The Library is often described as the “living room of the community”. Bibliothèque Allard Library has a long history as a community meeting place. This vital role has been renewed in the new building. The library is a place where friends arrange to meet, chat and make plans.
The library space includes an arts and crafts gallery featuring the works of local artisans. It will include rotating museum displays. As a bilingual centre, it will be “un petit quartier”, a place in which Canada’s founding cultures feel at home. Activities and programs are provided for seniors, school children and all ages in between. The site is park-like, enabling Bibliothèque Allard Library to have an outdoor area as well. The Library’s role as a community centre is enhanced.
Literacy in the Community
The public library provides the greatest resource for literacy and knowledge in our society. Literacy programs, reading programs and book clubs are just part of the equation. The public library is the single source of lifelong learning that is available to all.
Bibliothèque Allard Library, with its bilingual structure and accompanying focus on Aboriginal and Métis collections, provides an irreplaceable resource in the municipality. As the collection grows, so does the library’s ability to serve this very important role.
A Sustainable Community
The greatest unheralded impact of a public library on a community is in economic sustainability. Recent studies in the United States indicate the economic impact of a public library to be as much as 18:1 in direct and indirect benefits to the community. The C.D. Howe Institute estimates that a 1% increase in literacy in Canada will increase gross domestic product by $18 billion annually.
Bibliothèque Allard Library with its enhanced and expanded facility helps the municipality develop and retain an educated workforce. It provides reference materials for businesses in the area, and is working to be a catalyst for new business ventures. Recognizing the link between education levels and health care, Bibliothèque Allard Library provides resources and information to the community.
St-Georges region is growing as a summer destination, a place for families to enjoy Manitoba’s exceptional cottage country. The library provides a much needed tourist-related services. Naturally, as a library, it is a wonderful place to spend those occasional rainy days too!