on November 22, 2016 by test_editor in WEB-EXTRA content, Comments Off on Web-extra (November 24, 2016): Space to READ; A common goal for OPL and west end users.

Web-extra (November 24, 2016): Space to READ; A common goal for OPL and west end users.

Web-extra (November 24, 2016): Space to READ;
A common goal for OPL and west end users.

By Blaine Marchand.

Recently, the Rosemount Expansion and Development (READ) group did some analysis of publicly available Ottawa Public Library (OPL) statistics, as well as on others gathered by READ itself. This information is both telling and compelling.

There are six other branches that have essentially the same “base population count” as Rosemount – about 40,000 people. These libraries are Alta Vista, Carlingwood, Nepean Centrepointe, Orleans, Hazeldean, and St Laurent.

In terms of the number of library card holders, residents in the Rosemount area are typical: Rosemount has 16,000 card holders, while Carlingwood has 17,000, Alta Vista 16,000 and Nepean Centrepointe 13,000. However, when looking at first-time circulation numbers, Rosemount’s tally was 256,882 while Alta Vista’s was 285,329 with Carlingwood and Nepean Centrepointe being much higher.

If Rosemount branch is comparable to these other branches in terms of number of card holders in its area, then why are there far fewer visits by users? For anyone who steps inside Rosemount, the answer is immediately evident. There is simply insufficient space.

At 6,089 square feet, Rosemount falls far behind Carlingwood, which has 19,960 square feet, or Alta Vista which has 15,198 square feet.

READ volunteers visited branch libraries and found that Rosemount only has 17 seats for users, while Carlingwood has 116 and Alta Vista 85. There are only seven personal computer stations, compared to 20 at Carlingwood and 15 at Alta Vista. There are no dedicated children’s seats or teen seats or a teen zone at Rosemount. There are no meeting rooms. Is it any wonder that people get discouraged from visiting Rosemount?

For some time the preferred option for Rosemount’s future had seemed to be an alteration of the building. But both planning efforts by library board staff and public consultations suggested a different approach.

Rosemount needs more space and it is clear the current building cannot be expanded. Any proposed changes would add only an insignificant number of seats and work stations. So, the question remains – what alternative will ensure that Rosemount can provide services to its residents that are comparable to other library facilities in the city?

Thankfully, open and on-going discussions have been held between the OPL Board staff and READ. Generally it is felt that spending on a “fix” will not resolve the fundamental issue of needed space. The Library Board itself will consider this issue at its December meeting with a recommendation before it that work begin on a business case for moving the Rosemount branch to a nearby location. READ hopes that the Board will accept this recommendation, recognizing that we share a common goal; Providing our community with a new library, one that will meet 21st century needs and expectations.

Further information or the dates for upcoming READ meetings are available on READ’s website: http://www.readrosemount.ca ; its Facebook page; Twitter account; or, by sending an e-mail to: readrosemount@gmail.com .

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