WOLFVILLE, NS - The Annapolis Valley Regional Library (AVRL) and the Town of Wolfville is hosting 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.
The session is set for Nov. 4 from 2:30-6 p.m. at the Wolfville Farmers' Market building.
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 programming 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 everyone 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 can’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.”