Guelph Public Library Project

The Guelph Public Library has been a topic of debate for the past 20+ years. It was founded in 1883 which makes it the oldest public library in Ontario. with over 420,000 resources and 54,113 card holders, it must be evident that the guelph public library is doing well. But is it really? Over the years that have gone by, the library has been determined to reinvent itself and transform into a 21st century library. Their most recent strategic plan has provided several key points that could turn this library into something more completely. Working on projects such as the bookmobile project and the metrics project are just some of things that this library is working towards. However the question that must answered is, what are the flaws of the strategic plan that stop the Guelph Public Library from being funded? In the last 12 years, five strategic plans have been presented. So what stopped all these plans from getting a approval and moving forward?

Whether a new Guelph Public Library should be built or not is a very important question. In order to solve this question, we must first look at the basics. Is the library a presentable atmosphere for the community of guelph? After touring the library not too long ago, it was clearly evident that the library absolutely needed several repairs done in order to atleast be presentable. By touring the library it was seen that its resources, such as the archives in the basement were in danger. The building is so old that the archives room could be flooded if severe weather ever effected the town of Guelph. If something that is as community based as a library does not have proper roofing, and facilities, then this can only mean that Guelph needs a new library. Another question that we can consider is, do library users have enough space in this old library? Do people not use the library simply because the library does not have the proper resources that should be offered? During my visit to the library, it was evident that space was an issue. All computers were being used and there were no seats for people who walked in trying to study.  Before we decide whether or not this new library should be built, we also need to hear the publics opinion. What do politicians think of the library and what are their views on its strategic plan? Are current library users content with the library they have been using for the past several years, or are they waiting for some change to occur? What do non-library users feel and what would persuade them to start using the library? These are several questions that are crucial in understanding whether guelph truly needs another library.

I think that the reason why the new library has not been built yet is because of the big issue of money. After all money is the root of everything. Is spending millions of dollars on something like a library that does not attract a wide population of users worth it? Are there other important matters that need attention other than the town library? These are some questions that truly dictate whether this library should be built.

I believe that Guelph needs to build a new downtown public library. For decades, library users have been using a facility that is simply old and beat down. The city needs to start opening their eyes and realize that the library is in desperate need for help. Archives can be destroyed at any time with a simple storm, the public does not have enough space to actually use the library. Sooner or later the city has to realize that the library isn’t getting any bigger, but the city is. It is imperative that a new library is built so that the public can get what they deserve, a library that is safe and reliable.

Mohit Sekhon

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