Just in time for Christmas, the city of Halifax gets a wonderful present: a shiny new library, innovative in design and impressive as a gathering place. Contrasting with the more traditional architecture of the city, the new building will open on December 13 on Spring Garden Road, in the middle of the busy shopping district. The library is part of a larger development project that is meant to inject new life in the area and modernize it.
Halifax is not the only city determined to invest in a modern library. Calgary has also announced a new library to be open in East Village in 2018, which is also meant to revive this community and attract families and culture lovers. “We consider the library an educational anchor to the development,” stated Susan Veres, vice-president of Calgary Municipal Land Corp., which works to develop the neighbourhood.
These wonderful gems of architecture follow in the footsteps of other libraries with exquisite, innovative design. Let us not forget the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library designed by celebrated architect Moshe Safdie, inspired by the Colosseum. It includes cafes and shops, and it features seating and studying areas, which is why it also serves as a social gathering spot.
These new multi-million projects may seem puzzling in a time when eBooks are gaining over paper books, and libraries are bound to lose their function. But this is a part of a whole new vision in which libraries are becoming more than just storage for books, they are becoming learning establishments and community centres.