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Public gets first glimpse into plans for new library building

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By: Anne Beaty

  |  Posted: Thursday, Dec 05, 2013 10:58 am

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Last week, Airdrie residents got a look at what the community wants in a new library.

Wrapping up six months of intensive information collecting, Jon Hartenberger, of HarGroup Management Consultants, shared the results of the Airdrie Public Library (APL) facility needs assessment at an open house at the library Nov. 28. The event welcomed members of the public to share in the community’s vision and to add their comments and input, as well. (See story page 12).

The assessment included a wide variety of input from people of all ages – APL members and non-members– gathered through individual interviews, random telephone surveys, an online survey, focus groups with community members and staff, and comparative library interviews. The results were impressive and reiterated how satisfied users are with APL’s services and programs and how essential the library is to the community, even from the perspective of non-library members.

Everyone in attendance at the open house had the chance to go through the results of the assessment with Hartenberger and library staff and board members, and then take a look at a display of images of the possibilities in a new Airdrie Public Library. Attendees were asked to comment on what they would like to see in a new facility, from exterior materials to spaces inside. Comments covered such topics as outdoor spaces for reading and relaxation, specialized program rooms for tweens and teens, community gathering spots, and even bike racks and a coffee shop.

Also during the evening, APL recognized the support of the Advocates, APL’s friends of the library group, and local service clubs; the Lions, the Lionesses and the Rotary Club, which have donated several thousand dollars earmarked for two major renovation projects. Without such support, APL could not continue to serve the public as well as it does.

Overall, the facility needs assessment has been very useful in indicating a clear vision shared by the community, and it is the first step on the path to a new library. The full report will be on our website before the end of the year, and the public is invited to take a look and hear what Airdrie has to say.

For more information on APL and its programs and services, drop by, call 403-948-0600 or visit airdriepubliclibrary.ca


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