Friday, August 5, 2011

Expand Your Library, Expand Your World

Last fall, the library board announced their plans to expand the library. At that time, many residents of the area and library patrons visited the library asking staff questions about the project, expressing their opinions, and making donations. As the population of Powassan and area tends to expand during the summer months, with cottagers and summer residents, questions regarding the project are being raised once again.

If you're not a library regular, you might question the need of an expansion. Yes, the library seems like it is an appropriate size for a small community. However, the Powassan & District Union Public Library serves more than just the Municipality of Powassan. It is also the library for residents of Chisholm,  Laurier, Restoule, and Nipissing.

If you take a closer look around the premises, you'll begin to notice how materials are cramped together on the shelves making it quite difficult to remove books and put them back. Take into account that we're constantly expanding our collection, and the shelf space seems even more limited.

 If you're here on a busier day, especially during the summer months, you'll notice that the library lacks room for people to sit and read, whether it be a newspaper or a novel. You'll see that patrons with laptops who wish to use our wireless Internet with their laptops often have nowhere to sit. And during the school year, students seeking a quiet place to tackle assignments and finish homework have few places to sit and do so.

I haven't even mentioned the staff work space yet. Imagine three people trying to complete seperate tasks in that area. We practically have to dance around each other trying to get things done.

Ah, yes, spend some time in the library and you'll definitely see an expansion is needed. As soon as possible.

With that being said, another question comes to mind -- When is this all happening?! Well, obviously, we need the money to make it happen first. We've done some fundraising with proceeds going to the addition, and a fundraising blitz is expected to take place this fall. We've received donations (and for that, we're so grateful) that will help speed up the process a little bit. Once we've raised a portion of the money needed, we'll begin applying for grants to assist us with the project. And once that giant step has been completed, the planning and building stages will commence. It's safe to say that completion is years away, however the sooner we garner the funds, the better.

The library has changed so much since its last major structural change in 1982. We now offer services that would have seemed impossible for a library to offer at that time, and I believe our building should change based on the fact that we do have so many things to offer. Statistics will easily demonstrate that membership is constantly increasing, and so we're serving a growing number of people. Circulation of the large (and increasing) number of materials we do have is growing as well, and we're busier than ever! The library plays a vital role in the community, and an expansion will only acknowledge this.

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