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Greater Victoria Public Library and south Island libraries


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#41 http

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 09:08 PM

^LOL

Hey, VV is not the place to make fun of nerds with obscure interests.


Well, I've not found anywhere else that allows us to indulge in this niche hobby.
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#42 Caramia

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 09:10 PM

From Mayor Dean Fortin's facebook page today:

Looking at new library plan w Chair of the Library Board today. Looks like an attempt to relocated the central library from Victoria to Saanich - at best a break up of the Central Library downtown. Vancouver has an amazing downtown library, so does Seattle - why can't Victoria? The consultants say that is the best model, but dont think they region will support it, so they did not bring that model forward.


A new central library at Centennial Square is a long time dream of mine for Victoria. I'm really upset by this new library plan, which appears to put politics over functionality. The region needs to pull together and stop with this petty factionalism. This is just incredibly frustrating.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#43 Bernard

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 08:25 AM

I like the idea of decent sized central library. I also think the idea of one that is not downtown is not a bad idea.

What if a new central library were around Town and Country/Uptown area?

Emily Carr would close and there would be a case for creating branches in James Bay and Fairfield. The city of Victoria has no neighbourhood library branches and Saanich has four.

#44 Caramia

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:39 AM

Most bus routes go downtown. If you don't have a car, you can get downtown easily from any part of the city. Speaking as someone who doesn't drive, if the library is located to Saanich it will be a struggle to get out there for anyone who doesn't own a car. Of course, the two populations who don't tend to drive are the very young and the elderly - both major users of the library.

Personally, I doubt I'll visit the library if it is in Saanich. Right now, I visit the library at the same time as doing other errands. A library in Saanich means that for anyone who doesn't live out there, you have to make separate trips for library and other chores.

This represents further fractionalization and decentralization of our City. It is the opposite of anything sustainable. It pisses on the role of a library as a place for the public, and elevates the idea of a library for one (already) fat municipality. It turns all principles of responsible urban planning on their ass, and celebrates a suburban triumph and a rotting out of the core.

This is exactly why we need amalgamation and restructuring. And the library board is the first place that restructuring needs to happen.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#45 Holden West

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:45 AM

^Well said. The thought of a Capital city without a library in its downtown is comical.

Although I too might support selling the Emily Carr branch in Saanich Centre and moving it across the street into uptown. It's orphaned where it is now and the building is near the end of its useful life anyway.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#46 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:46 AM

^ I agree. The library should be downtown for all the transit reasons Caramia indicates.

#47 jklymak

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:49 AM

^ Agreed. Ideally, a library is a civic hub for the city. The civic centre of the region is downtown, not "Uptown". I hope the mayor fights this tooth and nail.

#48 Caramia

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 09:52 AM

If there is going to be a fight for this, it is going to take more than politicians fighting. It will take a backlash from the public. That's us.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#49 jklymak

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:28 AM

^ Is there an official plan out? What consultation was done, and what will be done in the future?

#50 Jacques Cadé

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 11:32 AM

Public consultation about the GVPL's 15-year facilities plan apparently took place between December 8, 2009 and January 6, 2010. (Did you know about this? I didn't, and I use the GVPL all the time, online and in person.) See http://www.gvpl.ca/news_and_events/

The documents suggest that GVPL wants to build a network of libraries. The plan is to have three main branches, one in the "core" of Victoria/Esquimalt/Oak Bay/View Royal, one in Saanich/Central Saanich, and one in the Westshore. Victoria's dream of having a landmark downtown library appears to be in serious trouble.

Seems the crucial political decision made by the board has been to stop considering Saanich as part of the "core". Would be interesting to know how and why they concluded that. Minutes of past GVPL board meetings are posted at http://www.gvpl.ca/a...rd_Meetings.php

The board will discuss the facilities plan at its February 24 meeting. Public release of the plan is expected in March 2010.

#51 mat

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 01:32 PM

This is the problem with every form of recent consultation - simply a complete lack of awareness by the stakeholders, and a means to pro-activley participate.

The library website had the consultation process buried deep inside, did not advertise in any meaningful way in the branches (there was a brochure in a rack that held over 50 others) - no posters, no tables with info and forms. They also have the physical address of members - and I would bet a huge email list.

Why not a simple and cheap exercise in emailing library card holders, setting up a facebook group and using their website as an engagement/feedback platform?

It is astonishing the GVPL has not used the information and systems readily on hand to widely consult with users.

