Kamloops Library looking to modernize downtown location

By Adam Donnelly
January 30, 2017 - 2:24pm

KAMLOOPS — Libraries are institutions in society which have existed for millennia. Here in Kamloops, the downtown library on the corner of 5th and Victoria St. has been around since 1998, and the TNRD feel it’s time to update the space. On Sunday, the downtown library hosted an open house, to showcase their plans to modernize.

Libraries were once a space for quiet study, and peaceful reflection; these public spaces have changed over the centuries. As the digital age has ushered in new ways of accessing and storing information, that change has accelerated over the past two decades.

“We definitely have more of a digital presence now,” Margo Schiller, Head Librarian at the downtown Kamloops branch told CFJC Today, adding “that has definitely impacted libraries… but, there’s still a lot of people coming in for the traditional print books.”

The Kamloops branch of the TNRD library held an open house Sunday, to showcase some new changes they have planned, which involves modernizing the building, which first opened in 1998.

“We really started ramping up our plans in the summertime, around August [2016], and now we’ve got a concept going forward for what we’d like to do,” Schiller explained.

Those plans include renovating and reorganizing the space to accommodate community groups, and centralize customer service, as well making the interior more welcoming by increasing seating, and adding a cafe.

Some in attendance were in favour of the plans, saying the library needs to be modernized.

One young man said “I just think everyone needs to keep an open mind, and realize that libraries aren’t as much about books as they were 20 years ago.”

Another gentleman thinks updating the space is long overdue: “I do find that they need to modernize here, a little bit, and that should be just what they’re working on.”

While one woman expressed concerns about the plan to reduce the volume of materials contained in the library by up to 20%.

“I can get coffee at any one of a dozen coffee shops down Victoria Street, but this is the only place I can get books, so I’m not very happy about the plan.”

For Schiller, who runs the downtown branch, the renovations would allow the library to do more with the space they have: “Right now we’re really bursting at the seams.”


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