Around 8,000 Londoners told their Public Library what would they like to see for the Central branch, as a part of the London Public Library’s strategic plan.
An open house revealed the vision for the library, where architects and librarians, such as CEO Susanna Hubbard Krimmer and Senior Director Julie Gonyou, talked to visitors about some of the changes:
- Replacing the escalator with stairs
- Bringing in a Mac Computer lab
- Moving the Red Roaster to the current Library Store location
- Taking out the red walls nearby the Children’s library, and replacing it with glass so visitors inside can look at the Library Garden
- Moving the Library Store across from future Red Roaster location
- Have activities, music and other programming on the main floor, and quieter upper level floors
- Incorporating natural light for brighter lighting
- Moving all fiction books on the second floor, with non-fiction on the third floor
The project is estimated to take about 18 months to finish.
“Clearly the removal of the escalator and the replacement of stairs is going to be an event where it’s going to be a combination of noisy and extremely inconvenient. There may be a shutdown,” says John Nicholson, an architect involved in the project, “We’re going to be able to work in places discretely.”
He adds the library is recognizing visitors needs, including using the library for computer related work and group projects.
“One of the key things that’s changed across Canada, and Ontario specifically, is the introduction of maker spaces; a little more active way to make toys, 3D printing, more construct stuff. Think lego, think group play with a purpose.”
Adam Fearnall, the Youth Advisory Council director and former University Students Council president, was also happy with the proposal.
“It seems to me they’re maintaining the integrity of their space to the point where people can use it in the way that it works for them,” he says, “For me, it’ll probably be a place just to come by and get out my laptop, do my work, send some emails, listen to some music if I need to. Looks like a good place to me.”
More information about the plan can be found on the library’s website.