#52 Bernard

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 02:27 PM

I missed that consultation process.....

One idea I had was to have the Legislature combine its library with a downtown GVPL library and build it on all those empty parking lots to the west and south of the legislature.

There is also no reason why High School libraries could not be public libraries at the same time. There would be more resources for the school and public if this was done.

#53 eseedhouse

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:03 PM

Well, the Library Board meeting was held today and is open to the public. Didn't see many of you there.

The plan seems reasonable to me and has enough flexibility in it to allow a large downtown Library, actually.

My credentials are that I was a worker at GVPL for over 30 years until I retired last year. I was president of CUPE Local 410 for around 15 of those years and during the 2007/2008 Library strike/lockout.

Current Library management is the best I have dealt with in spite of the lockout. I think they have put together a flexible and reasonable plan.

The plan was simply received by the board today and will be dealt with at future meetings. It is not an official plan yet. Board meetings are held at 12:00 noon on the last Tuesday of each month. See you at the next one, I hope.

And maybe you could take the time to drop a line to the Premier about his slashing of the Provincial grant this year, leaving about a four hundred thousand dollar hole in the budget for this year.

The Library also has a web site at www.gvpl.ca. It's not a great web site, but you can find this information with a bit of searching.

#54 eseedhouse

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:04 PM

I forgot to mention that it's good to see people discussing the Library on this forum, whether you agree with me or not.

Also as I am no longer employed by the Library (or anybody else) I am not in any way a spokesperson for it.

#55 eseedhouse

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:15 PM

They also have the physical address of members - and I would bet a huge email list.


The addresses and phone numbers in the main patron database are only ever used for communication about books they have charged out or on reserve. This is on mandate from the Board. This information is considered private and not to be used for the direct benefit of the Library. The Library and it's workers would consider use of this information for a mailing list to be unethical in fact.

Speaking from my knowledge as a recently retired member of staff for over 30 years.

We started automating Library circulation in the early 1980's, but we have never ever used it for a mailing list on other topics.

#56 eseedhouse

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:19 PM

By the way, the regional branch downtown, if built according to the facilities plan would be a good deal larger than the current Central library. Administration and IT would be done elsewhere, making most of that space available for collections.

The cost of this plan is estimated at about Sixty million dollars over the next twenty years.

#57 Bingo

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 05:46 PM

The current location of the Greater Victoria Public Library is an excellent one, and it needs to stay in the downtown core. However, the property does have a lot of wasted space taken up buy the volume of the atrium, the outside courtyard on Blanshard Street, and the fact that the building is tiered at the SE corner of Blanshard and Courtney.

What if the entrance to the atrium was enclosed on the Blanshard Street side and the tiered part of the existing building was extended northwards, and for three floors to fill in that space? You could leave a reduced in size courtyard on Blanshard Street.

I'm sure that with some creative thinking some architects could come up with a design that would provide sorely needed floorspace, while maintaining, or improving the aesthetics of the present library.

#58 eseedhouse

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 06:36 PM

The current location of the Greater Victoria Public Library is an excellent one, and it needs to stay in the downtown core. However, the property does have a lot of wasted space taken up buy the volume of the atrium, the outside courtyard on Blanshard Street, and the fact that the building is tiered at the SE corner of Blanshard and Courtney.


Well, the rest of the building is not owned by GVPL or the City. The building was originally designed for government workers, not for a Library. There is no chance at all that any of the other occupiers would sell the Library any space anytime soon, and the City has absolutely no say in the matter.

The current building is very unsuitable for Library space and the only reason it is there is that the Provincial government of the day could not rent the space to small businesses, as was the original plan. The Socred minister of the day, Sam Bawlf if I recall rightly, decided to offer it for Library use and as the old one needed more space very badly the board of the day accepted. It was a solution of convenience, not optimal in any way.

The Library belongs in a purpose built facility, and the current Victoria Council is supportive of this, so there is some hope for some action on that in the next few years.

#59 Baro

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:01 PM

We could easily fit a whole new library on the courtyard alone. That courtyard is a blight.
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#60 eseedhouse

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 07:23 PM

We could easily fit a whole new library on the courtyard alone. That courtyard is a blight.


Well actually I rather like it, but it's all beside the point. The Library has already tried to purchase more space in that building and it is no go. The Province owns it, not the City, and Province will keep it. And that applies to the courtyard too.

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