September 30, 2016, Ottawa—Did you know the Main Ottawa Public Library on Metcalfe Street will close in 2020? The City is choosing an undisclosed site for the new flagship Central Library.
If it isn’t built in Centretown, there are no plans to keep a branch in the neighbourhood.
The Central Library Project has enthusiastic support from the community. It has tremendous potential as a provider of information and as a gathering space in the heart of the city.
The City evaluated 12 properties for the new building. Five of the sites are located in the heart of downtown; two are east of the Canal; and five are west of Bronson. From this, the library board has produced a shortlist of sites that they are keeping secret until it’s a done deal at the end of this year.
We believe an engaged public has the right to know if a neighbourhood library will subsist in four years. We believe it is a mistake to move the library west of where the most people live and work, leaving Centretown without a vital community resource.
Together with 15 other community associations in the urban area, Centretown Citizens Community Association is advocating for a library branch to stay in the downtown core (east of Bronson).
Why Centretown? An urban library is a place-based asset. It caters to the neighbourhood, paying particular attention to urban issues and the people it serves, particularly vulnerable populations. The current Main library is the local branch for more than 25,000 people who live in the growing neighbourhood. Another 100,000 work here. A remarkable 81 per cent of its users get there by walking.
Our members will be at the Main branch tomorrow, October 1.
Please stop by to learn more and show your support for a neighbourhood library.
We’d also love to see you at the next
Library Board meeting, October 11 at 5 p.m., Champlain Room, City Hall.
Here, Councillor McKenney will motion for the board to release the shortlist of site.
Please follow library project updates on our website, along with Bookmark the Core.
Maria Luisa Marti