Looking to the Future
by Josh Nutt, Chair READ Rosemount Community Group
The Ottawa Public Library’s Rosemount Branch recently marked 100 years in its current building on 18 Rosemount Ave. Service is top-notch at Rosemount; the space leaves much to be desired. But after renovations beginning soon, Rosemount will, READ hopes, march into its second century revitalized and ready to provide improved community spaces for reading, reflection, social congregation, and study, notwithstanding the limited space the architects have to work with.
The wonderful new central libraries in Calgary, Halifax (and soon Ottawa!?) herald a new era of public libraries as major and important community spaces of architectural significance that build civic pride. Equally, stunning new branch libraries in urban areas across Canada reflect branch libraries as innovative, interactive, and integrated community hubs. These branches provide powerful models for the Rosemount planning and design team as revitalization and renovation takes shape.
Right here at home, Ottawa’s new Beaverbrook and Greenboro and Kingston’s Rideau Heights branches have wonderful group study spaces. All new and renovated branches across the country have public bookable meeting rooms. Winnipeg’s Windsor Park and Victoria’s sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ | James Bay branches are filled with an abundance of natural light. Most new branches including Markham’s Aaniin and Halifax’s tiny Musquodoboit Harbour branches have curved shelving often on wheels to provide flexibility, but with no diminution of collection size. Several library systems notably in Victoria, Markham, Winnipeg, Lethbridge and Regina have carefully developed collections, spaces and programming to respect and acknowledge Canada’s Indigenous peoples – First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
Technology underpins increasingly responsive and efficient service at new and renovated branches. This includes self-check and automated returns, sophisticated maker spaces and creative studios, ample and mobile public computer access, digital media labs, 24/7 wireless access, and much more. In Halifax and in some new Scandinavian libraries, even after-hours access is offered requiring no staff present.
All new branches have an emphasis on more and varied seating for individuals and groups designed to support leisure, study, and business pursuits. Finally, most new branch libraries increasingly develop with significant community input so that the resulting expenditure of public monies responds closely to identified community needs.
Canada’s urban centres continue to put a priority on good, environmentally sensitive design. Recently five new branches were awarded LEED designation-the most widely used green building rating system in the world. LEED Silver included the Edmonton/Calder, Kingston/Rideau Heights and Winnipeg/Windsor Park branches; LEED Gold included the Toronto/Albion and Markham/Aaniin branches.
Many new/renovated/expanded branch libraries are part of a larger community complex such as Ottawa’s Greely, Beaverbrook, Greenboro and St-Laurent branches, Vaughan’s Pleasant Ridge and Vellore Village branches, Regina’s Albert Branch at mâmawêyatitân centre (a Cree word for let’s be all together) and Montreal’s Benny branch a part of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Cultural Centre. These joint ventures, while sometimes challenging, offer enormous advantages to service opportunities.
Let’s hope that a revitalized Rosemount builds on the success of all these recent branch library developments across Canada!
Chair, READ Rosemount Community Group
in Newswest December 2018 p. 3
To see what’s happening with library branch development in Canadian urban cities CLICK HERE
Rosemount Library Revitalization: Ensuring Community Voices are Heard
On October 3, the Ottawa Public Library hosted a very well attended open house regarding the revitalization of the Rosemount library. The small lower-level meeting/program space at Rosemount was packed as members of the community circulated to examine design ideas for the future Rosemount. Attendees shared their own ideas and feedback by writing on Post-It notes and attaching them to various poster-boards created by +VG Architects.
”The Open House was busy and shows that our community is keenly interested on the future of our local library,” said Josh Nutt, Chair of the Rosemount Expansion and Development Group (READ). “I heard great ideas for how to make Rosemount better and a bit bigger. The OPL and +VG Architects must take the time to reflect on what the community said and incorporate the feedback into the preliminary design. READ will continue to hold the OPL accountable and will push for a presentation from the architects when the preliminary design is released in December 2018.”
One particular design element that seemed to be the subject of criticism was the OPL’s focus on outdoor space. Many open house attendees expressed concerns that outdoor space would have limited use given Ottawa’s climate. In READ’s view, the focus should be on expanding and improving the indoor space.
The ongoing community consultations allow residents to give feedback on all aspects of the proposed renovation. READ believes that Rosemount must meet the demands of the diverse and growing Kitchissippi neighbourhood. The library should be re-designed so it becomes an innovative, interactive, and integrated community hub. READ also encourages people to consider what design features would allow Rosemount to serve the high-needs and vulnerable groups and individuals in the community.
The Ottawa Public Library is still seeking feedback through an online survey. As well as the survey, the display boards and photos used at the Open House are also on the OPL website at biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/rosemount-revitalization-presentation.
