While we are all waiting for our revitalized Rosemount Branch and Ottawa’s new central library to take shape, let’s have a look at (and celebrate!) the new central library in Calgary which opened Nov 1, 2018. It was designed by Snøhetta, a Norwegian firm in partnership with the Canadian firm Dialog. Snøhetta also designed the Isabel Bader Performing Arts Centre (opened 2014) in Kingston (ON), the Norwegian Opera and Ballet Centre in Oslo (opened 2008) and the Olso Deichmanske Central Library scheduled to open in 2020.
Here are links to the news articles on the new Calgary Central Library:
On October 3, the Ottawa Public Library hosted a very well attended open house regarding the revitalization of the Rosemount library-a branch the Ottawa Public Library located in a 100 year old building. 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 project 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 the Rosemount branch 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.
A second consultation in December will present a preliminary design based on the input received from the community. READ is asking 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
Eric Klinenberg. New York Times. September 8. 2018 Excerpts:
A lot of powerful forces in society seem to think so. In recent years, declines in the circulation of bound books in some parts of the country have led prominent critics to argue that libraries are no longer serving their historical function. Countless elected officials insist that in the 21st century — when so many books are digitized, so much public culture exists online and so often people interact virtually — libraries no longer need the support they once commanded. …
But the problem that libraries face today isn’t irrelevance. Indeed, in New York and many other cities, library circulation, program attendance and average hours spent visiting are up. The real problem that libraries face is that so many people are using them, and for such a wide variety of purposes, that library systems and their employees are overwhelmed. According to a 2016 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, about half of all Americans ages 16 and over used a public library in the past year, and two-thirds say that closing their local branch would have a “major impact on their community.” …
Libraries are an example of what I call “social infrastructure”: the physical spaces and organizations that shape the way people interact. Libraries don’t just provide free access to books and other cultural materials, they also offer things like companionship for older adults, de facto child care for busy parents, language instruction for immigrants and welcoming public spaces for the poor, the homeless and young people. …
In many neighborhoods, particularly those where young people aren’t hyper-scheduled in formal after-school programs, libraries are highly popular among adolescents and teenagers who want to spend time with other people their age. One reason is that they’re open, accessible and free. Another is that the library staff members welcome them; in many branches, they even assign areas for teenagers to be with one another. …
Libraries are the kinds of places where people with different backgrounds, passions and interests can take part in a living democratic culture. They are the kinds of places where the public, private and philanthropic sectors can work together to reach for something higher than the bottom line. …
This summer, Forbes magazine published an article arguing that libraries no longer served a purpose and did not deserve public support. The author, an economist, suggested that Amazon replace libraries with its own retail outlets, and claimed that most Americans would prefer a free-market option. The public response — from librarians especially, but also public officials and ordinary citizens — was so overwhelmingly negative that Forbes deleted the article from its website.
April 17, 2018 CBC.CA
The winner will go on to design the new central library/Library and Archives Canada joint facility. Ottawa is one step closer to getting a new main branch. The five teams were selected out of 33 submissions received by the City since May 2017 and all have experience with projects of similar size and scope including libraries, archives, performing arts centres or museums, according to a news release. The five teams are: Bing Thom Architects & GRC Architects; Diamond Schmitt & KWC Architects; Mecanoo International & NORR Architects & Engineers Ltd; Patkau Architects, MSDL Architects & GRC Architects; and Schmidt/hammer/lassen, KPMB Architects & Hobin Architecture Inc.
On Saturday, April 21, 2018, The Ottawa Public Library will mark 100 years of the Rosemount Library branch being located in a Carnegie building at 18 Rosemount Ave in Hintonburg. Join your friends and neighbours for the official ceremony at 12 Noon at the branch. Special kids’ activities throughout the day.
For the Rosemount story
click here for Dave Allston’s “The History of the Rosemount Library: Endless Growth“.
P.S. Let’s get as many library supporters as possible out to see how many people fit in our little library!
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.Josh Nutt, Chair READ Rosemount
Click here for Resources where you will find Rosemount Comparative Stats.
READ Rosemount Chair Josh Nutt made the following presentation to OPL Board.
READ and others already spoke passionately about the need to expand the Rosemount Library at the October board meeting. Rather than rehashing the case for expanding Rosemount, today I want to use my five minutes to talk about how the OPL funds capital projects more broadly.
As urban neighbourhoods intensify, there will be more pressure placed on existing infrastructure. A primary example is the City’s planning rules which call for greater intensification around transit stations. In our neighbourhood around Tunney’s Pasture, it is not uncommon for what was previously a single family home to be replaced with a fourplex. There are even several projects on the go where single lots are being transformed into 20+ unit buildings. While the City’s pro-intensification position is laudable, the City needs to make sure that the necessary supporting infrastructure is in place. This includes a wide variety of hard infrastructure, social services, and libraries.Continue reading Dec 5, 2017: READ Presents to OPL Board on 2018 Budget→