‘Dream big’

Wolfville seek­ing in­put on fu­ture needs of li­brary

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - BY LAURA CHURCHILL DUKE KINGSCOUNTYNEWS.CA

The An­napo­lis Val­ley Re­gional Li­brary (AVRL) and the Town of Wolfville re­cently hosted a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion to seek in­put about the fu­ture needs of li­brary users and how best to in­cor­po­rate those needs into the town’s strate­gic plan.

“Wolfville needs a big­ger li­brary space, and the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion is all about find­ing out how the com­mu­nity wants to use the space,” says An­gela Reynolds, com­mu­nity en­gage­ment co­or­di­na­tor for AVRL.

As of now, Reynolds says they don’t know if the cur­rent space will be up­dated, or even if this growth will hap­pen. This con­sul­ta­tion process is the first step in see­ing how the com­mu­nity feels.

Change to ser­vices and pro- gram­ming could hap­pen, says Reynolds, but the main goal is to find out what the com­mu­nity needs the li­brary to be so the Town of Wolfville can in­clude this in­for­ma­tion in their strate­gic plan­ning process. This con­sul­ta­tion was the first step of that ef­fort.

Reynolds says in­put is be­ing sought on a va­ri­ety of top­ics, in­clud­ing spa­ces, fur­nish­ings, the youth ar­eas, and find­ing out in gen­eral what the com­mu­nity wants. They will also ask for the “top five” dreams for a li­brary, as they did in Kentville, which she says gen­er­ated some re­ally good ideas.

“It al­lows com­mu­nity mem­bers to dream big,” says Reynolds, “and then we can dis­till those dreams into prac­ti­cal­i­ties for li­brary spa­ces and ser­vices.”

Ide­ally, the Wolfville li­brary will be a big­ger, mod­ern­ized, bright, and com­fort­able space for ev­ery- one to feel wel­come in, much like a third space.

“There’s home ( first space), work (sec­ond space), and li­braries are one of the spa­ces where the whole com­mu­nity can gather in that third space,” says Reynolds.

Many of the cur­rent li­brary build­ings are not big enough for those cozy gath­er­ings, and there are ac­ces­si­bil­ity is­sues as well.

This is why so many li­braries are now un­der­go­ing sim­i­lar pro­cesses, ex­plains Reynolds. The Kentville li­brary will open soon and the An­napo­lis Royal li­brary re­cently an­nounced its new build­ing project.

“Our li­brary users are out­grow­ing the spa­ces the li­braries are in,” says Reynolds. “Li­braries are places the whole com­mu­nity uses and feels com­fort­able in, there are more pro­grams for all ages, and the com­puter us­age is steady.”

Any­one who couldn’t at­tend the open house con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion on Nov. 4 in Wolfville is in­vited to add their voice to the dis­cus­sion in an on­line sur­vey found at val­leyli­brary.ca un­til Nov. 15.

“I be­lieve li­braries change lives, in so many ways, ev­ery sin­gle day,” says Reynolds. “Li­braries are the great equal­iz­ers - a place to stand up for the marginal­ized, make ideas ac­ces­si­ble, en­hanc­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for all ages and all so­cio-eco­nomic sec­tors of the com­mu­nity.”

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