Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A page from my book

In Saturday's SP (Feb. 19/11) Bronwyn Eyre wrote an excellent column on the city's recreational and leisure facilities and the direction the city taking in this respect. The only item she dealt with that I questioned was the needs of the Saskatoon Public Library.

My family uses the library system on a regular basis and I support the system. However, I am not sure that I agree that the main library needs to be a grand edifice in the centre of the city. The main library definitely needs an overhaul and its resources have to be properly funded and kept current. But I believe the general public would be better served by expanding the branch libraries rather than creating a massive facility in the city centre that is hard to access from the four corners of the city and where transportation and parking are an issue.

I have always thought that the public library system should partner with the school boards and use school libraries as joint facilities. Pretty much every neighbourhood has a school. Every school has a library. In today's world with online catalogues and book reservations I would seem that library users would get greater benefit of the system if they could access materials more readily. Ordering your reading materials and being able to pick them up at your local school library would probably make the service more valuable to the average citizen. And it would certainly bring the community into the schools and create a sense of ownership of local schools and an interest in neighbourhood activities.

Although library supporters may point to the major cities and the beautiful central libraries they offer, those facilities were built in a different era and for a different society.


  1. That's not a bad idea. Libraries sharing purchasing power and all that. Why stop at public schools? Why not the university? They have a few excellent libraries.

  2. We have to remember that the library is our historical archives. I would have scrapped the art gallery at river landing and a new library should have been built there. Reading a book along the river....lots of parking....either way we are paying for it.


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