subsequent libraries will be a reflection of what you tell us.
We want to hear from you about what you expect from the new Central Library, and what you want from branches across the city. We want to understand how you use the library today, what you think you will use it for in the future, and how it can help you, your family and your community learn, grow and create today and in the years to come.
In keeping with this movement of transformation and renewal, the site chosen for the new Central Library is the East Village, a vibrant urban community in downtown Calgary experiencing its own rebirth. Along with the National Music Centre and other historic landmark buildings, the new Central Library will serve as an signature development within the burgeoning East Village.
Why Calgary needs a new Central Library
The downtown Central Library today operates as the hub in the overall library system, supporting the work of 18 branches by providing administrative resources and support services to deliver programs, services and collections across the city.
The existing structure was built in two phases, the first opening nearly 50 years ago. The building was sized to support a library system serving only 400,000 people. The age, small size, and two-phased nature of the building make it impossible to serve the needs of today’s Calgarians and their technology-driven lifestyles.
The Central Library is working hard to create a vision and plan for its future. Libraries need to consider not just how to provide every citizen with access to vast worlds of information – whether digital, audio, video or print – but also how to support learning and growth that comes from bringing people together to explore and discover. Libraries of tomorrow need spaces, experiences and resources that foster the exchange of ideas, inspire conversations and encourage sharing of wisdom and knowledge.
Where we are today
With a funding commitment from City Council and a site chosen within the East Village, it is now your voice – and that of other Calgarians – that will be key to ensuring the needs of our city and citizens are understood.
Before designing the new Central Library, it is critical to understand how the building will be used. Through a two-phased public engagement process that will run from June to October 2012, your ideas on creating spaces that support creativity, inspiration and conversation will be vital in planning Calgary’s new Central Library. You will help shape the programs, services, spaces, resources and materials you see as most critical in a library.
In addition to public engagement, we are also reviewing how library services are currently delivered. This includes looking at trends, technology and the population to outline what types of services will be required. All of this work will complement and build on one another to ensure a solid foundation for our library system.
We are now in the first phase of public engagement and asking Calgarians to share with us what matters most to them about the Central Library and the overall library system. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and help inspire the next chapter of Calgary’s libraries.