Public to be consulted over library rehabilitation

On March 31, the City of Ottawa will hold a public forum about the future development of a central library. This is the public’s first opportunity to have input about the long-awaited new library.

The forum, which will be held at city hall from 7 p.m. till 9 p.m., will discuss what services the library will offer. This includes what sorts of resources the library should include such as computers, printers, books and e-books. 

The talks will also include debate on the layout and the spaces that will be included in the library. The communities responses will determine what sorts of rooms will be available. 

These spaces could include themed rooms, function rooms or even a play room for children. 

The location of the new building has not been finalized and will likely be a part of future discussions as the project moves forwards. 

“Our central library is an important asset which needs to better reflect our dynamic and talented city,” Mayor Jim Watson said earlier this year. 

The lentral library would replace the current antiquated main Ottawa library as the city’s largest library.

The current main branch of the library has its origins as a book repository in 1974 and the library board has been looking for a number of years for a solution to the outdated library.

“The report in June will bring forward a comparison and an analysis related to renovating the existing (library) or building new,” says Elaine Condos, division manager on the central library project. 

“This is a great opportunity for the people of Ottawa to tell us what matters in a central library,” says City Coun. Tim Tierney, chairman of the Ottawa Library Board, 

In addition to the open live discussion, the board is also open to online discussions and written comments that can be taken to the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library. 

For those who cannot make it to the event on the day but still want to comment on the use of the library, there are  alternative avenues for dialogue. There will be a live online webcast of the presentations at the public forum and, following that, there will be a place to make comments online after April 6. 

The main branch of the Ottawa Public Library also provides an “ideas board.”

“We wanted to give people a wider range of ways that they could provide input, we wanted to give people more ways to get involved,” says Condos

A report in June will outline the results of the public talks.