WOLFVILLE, NS - According to a community consultation done by the Annapolis Valley Regional Library (AVRL) last November, most agree that a larger library is needed in Wolfville.
Many respondents were concerned about the building. According to the survey results, most people want the library to stay in the current building, but the community has two needs: a traditional library as well as a social gathering space.
A working group composed of staff and volunteers with relevant experience has been composed and is looking at how the library fits with the ongoing review of the town's planning documents.
“The planning is in the early stages,” says Ann-Marie Mathieu, chief executive officer of AVRL. “We are looking at all possibilities and how a new library fits in with the aspirations of the Town of Wolfville.”
Now, the group is one step further, as Wolfville town council has approved a plan of action to move forward with the planning and development of an enhanced library space in the town.
“This project has not officially come to Wolfville Council with respect to formal decisions regarding location or funding,” says Wolfville Deputy Mayor Wendy Donovan. “However, we have received a report from the AVRL, who is working with our planning director to assess these elements. We anticipate more information when council resumes in September.”
Donovan also says it is fair to say that many, if not all, of the councillors are excited about the prospects and potential of a new library - not only a larger and more accessible building, but also a library that is a catalyst for all the important and progressive things a modern library can bring, she adds.
Matthieu says there is no timeline for the project.
“We are truly in the preliminary planning stage,” she explains.
To date, the AVRL has prepared a move forward action plan document for discussion with the Town of Wolfville. This includes how the town and AVRL will jointly work together in the undertaking. According to the document, council will be providing feedback and making key decisions throughout the process. The first decision should be the location, which is estimated to be determined this fall or winter.
“There will be many opportunities for the community to contribute as well,” says Matthieu.
Donovan sees a lot of potential in the project.
“This project, if done bravely, can contribute to economic development and business growth, innovative learning and social opportunities between town residents and Acadia students, community integration, along with its traditional literacy roles,” said Donovan. “There are just so many things, if we can be open to adopting a broad library paradigm.”