on June 21, 2017 by test_editor in Archive_2017, June, Print Articles, Comments Off on June 22, 2017: A Library For All In The Community; Many neighbours, many needs.

June 22, 2017: A Library For All In The Community; Many neighbours, many needs.

June 22, 2017: A Library For All In The Community;
Many neighbours, many needs.

By Blaine Marchand.

“The library has helped me on this leg of my journey. It is an accepting place that is inviting to people like me. It is a vital part of the community in which I live.”

  • “The new “it” neighbourhood”…
  • “intensification”…
  • “gentrification…
  • “hot house market”.

These are a few of the attributes thrown about to describe the vibrant neighbourhoods that make up the catchment area served by the Rosemount branch library. Such adverbial praise leads one to assume the area is cohesive economically and socially. But this is far from true.

As with any thriving community, the reality is that Rosemount’s catchment area is diverse and mixed, as historically it has been. Yes, there are many single family homes and charming old apartments; there are new environmentally-friendly block houses and upscale condos. But there is also accommodation for those who are challenged, down on their luck, or going through difficult times. Not all residents in the neighbourhoods are fully literate or have access to their own computers.

Near Rosemount, for instance, is a residence run by Salus, a registered charity that provides life-changing housing and support services to people living with mental or psychological issues. Salus provides hope to these individuals as they go through their journey of recovery. For residents of the Salus building, access to Rosemount Library is critical.

Michael Sheridan, a Salus resident, is the fifth of seven children born to Holocaust survivors. Out of fear, Michael’s parents converted to Catholicism when they came to Canada. It was only later in life that Michael and his siblings discovered the Jewish origins of their mother and father. In his teenage years, the now 58-year-old, was diagnosed with schizophrenia. With that condition come feelings of inadequacy, of anxiety, of paranoia. For Michael, visits to Rosemount are an integral part of his routine.

“The library is homey. It has a personal and quaint feeling which is so appropriate for me. I am at peace there. I get so discouraged when I am in other places. I have difficulty focusing. The library helps me to do that. And the librarians are so friendly. They know me by name. They help me with my research and print things off for me.”

Michael makes regular use of the newspapers and likes doing the crosswords. The computers at the branch give him access to e-mails. The DVDs, especially the documentaries – ones on music and art – are favourites. He prefers the large picture books. CDs are also important to Michael, who took classical music piano lessons as a child and occasionally plays background piano for a group In the Wind Artists Collective. As he sometimes uses a cane, easy access to the building is a plus.

He is aware that discussions are underway to find a new location for Rosemount as expansion in its current location is not possible. Michael accepts this but stresses a priority is that the library remain in the immediate neighbourhood. Rosemount branch, he affirms, must remain versatile and serve the large cross-section of the catchment area’s population.

“The library has helped me on this leg of my journey. It is an accepting place that is inviting to people like me. It is a vital part of the community in which I live.”

No Comments

Comments are disabled.