READ Backgrounder

Rosemount Expansion And Development Group
April 2015

  • READ is a citizens’ group of residents/users in the OPL Rosemount library branch catchment area.
  • READ wants to work with the OPL Board and Administration and FOPLA (Friends of the Ottawa Public Library) to support planning for the expansion and redevelopment of the much used and much loved Rosemount branch; that way, as opportunities arise, OPL will be well-positioned to respond.
  • Richard Van Loon is the Chair and leader of the group; many members of the growing READ group represent not only themselves and their families but thirteen community associations in the Rosemount catchment area.
  • Rosemount branch library, originally built in 1918 is the only Carnegie library remaining in Ottawa; it is a small community branch at only 6,089 sf. The year 2018 would be fitting to celebrate the redevelopment of Rosemount.
  • Expansion and redevelopment of the Rosemount branch library is included in the City Council approved Hintonburg and Mechanicsville Neighbourhood Plan, 2010 (pp 76-77).
  • The OPL Board has a capital facilities priority list approved in 2012 and reconfirmed in the 2013 and 2014 budgets; Rosemount has been on that list as the #1 branch priority; $100k has been approved to study development options.
  • Many of the Board’s capital priorities (and others) have been initiated and/or completed (e.g. Hazeldean, Beaverbrook, Emerald Plaza, Bookmobile, Constance Bay); Rosemount is outstanding. READ wants to change that.
  • According to the most recent Canadian Urban Libraries Council statistics (2013) Rosemount’s circulation/sq.ft are the third highest in OPL; of the OPL facilities priorities, Rosemount has the highest circulation/sq.ft.
  • At the 95th anniversary celebrations for the Rosemount library in 2013, citizens identified what they would like to see in an expanded/redeveloped branch: major themes included more meeting spaces, more quiet space, more bike racks, more aisle space to allow for browsing and improved physical accessibility. Other ideas included book clubs for a variety of audiences (adults, teens and tweens).
  • READ is advocating for:
    • Inclusion of Rosemount expansion/redevelopment in the City of Ottawa/OPL 2015-2018 capital budgets.
    • Clarification on the expenditure of the $100k planning funds (approved 2014) allocated to Rosemount and release of any recent, related studies, and data.
    • More and better meeting spaces; space for working in groups/students, programs, display of materials.
    • More space for books and materials, browsing, individual use, quiet contemplation and staff work spaces.
    • Continued implementation of the latest information technology including RFID, maker spaces etc.
    • Expanded programs and services that build on the branch strengths in serving high-needs and vulnerable groups and individuals as well as its ability to form productive community partnerships.
    • More community outreach to high-needs groups in the Rosemount catchment area.
    • A facility that maximizes user service and convenience and the efficient use of staff resources.
    • A beautiful, well-designed, welcoming, efficient and effective operating space that continues and expands Rosemount library branch’s role as a community hub and gathering place.
    • Ongoing consultative processes engaging both the community and the local branch staff.

April 23, 2015

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