The pandemic has challenged the way libraries connect and engage with their local communities. Here are some of the exciting findings shared by presenters as part of the OPLA Community-Led Think Tank's Community Conversation and what they might mean for the future of community librarianship.
“We wanted to create a campus hub: a technologically rich, flexible and congenial library environment to inspire interaction, introspection, discovery, and innovation. The Student Learning Centre (SLC) has become a downtown magnet for students and visitors alike. It recognizes the many ways students study and collaborate, and the multiple ways students learn outside of class. Our aim was to foster greater student engagement and success.The SLC has engendered great student pride and community spirit.” [from the Ryerson University Library award submission document]
Ontario Library Association
2016 New Library Building Award Winner
“Inspired by the historical gathering spaces of the Stoas and Agoras in ancient Greece where learning was inherently social, the lively SLC gives students eight uniquely-designed floors of generous space to meet, study, and exchange ideas. The design develops natural conditions for groups of people to interact while also offering areas for controlled and introspective study. Most importantly, it encourages students to make the space their own. Each floor of the building is different in plan and section, to offer students a wide variety of spaces to suit their needs, both volumetrically and atmospherically.” [from the Design Statement]
“This strikingly building on Yonge St. has fundamentally transformed the relationship of the University to the city and provided a bold gateway to the campus. It has also succeeded in dramatically changing the Ryerson student experience by providing a rich learning environment that serves as a home away from home for the largely commuting student body. And the building has also helped expand notions of how libraries can serve as agoras in an academic community. The jury was struck by the ways that the building has supplemented the existing Library Tower with a structure that embodies many of the characteristics of 21st century libraries: differentiated functions, social learning spaces, technological innovation, and incorporation of a variety of learning supports.” [from a Library Jury Member]
See the complete award submission document for the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre for a wealth of additional material: photos, statements from the Library and the architect, floor plans, and costing information.
The 2016 OLA New Library Building Award Winners: Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus Renewal & Library | Toronto Public Library Fort York Branch Library | Haliburton County Public Library Wilberforce Branch| Ryerson University Student Learning Centre | Toronto Public Library Scarborough Civic Centre Branch.