Orangeville Library celebrated grand reopening on Saturday

February 2, 2017   ·   0 Comments

Written By: Jasen Obermeyer

The wait is over! Orangeville Public Library unveiled its new renovation at the grand reopening of its main branch last Saturday, with officials and members of the community turning out to mark the project’s completion.

The renovation includes the creation of the spacious and uniquely designed children’s room called “Storyland”, a new accessible family washroom on the top level, two new private study spaces, and energy efficient lighting and new flooring. Local artists are featured in the renovated children’s room. Theatre Orangeville built the Storyland entranceway (walking through books), while the nature tree was by Larry Kurtz, and the artwork was donated by Bernadett Pinter, of Old Style Design.

This was all accomplished in 99 days,  the library being closed from October 5 to January 11.

Darla Fraser, Orangeville’s Chief Librarian, says that after renovating the second floor a few years ago, the upstairs was looking tired and needed to renovate more than just one floor.

The renovation project received support from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150), the federal government providing $91,000. The program is part of Canada 150 Celebrates, the Government of Canada’s celebration of our country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The Town of Orangeville, the Friends of the Orangeville Public Library and the Lord Dufferin Chapter of the IODE also supported the project.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate the Orangeville Public Library Board on transforming the third floor of the library into accessible community space,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, in a message read at the official reopening.

Many were in attendance, including Orangeville Council, Mayor Jeremy Williams and Dufferin-Caledon’s MP and MPP David Tilson and Sylvia Jones. There were children’s activities, including a scavenger hunt, games and crafts.

Councillor Scott Wilson, Library Board Chair, thanked those in attendance and all involved in the project. “The Town’s commitment to our youth, our future, should be evident to all who visit this facility.”

Mr. Tilson said he is proud to have supported this project and is pleased of its federal funding approval. “As your Member of Parliament, I was, and am, a strong advocate for this project. The Town of Orangeville’s Public Library is an iconic building in our community.

He said he has been continually impressed with the library’s active outreach program that works to engage with the community. “The new renovations will help create a contemporary dynamic design that will emphasize openness and flexibility for the future while preserving the library’s historic charm.”

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, the library presented award-winning author Lindsay Mattick as a special guest. Ms. Mattick is the great granddaughter of WWI soldier Captain Harry Colebourn, the handler of the Canadian bear cub that inspired A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Her presentation included artifacts, photographs and a short reading from her critically acclaimed picture book “Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear”.

Ms. Jones says the library is more than books and videos; it’s a gathering place, bringing families together, especially with the study kiosks and storyland.

“I think sometimes we don’t acknowledge that our institutions that are so critical to our community, can also change and react and respond to what the community needs. So well done Library Board, well done staff.”

Ms. Fraser says the renovations show they are listening to the community and what they want, thanking the Board’s support and the community’s patience when it was closed. “It moves us along to be a modern space inside a heritage building.”

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