Up with libraries! Down with heritage destruction. Kudos to the VPL for listening to the community on this one.
Vancouver Public Library Press Release: New Location for Downtown Eastside-Strathcona Branch
(Vancouver, British Columbia) – The City of Vancouver has purchased a new site for the future Downtown Eastside-Strathcona Library Branch, bringing one step closer the Library Board’s long-time vision for a full service library in the historic city centre to complement the Carnegie Reading Room.
The Downtown Eastside-Strathcona Branch, which will also provide library service to Chinatown, will be located at 720-730 East Hastings Street on the south side between Heatley Avenue and Hawks Avenue.
“This is truly a dream come true,” said Vancouver Public Library Board Chair Joan Andersen. “Providing full library service to these diverse neighbourhoods, some of which face significant economic and social challenges, has been a longstanding goal of the Vancouver Public Library Board of Trustees. We are delighted to announce that we are closer to making the branch a reality.”
The Library Board will request capital funding from the City for the design process, which is expected to begin this year. In the short term the Library will explore partnership opportunities for the development. The Board has contracted McClanaghan and Associates to consult with neighbourhoods to refine the vision for the library branch. This community input will help inform the library’s development plan.
“People in the community have told us that expanded collections of books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, Internet computer access and community meeting space as well as programs for children, teens, adults and seniors are priorities for the full service library. The Board is committed to again consulting with the community to ensure we can best deliver the desired collections and services and reflect the cultural and creative vitality of the neighbourhoods,” Andersen said.
The City of Vancouver had earlier acquired the Heatley Block, located on Hastings Street at Heatley Avenue, as the location for the library branch. After hearing from the community, however, the Library Board determined that an alternate site would be preferable.
Founded in 1887, Vancouver Public Library is one of Canada’s largest library systems dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading, recreation and information needs of the people of Vancouver. Each year, the Library’s 22 branches serve over six million visitors and offer over 2.5 million items, including books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and countless online resources.
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