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Remarkable Growth During Year at new Summerland Library

by ORL News | Oct 05, 2016
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October 3, 2016 marked the one-year anniversary of the opening of the new Summerland Library Branch at 9533 Main Street. And the numbers show compelling evidence that business is booming in the new building. 

Comparing the recent year with the 2014-15 year when the library was in its old location, visits to the branch are up 14%. Stats for September are still being compiled, but the new library is on track to welcome over 75,000 guests during its first year of operation compared to 66,904 the previous 12 months. Attendance at children’s programming was up 16%, and more astonishing was the rise in program attendance for services geared towards Summerland’s adult audience – a 466% increase! 

One of the features of the new library is meeting space, which was lacking in the old location. The new Summerland Branch has a large meeting room complete with mini-kitchen, a teens group study area with A/V equipment, and a small meeting room. Use of these spaces has allowed for a 325% increase in programs and meetings with 1,729 total attendees. 

“The meeting rooms have been rented for activities and groups that we would generally not have seen in the past. For example, we had the room rented out for a birthday party and it was a big success. They had music, food and a clown for entertainment, even a piñata,” explains assistant community librarian Caroline McKay. 

Staff regularly hear comments from library members on how much they enjoy the new space. 

“I hear things like ‘It’s so bright and spacious’, ‘I love the design and the use of wood’, and ‘I love this new library’ all the time,” McKay adds. “Parents with small children and babies have been using the reader’s terrace as a place to have a cup of coffee and visit while their children play nearby. The space is safe and secure.”

The branch even features a popular seed library where members can share and exchange their plant seeds. Staff recently hosted a seed saving evening and one grateful patron came with a tray of kale greens that she grew from the seed library.

“One of our members summed it up best by saying ‘This is the best investment that’s ever been made in our city!’”

The new Summerland Library was built by the Okanagan Regional Library system with support from the District of Summerland and generous contributions from the Friends of the Summerland Library Society and other community members. 
 
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