Speak Up Now for Better Library Services in Hunt ClubFeb 13, 2023 - By L.L. Brighten
The new Chief Executive Officer of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL), Ms Sonia Bebbington, has confirmed that the Library will be working on implementing OPL’s Service Delivery Framework in this term of Board. Public input will be invited. Potential changes to the Kiosk services and Bookmobile services currently available to us in Hunt Club, will be considered as part of this process. Staff also expect to report back to the Board regarding gaps in library services offered to us.
What improved library services would YOU like to see here in Hunt Club? Now is the time to express this by sending an email to the OPL board members (email@example.com) and to the C.E.O (Sonia.firstname.lastname@example.org) with a cc to our City Councillor, Riley Brockington (Riley.Brockington@Ottawa.ca)
Maybe you would welcome the OPL offering a dedicated library area in our community, along with programs such as … a weekly Storytime for Preschoolers? … a weekly language conversation class? … a monthly Book Club? … an occasional local author reading and Q & A? … a Graphic Novel workshop series for kids? … All of these services need a space, … here … in our community … to which we could walk.
Knowing the positive impact that a community library has on the social, physical and mental wellbeing of its members, here is what I envisage:
Tier 1 (meaning, it doesn’t get any better): A stand alone newly built bricks and mortar library branch, ideally an extension of our Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre. (Hey, we can dream!)
Tier 2 (the next best thing): A small OPL branch in one or both of units 1006 and 1008 of our Hunt Club Centre, next to our Shoppers Drug Mart, which have been vacant for years. (This would be similar to the ones at Elmvale Acres, Blackburn Hamlet, and Emerald Plaza.)
Tier 3 (pretty good): One of the existing rooms in the Hunt Club-Riverside Park Community Centre, with dedicated book shelves (for reserved items and a much larger selection of other materials that could be signed out – compared to the limited choices in the current kiosks), and 1 self-checkout terminal. The Book Return box could be moved next to the round tables at the west end, against the wall. (Maximizing room use makes good sense.)
Tier 4 (which we’d happily welcome): Eliminate from our community centre both OPL kiosks on site now, the hold lockers and the monitor unit to access these. Replace these with the same equipment suggested in Tier 3 in the area now occupied by the kiosks, and install an accordion-type metal gate that could be locked when no OPL staff is assigned to this area. This would create an ‘alternative library space’, along with the round tables and chairs and the ‘Take a Book/Leave a Book’ bookshelf already in place. Other rooms at our HC-RP CC could be reserved for programs offered by the OPL.
What each of the above examples would provide is a walkable community destination to browse library materials, to sit and read, or to sit and converse with other like-minded neighbours. This is not possible in the Bookmobile. It is not at all conducive to building community as it does not encourage prolonged stays. It’s a ‘get in, pick up your holds, or quickly choose something, then get out’ set up. So, speak up now to help make our community stronger with improved library services!