Numerous questions over the past twenty years have circulated on whether or not the library on 100 Norfolk Street should be replaced with a new main downtown library. Guelph Public library faces many problems due to the fact that Guelph has a growing population. There is limited space for parking, studying, archives, and questionable layout of the building for seniors/persons with disabilities. Public libraries provide communities with the chance to educate, entertain, and improve the way of life for people. With a city that has a rich heritage and growing population, it is imperative that we build a library that provides a bright future for our youth, help our community socially and bring new innovative ideas to improve digital services. After outlining all these ideas many questions come into the picture such as; where funding will be produced, will services work to help community, and lastly will a main new library be a positive outcome for the city of Guelph especially for the downtown area?
The Guelph Public Library is the most used recreational facility used in the city. That being said, questions arise towards determining “why” a new library is needed. After taking a tour it was clearly obvious that space is a major issue, not only for staff but library users included. With a number of 54,133-card holders, it circulates 2.2 million resources annually, which goes to show the amount of people using this library. With that much service taking place, the use of space heavily increases which creates the need for more space in order for users to study, hangout, or plan recreational events. As far as staff-working space goes, it hurts that people working so hard to provide for a whole city don’t have enough room to do their jobs. The city of Guelph recently moved its archives to the basement of GPL; the space they store these historical documents are not easily accessible for the community and would cause people with disability to use a fifty-year-old elevator that needs repair. Steve Kraft provided us with chance to get an in depth look at what a new library would deliver. Economic growth was a huge upside for the downtown area because as services and space are increased, it provides the public to be more involved with businesses and other affiliations. Communities play a large role in improving life, mostly because it brings the chance for problems to get addressed, brings the public/youth to come together, and have shows. With a main new library, it heavily supports the idea of it being the heart of a city, which could bring many positive things to Guelph.
Multiple reasons why this library is under speculations and has not yet been built introduce us to the topic of funding. The estimated budget to build this library would be around 90 million dollars. With a hefty price like that, where would funding come from? And do all good things come with a large price tag? In my opinion, this is the part where the community needs to come together and get the message across. From what I have seen there is no major party or group of people strictly getting the massage across. Providing our municipal government with the urgency that this library is needed would put them in a tough position to make a decision and eventually work in our favor. In the long run, the more people know about the situation, it provides us with the opportunity to get fundraisers going and have a large majority of Guelph citizens involved in this project.
After gaining a helpful perception, it is no doubt that I am persuaded towards getting a new Library for the city of Guelph. Over the past few years’ new technologies, communication, and information has been introduced, giving a new look to the services libraries can provide. The age of GPL building is taking a toll on how much better this Library could really be and it’s only soon enough until a major accident will take place. I believe that there is nothing that can stop a new library from opening a door for economic growth, better living, and improved downtown core in Guelph.