Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the privilege of listening to individuals such as, Mike Ridley, Wendy Newman and Steve Kraft discuss their thoughts and ideas pertaining to the Guelph Public Library (GPL). This has allowed me to expand upon my previously limited knowledge about libraries. As a result, I have identified ideas, concerns and questions of my own concerning the GPL project.
When Wendy did her presentation earlier last week, she asked us what we thought libraries represent. In my opinion, libraries embody and promote educational expansion. They provide individuals with the necessary tools and environment needed to learn. When multiple people have told me that the current library situation is outdated, understocked, and doesn’t fulfil spacious requirements along with other things, it just doesn’t make sense. It sends a message to not only the Guelph community but to outsiders that libraries and everything that they represent, is not important enough.
The 2015-2017 GPL strategic plan along with Steve Kraft’s presentation were stocked with an abundance of relevant stats and information that proves a new library is absolutely necessary. The GPL is the most used recreational facility that Guelph has to offer. Serving roughly 54,000 card holders, the GPL circulates 2.2 million resources annually. Facts do not lie, yet there continues to be a level of uncertainty that exists when discussing the future of libraries. Unfortunately, this hesitation has resulted in a struggle to collect the funds needed to build a new library. The success that the current GPL has had is astonishing considering that its the oldest library in Ontario, and doesn’t have the future recommended amounts in the book collection, periodical collection, readers seating and public computer stations. The City of Guelph’s population has been growing steadily over the years and its necessary that the Library grows as a result. The GPL’s dire need for expansion can no longer be overlooked.
The evidence that I have analyzed with a critical eye, has persuaded me to believe that a new library in downtown Guelph is a necessity. I understand its not an easy decision to invest millions of dollars in a particular area, but I do think that prolonging this cause will be very detrimental to this wonderful city. Building this new facility will send a concrete message to the world that Guelph supports lifelong learning and a healthy community. Ultimately, the decision lies in the hands of those who call Guelph their city. These occupants must make a decision on what they collectively value the most. The leaders of Guelph have tried to overthink the future of libraries. They should analyze the decisions made by many great leaders before them and the stats that prove Guelph is due for a new downtown library.
To conclude my blog, I want to thank those for opening my eyes to the importance of prioritizing. Sometimes we get caught up in the world that we live in, we tend to forget what matters. We have lost sight on the important role that libraries play in todays society. Thanks to what I’ve learned in this class so far, I already have more appreciation for libraries.
Ben . . . . .