The Guelph Public Library (GPL) serves the Guelph community in a multitude of ways. It is used for community involvement and activities, to provide resources such as books or the internet, as well as provide the community with a safe welcoming environment for all. Guelph has many small branch libraries that surround the area but the main library needs a big revamping. Being from Toronto, the public libraries there have never failed me. They have ample study space for students, places for kids to engage with others, as well as places to learn and read. However, with all the resources available in Toronto, I have found the library not to have enough study space. The GPL is no different, in that there is limited space to study or to even read.
The key question to determine is: Does Guelph need a new library and if yes why hasn’t it been built? The debate of building a new library has gone on for over 20 years. Over time we have heard from politicians and library advocates who have a close connection with libraries. However the main perspective that is important are the people of Guelph. We need to canvas and survey the Guelph community and see their perspectives on if Guelph needs a new public library. We need to interview all demographics of the Guelph populations, those who are for a new library, those against and those who feel as though it would affect them. However we especially need to interview and get the opinion on both elementary and high school students, I that not only are they the current generation of library users but also the future.
A real eye opener for me was seeing the behind the scene tour of the library. It gave a whole new perspective on the trouble the building is truly facing. The building is old, is not accessible for handicapped people and there is very limited space for both library members and staff. There are multiple reasons as to why a new public library has not been built, as it is extremely expensive to build a library, secondly we are living in a generation where technology is all around us and the use of a library might not be needed as much in the near future. Lastly the current public library is still maintaining a steady rate of people coming in and taking out books, this could be a reason that the library that they have now is still very successful and why interfere with something that is already doing well?
I believe that Guelph should build a new downtown library. As the current one is not realistic for today’s day and age. It needs to be bigger which will enable it to provide more opportunities for the city of Guelph. A library is essential for community involvement by expanding the property and offering more resources, where more people will take advantage of it, which can make the community even closer then it already is. The library will provide a sense of support and community to everyone around.