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Current library too small says new chair

The Bracebridge Library Board has a new chairperson.

Barbara Hutchinson, a lifelong fan of libraries, was voted in at a meeting last month. She does not mince words, that the future of the historic building will require some tough decisions.

Libraries are more than just books these days. (James Bowler photo)

“There is a critical issue facing the Bracebridge library and that’s size constraints,” she explains. “It’s fully half the size it needs for the population it serves.”

Hutchinson, along with library CEO Cathryn Rodney, is looking at where the library will be in the future.

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“The CEO and I, are only two members of a task-force steering committee that’s looking into a new co-facility,” says Hutchinson. “There are lots of people rowing with the same set of oars as we move into the future.”

Wherever it lives the library will continue to be an important part of the town.

“Libraries are fantastic spaces for not just books but other research materials, videos, and learning institutions,” she says, adding “I’m not sure the library was ever declared dead.”

Hutchinson contends, “they’re not just stacks of books anymore. They’re really community hubs. They’re spaces for people to ask questions or people to access services. And also meeting hubs. It’s exciting to be a part of that.”

Hutchinson says it is an important time in the library’s future.

“We’re out of space for all of the new things that a library/community centre can provide to its populace,” she cautions. “That is definitely both the short term and long term which is facing the Bracebridge library.”

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