A second consultation in December will present a preliminary design based on the input received from the community. READ will ask that the format for this December consultation feature a presentation by the architects, followed by a question and answer session. It is important that there be a dialogue so all attendees can hear each other’s viewpoints.
To see what’s happening with library branch development in other urban Canadian cities CLICK HERE
READ Rosemount | October 10, 2018
Rosemount branch is undergoing revitalization and community input is key to the success of the project.
There will be three main opportunities for the public to share their thoughts:
1. HAVE YOUR SAY: Complete the OPL preliminary online survey. This survey will help the library and architects understand how visitors use Rosemount and visitors’ opinions regarding heritage, architecture, layout, accessibility, technology, size, and the overall use and function of the building.
CLICK below for the survey ↓ :
2. Could not make it to the OPL Rosemount Open House on Oct 3? For anyone who could not make it to the Open House (held October 3), the Library has posted a version of the Architects’ presentation materials. In addition, options to provide feedback will be available online. !
Here’s the web link: https://biblioottawalibrary.ca/en/rosemount-revitalization
3. INPUT ON DESIGN: Provide the Library with input on the design concept beginning in December 2018. This second round of consultations will build on the results of the Open House. Check out the OPL’s website in December for more details. Link is above. ↑
And of course you can always contact your local City Councillor for Kitchissippi Ward #15.
Rosemount Library : the CASE for SPACE
READ Rosemount | August 17, 2018.
It’s official! The architects for the renovation of the Rosemount branch of the Ottawa Public Library will be the Ontario firm +VG Architects (the Ventin Group). READ Rosemount is excited to be participating in the consultations and encourages everyone in the community to actively get involved in the design process beginning Fall 2018 (see OPL statement below). Kitchissippi Ward Councillor Jeff Leiper tweeted out August 10ththat he ran into firm representatives at the library the other day so they are already hard at work. Some of the other libraries in the + VG Architects portfolio include: Drayton library (Township of Mapleton, ON), Callander library (Callander Bay on the shores of Lake Nipissing, ON), Hillsburg library (Township of Wellington, ON), Fergus library, Peterborough library and Clearview library branch in Stayner, ON (northwest of Barrie).
Rosemount Revitalization. Ottawa Public Library has engaged +VG Architects to design the revitalization of the Rosemount branch. This project will extensively renovate and refresh the branch, address building condition and accessibility issues, improve efficiencies, and modestly increase public floor space.
+VG Architects is an award-winning architectural firm known for innovative approaches to their design. Carnegie Library upgrade projects represent a core competency of their experience; having completed projects at eight of Ontario’s remaining Carnegie Libraries (more than 10%).
Overall Design Objectives:
- Provide functional, flexible library spaces by creating multi-use areas with open sight lines;
- Rehabilitate building elements, while retaining and complementing the building’s historic character;
- Address accessibility requirements;
- Address sustainability requirements;
- Address building code requirements;
- and Incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.
Public input is a key to the success of the Rosemount Revitalization, and is set to begin in early Fall 2018. More information and specific dates to follow in September 2018. Construction is tentatively set to begin in April 2019, at which time the branch will be closed for revitalization. Service to the community will continue at a temporary site at 1207 Wellington Street West
READ Rosemount: Spring 2018
HOW DOES ROSEMOUNT COMPARE
WITH OTHER OPL Branches?
READ Rosemount has said many times that Rosemount is a very busy branch. We’ve said many times that Rosemount is over crowded. And we’ve said many times that due to its size, Rosemount cannot provide the same great services available in other comparable OPL branches. Our volunteers have worked tirelessly to document the case for an expanded Rosemount branch primarily using the OPL’s own data.
Now that data is available in a convenient and easy to read document.
Take a look at how Rosemount compares to six other branches serving similarly sized populations. We think that you will agree that our community deserves an expanded Rosemount branch library.
Josh Nutt, Chair READ Rosemount
Click here for Resources where you will find detailed Rosemount Comparative Stats.
Have a look at some other great OPL branch libraries to which Rosemount aspires. ↓
How Can You Help?
READ is a group of volunteers working to support the Rosemount Library located at 18 Rosemount in the Hintonburg are of Ottawa, just east of Parkdale St. The library urgently requires updating and expansion to meet the needs of the community.
- Get involved in the OPL community consultations for public input to be held Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at the Rosemount Library 6-8 pm
- Fill in the OPL Survey on the Rosemount Library. Here is the link:This bilingual survey should take no more than seven minutes to complete, and is available here.
3. Join the READ email list: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Sign up for the READ blog posts: see the bottom of right hand sidebar of this page.
5. Follow READ on Facebook
6. Follow READ on Twitter
Tell your neighbours, friends and community organizers you are involved with about READ and this site so that the message can travel even further.
AND… to learn the basics about the issue, start with these links to other items on the READ website: