Municipal library services in Ormstown have taken a great leap forward with the opening of the new library, which is now on the first floor of the complex that includes the Ormstown Medical Clinic, physiotherapy centre, and pharmacy.
At the facility’s inauguration on September 10, a jubilant Mayor Jacques Lapierre reminded those in attendance of the sorry state of the previous municipal library, joking that the plastic covering on the books was to protect them from its leaking roof.
The former premises had become obsolete and no longer met the standards required by the BIBLIO Network. The situation was such that the municipal council was presented with two options: “We could either close this well-established institution in our area, or relocate it and bring it up to date with a larger surface area that meets the requirements and a greatly improved offer of services to our population,” says Councillor Michelle Greig.
The library now offers much more than a traditional book-lending service: it has been transformed into a space for social, artistic, and cultural innovation that welcomes citizens of all ages.
Bright and decidedly modern, the library includes comfortable seating, a furnished children’s section, and several special features including the Desjardins Reading Corner and the Bell Room – so named for the project’s municipal partners. These spaces will allow for multiple activities to take place in the library, such as training, creative workshops, book clubs, etc. A wide range of programming using these spaces will be unveiled at some point in the future.
In terms of equipment, the library has been outfitted with televisions, virtual reality headsets, tablets and laptops, a game console, and a screening area – all of which will run on a high-speed network. The library is also now completely accessible to those with reduced mobility.
“This is nothing like what we had before,” says Louise Beauchamp, who co-founded the municipal library in 1989 with Jacqueline Bourgoin. Beauchamp is now responsible for running the new library, and she acknowledges the team of volunteers that has been working hard to prepare this latest iteration of a treasured municipal service.
The original library was opened on Ormstown’s Barrington Street. By 1992, it was clear that a larger, more permanent space was necessary, and a library was built beside the Recreation Centre where it remained for over 30 years. “We were very happy,” says Beauchamp, though she admits the new building is “a dream come true.”
She says she hopes the upgraded services will attract people, and especially young families, back to the library. She is especially hopeful that more young people will find a love of reading within the walls of the new building.