The library helps level the playing field for our most vulnerable populations. It is computer access for those who have none, socialization for our lonely seniors, a good head start on literacy for our little ones, a free source of entertainment for our low income residents and a world of literature for everyone regardless of financial situation, geographical location, class or ability.
ARUPLO (The Administrations of Rural and Urban Public Libraries of Ontario) guidelines state that Amherstburg population of approximately 22,000 identifies it as being a “large” branch. The actual physical size of the library service area (at less than 5000 square fee) identifies it as a “small” branch. If you consider the Amherstburg branch a “medium” branch for arguments sake, ARUPLO states it should have 12,000- 24,000 circulating items - we have approx. 16,000. A medium branch should have 30-60 seating spaces, we currently have 23. Guidelines say there should be 5-6 public access workstations, Amherstburg currently has 3, with one being a 15 minute express terminal.
With the majority of the other branches throughout Essex County getting renovated or rebuilt, most recently the $1.4 million expansion of the Leamington branch, Amherstburg has been left behind. It’s our hope that perhaps the refresh will create a groundswell of interest in getting our library brought up to date.
1) Children’s Area
The addition of some colourful murals on the walls to create interest, add colour and excitement and some cozy seating that would encourage children and parents to stay a while and read. Some additional books would give more options to those who frequent the library.
2) The Adult Floor
Much like the Children’s floor, a mural and comfortable seating would make the library more engaging and welcoming. Reconfiguring the public computer area would allow for more public access work stations in order to offer patrons the services and supports they need.
3) The Teen Area
The teen area is a small corner of the library with no seating and nothing that would attract teens or interest them in hanging around. Comfortable seating and a reconfigure of shelving to add to the selection of books for teens would spark interest.