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.
“The new library is not a traditional library. It is coupled with student services, bookstore, student commons, and a cultural centre. The result provides students with on-site support services, promoting a culture of engagement, learning, and social interaction, essential to the progress of the campus
From the open areas filled with natural light to the more structured collaborative learning environment in the group study rooms, students can choose from a variety of spaces that promote a culture of engagement, activity, and social interaction. For students seeking a more contemplative study environment, there is a long study bar along the north-facing glass walls and a silent study room with carrels.” [from the Centennial College Library award submission document]
Ontario Library Association
2016 New Library Building Award Winner
“The design of the new library acts as a ‘bridge’ in both figurative and literal ways. It acts as a bridge: to community, to learning, and to current & future planning. The new library is fully integrated with the student services programming; the learning spaces it provides are not limited by the library’s enclosure. The building presents a transparent and open identity to the outside world bringing students, staff, and community together. It is the new face and arrival gateway of campus.” [from the Architect’s Statement]
“This new building is very effective at helping to reshape and rebrand Ashtonbee by creating a gateway to the campus. The building gives great prominence and visibility to the library, and builds synergies by incorporating other student services such as the bookstore, student commons and cultural centre. Inside, the space feels bright, airy, fresh and modern, and effectively incorporates a variety of types of study spaces, including group study rooms, carrels for individual study and a distinctive ramp of bleachers leading up into the library. This new library is bound to revitalize the campus and significantly impact the student experience.” [from a Library Jury Member]
“Within a small foot print, this project manages to do a lot for the campus, creating a dramatic campus gateway and rationalizing the relationship between campus entry an existing buildings. The jury was impressed with the buildings bold simple form and elegant exterior envelope as well as the tiered learning spaces that connected the two levels. The interiors were found to be bright and uplifting. A great example of how a library can become the defining gesture for a campus.” [from an Architect Jury Member]
See the complete award submission document for the Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus Library 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.