Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rideau Branch re-opens!

My home branch (and workplace, when not on term replacement at St-Laurent) re-opened yesterday after a 5-month closure and renovation.

We had a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 am, with local politicians, media and library staff and board of directors present. Our oldest patron, 106 yrs old (she was at the branch opening in 1934), cut the ribbon with a 4-year old from a local nursery school (a moment I found oddly moving - I teared up!) and everyone enjoyed refreshments and checked out the new layout, furniture and art.

Notice how the circulation desk is no longer a barrier when you walk in the door; instead, the contrasting carpet creates a welcoming path inviting you inwards.

A reporter from Radio-Canada asked me what the best part of the day was, and I was somewhat surprised to find myself saying that it was seeing and hearing patrons' reactions. I'm not naturally really outgoing, so I don't make friends with lots of patrons (although we're generally all on good terms) and I think while Rideau was closed, I had genuinely missed the community: the daily visitors, the regulars, the families, the seniors from the residence next door. It was truly rewarding (especially after so much hard work deciding on elements of the re-design) to see them enter and exclaim over individual changes with excitement and wonder.

I'm at Rideau Branch again today, filling in, and that feeling of wonder is still in the air. What a wonderful thing! It's the best outcome that I think any of us working on the reno could have possibly hoped for.

Here are some more before and after shots!

The OPACs and Internet computers

Old photo: reading corner (moved to annex); new photo: circ desk

The annex, with new magazine shelving, reading chairs with tablets, and That Snake Art Piece. The quote above the snake is from the Latin Vulgate, "Your prophets have seen for you false & deceptive visions."

This is my favourite piece of art (all art is new since reno, and from City art vault).


  1. It looks great! Thanks for showing us the before/after shots.

  2. ah, if only you could smell it. it smells nice, too..... it's the little things :)