The Goat

Why we love libraries

Above: Photo courtesy of Salt Spring Library

Did you know that Valentines Day falls on the same day as Library Lovers Day in Australia? In honour of the latter – and in efforts to bring this lovely occasion home – we present seven wonderful libraries from our own backyard, all of which we’ve had the true pleasure of collaborating with on book launches, talks, and more literary programming.

Here’s to a joyous, inspirational and well-deserved Library Lovers Day to all, and to the hard-working libraries in our province and beyond: we salute you!

Salt Spring Island Public Library
Next time you visit Salt Spring Island, make sure to stop by this beautifully designed, newly renovated public library, which is only a stone’s throw away from the Island’s central pier, shops, and restaurants. Highlights include an events calendar stacked with author readings; books, ebooks, films, and music galore; friendly, helpful staff; and dozens of intimate, sun-soaked spots for tucking away in.

Vancouver Public Library – Central Library
In the heart of downtown Vancouver, adjoining to a spectacular atrium, the city’s largest library branch welcomes hundreds (if not thousands) of visitors each day. Here, you’ll find a superb catalogue, computer banks, free-to-use chairs and desks, and, since 2015, an Inspiration Lab. This colourful, eye-catching Lab space on the third floor is dedicated to all things digital—from sound studios to self-publishing tools and editing software. It’s a testament to the VPL’s commitment to the needs of its community, and showcasing the latest in information technology.

Campbell River Library – Vancouver Island Regional Library
Nestled on Shoppers Row – next to an independent movie theatre, and across from the Campbell River Art Gallery – this pretty and intimate library suits the seaside town to a T, providing top-notch catalogue services as well as inspired community events and programming. Librarians here are lovely, knowledgeable, and eager to recommend titles or help find the books you need. It’s a family-friendly library with a homey yet polished atmosphere that’s ideal for Island literary types.

Greater Victoria Public Library – Central Branch
This expansive library spans nearly 50k square feet of downtown Victoria’s picturesque Waddington Building, right off the lovely waterfront promenade. There’s so much to enjoy and discover here––from a plant-covered, sheltered courtyard, to a colourful kid’s area, teen zone, and graphic novel shelf, to several meeting rooms and computer banks. The best part? Depending on the weather, most seats are bathed in natural light owing to big picture windows.

Courtenay Library – Vancouver Island Regional Library
Courtenay’s downtown library houses hundreds upon hundreds of books beneath its red trimmed, peaked roofs, and puts on informative, well attended author talks and launches year round. The library also serves as a valuable community hub in Courtenay, with eye-catching architecture (built in 2001) and popular community programs that include local art shows, free workshops, literary-themed movie nights (Pride and Prejudice, anyone?) and much, much more.

Nanaimo Harbourfront – Vancouver Island Regional Library
Located on Nanaimo’s stunning waterfront, where boardwalks, ice-cream parlors, and gift shops abound, Nanaimo’s library dates back to 1936 when the first branch opened its doors to readers. Today, the downtown library provides much more than its original offering of books—you can also find workshops, kids lessons, computers, board games, and creative clubs such as one dedicated to LEGO world building. There’s certainly something for everyone at this important community fixture.

Prince Rupert Library
In March of 2016, Prince Rupert residents fought hard to have funding cuts to their library reversed, such was their love and appreciation for the local institution. In part owing to the support of its dynamic community, this Northern library continues to thrive, offering a variety of community events, children and adult programming, and of course plenty of books and comfy spots to read them in. Now that funding has been restored, this valuable information source is here to stay.

Reading rooms, information hubs, safe spaces where all are welcome—these are just a few of the roles that public libraries play in communities. Let’s show our appreciation this Library Lover’s Day by postponing the chocolate or candlelit dinner, and paying our local library a visit!

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