The Travelin' Librarian Libraries ‘We are a place for everyone’: How the Calgary Public Library is confronting social issues

‘We are a place for everyone’: How the Calgary Public Library is confronting social issues



The city’s striking new Central Library has put Calgary’s library system in the spotlight since its November opening, with more than 50,000 visitors exploring its sprawling 240,000 square feet during opening weekend.

Library staff have pointed to the way the new Central location shows how Calgary’s libraries welcome everyone, for book borrowing and beyond. But the open-door policy for Calgarians of all walks of life also comes with challenges, some of which surfaced during city council budget debates. Some city councillors raised questions about why the library needs security guards, which currently serve at inner-city branches.

Calgary Public Library (CPL) director of service delivery Sarah Meilleur said in an interview that everyone needs to be safe and comfortable in the library. That means keeping the doors open, but also being ready to handle problems.

“If we had a library where there were no incidents, that would mean that we had failed because we were no longer serving the breadth and depth of community that libraries are meant to serve,” she said.

“We wouldn’t be seen as a place for everyone, and we are a place for everyone.”

Read the full article @ The Calgary Star
Image: Wikimedia

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