Location an obstacle in plans for a library in Breslau

Region of Waterloo

Finding a suitable location remains a large hurdle on the road to building a library in Breslau.

The latest concerns were raised last week at Region of Waterloo council.

Eager for a new library in the fast growing community, the township had suggested the basement of the Breslau Community Centre as a possible location, which the region is cautioning may be too small.

At about 4,000 sq. ft. (370 sq. m.), the basement  would not be enough space to adequately service Breslau’s growing population, said region staff. The basement setting, moreover, would also reduce the comfort and accessibility of the location, staff added.

“We would ideally hope for a space that’s somewhere between a minimum of 5,000 – hopefully 7,000 to 10,000 sq. ft,” explained Kelly Bernstein, library services manager for the region.

“That would allow us to have ample space for the collection that the community wants – an appropriate size for them. But also computers and public reading areas, program space, a ‘Makerspace’ of some kind, collaborative work space and community meeting space. All the elements we’d like to see going in our new libraries these days.”

‘Makerspace’ is the term for areas in the library that might contain 3D-printers, robots and other such technological and constructive tools for people to use.

With a population of about 3,778, and several new subdivisions in the works, Breslau is expected to more than double by the year 2031. The town is one of the fastest growing communities, notes the region, while many in Breslau currently have to use libraries in neighbouring towns. At the Bloomingdale branch, 34 per cent of its registered users are in fact residents of Breslau, for instance, showing a definite need in the community.

“We’ve looked carefully at the size of the community now and where it’s predicted to go over the next several years. We would love to see a library in there as soon as possible, but it’s never as easy as that. So we’ve been working with the township to try and find something suitable,” says Bernstein.

The region is recommending that the township continue to search for another location for the library, but are still committed to the project.

“We’re really excited about the possibility of having a branch there. We know the residents have been asking for quite a long time and we’re hopeful that something happens soon,” said Bernstein.

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