What's New

Armstrong Library on the Move

by ORL Marketing | Oct 26, 2016
Over the past few years, staff at the ORL's Armstrong Branch have been contending with new demands, with more people asking for help with technology or looking for the library to support them in things they want to learn. In 2015, the branch saw a 75% increase in adult attendance at library workshops and programs, and an increase of 39% for children and teens. Wi-Fi internet sessions tripled over the same period. Changes in school curriculum also have an impact, with more and more kids seeking space to work on group projects. The City of Armstrong recently granted the ORL a permissive tax exemption which provides important help with the ongoing operational costs of the branch, but in addition to this, the library was finding itself in a space crunch.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that our current space isn’t meeting all the needs of the community”, said Armstrong Community Librarian Julie White.

The library is currently located in the Askew’s Shopping Mall, and this is a convenient location for most people. David Askew and the ORL got together to look at solutions, and determined that the library can move into the former video store location in the same complex. This move will give the library 700 square feet more space, a better layout, and will allow for a small and large meeting room. Flexible furnishings will mean that close to half the floor space will be able to be used for large programs when needed.

The Askew’s group and the ORL have been major contributors to the move and renovation, and the Township of Spallumcheen has also stepped up with a contribution of $17,500 for the furnishings needed in the new space.

Spallumcheen Mayor Janice Brown said, “Our Council sees the value of this move because we know that literacy and learning are an important foundation for success in life. We’re excited that this new space will provide more space and flexibility for library programming, community meetings, and more.”

The library will be looking to fundraise an additional $20,000 to complete the furnishings needed. This includes the costs of mobile shelving, comfy seating for parents and children, meeting room furniture, front desk, and additional areas for using and charging technology. Local service groups and the City of Armstrong will be approached, and individuals are also welcome to make tax-deductible donations to the project.

“The way people use the library is evolving. It’s not just about lending books and eBooks anymore. More and more, people look to the library to play a role in advancing learning and creativity”, explains ORL CEO Stephanie Hall. “We’re grateful to the Askew’s Group and the Township of Spallumcheen for backing this initiative – we wouldn’t have been able to make this move without their support.”

Renovations in the new location are expected to begin in November, with occupancy early in the new year.