HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO The current library building in Woss B.C.

Woss to get a new library

VIRL is planning on building a 1,400 sq.ft prefabricated facility

The Village of Woss will soon be home to a brand new library.

Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) is planning on building a 1,400 sq.ft prefabricated facility for the community of Woss that will include an expanded collection, a comfortable interior with a lounge, additional programming spaces, and accessible parking.

VIRL Executive Director Rosemary Bonanno attended the Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW)’s July 17 board meeting to provide an update on the project.

“Director Rushton has sat on our board and he has lobbied for a new library in Woss, and I am so pleased to say that is what we are doing,” said Bonanno, adding that “Woss maybe a tiny community, but it’s a tiny community that uses their library well.”

She explained that the value of a library card to each person in Woss is approximately $1,100 dollars in the purchasing of items like books, videos, and DVDs.

“As part of our library system you are part of a bigger whole which allows for the sharing of over one million items,” said Bonanno, adding “Your library card enables you to have access to all of that information and in the 21 century that is what it’s all about having accurate information at your fingertips.”

In addition to a larger collection with more books and magazines and more space for programming, Bonanno said it the library will also feature “a fireplace and a lovely lounge area, and it will truly be a place in the community where people can come meet their neighbours, learn something new – we are very excited about this.”

She explained that VIRL has been working over the past five or six years to develop a prototype library building that would meet the needs and expectations of small rural communities.

Heidi Soltau, Director for Area A Malcolm Island, asked if VIRL had a timeline for construction of the building.

“We are just at the end of the schematic design and are close to creating tender documents,” explained Bonanno, adding “We will put that tender out and it will be out for four weeks and because we are looking at a pre-engineered type of building that will really cut down on time.”

VIRL Facilities manager, Paul Maras-Hilling, who also attended the meeting, added that once the right vendor is found to do the work, “for the build off-site you are looking at maybe 10 weeks and the time on site is probably only actually four weeks to erect.”

After Area D Woss Director Dave Rushton asked, Maras-Hilling confirmed that the building could conceivably be done this time next year.

“It’s going to have that true west coat look,” added Bonanno, “It will fit in very nicely with the ambiance up here in the North Island.”

VIRL also hosted an open house that evening in Woss to get feedback as to what the community would like to see in the new library.

VIRL has made similar upgrades to libraries in communities like Port Renfrew, Cumberland, Hornby Island, and Port Hardy.

Bonanno said they also put the tagline “strong libraries, strong communities,” on the wall of new library facilities because “we really believe that and that is why the board has developed a philosophy over the last 10 years that ensure libraries are the hub of that community and that all are welcome.”

 

GABY WICKSTROM PHOTO The crowd in attendance at the public consultation meeting at the Woss Community Centre on July 17.

GABY WICKSTROM PHOTO A proposal of how the new library will look presented at the public consultation meeting at the Woss Community Centre on July 17.

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