Downtown library is no longer the destination it used to be

The library was a destination. Over the years, the collection has been downsized significantly.

To the Editor:

Re: Plenty to read at city library, Editorial, Nov. 19.

In the days when city councillor Doug Rispin worked to bring the library into the downtown arts core, the library brought in 120,000 books. It did make a difference to the downtown revitalization. The library was a destination. Over the years, the collection has been downsized significantly. Compare the holdings of the Harbourfront Library now with those of a year ago. I would ask if it is appropriate to downsize a children’s books collection in an inner-city library where parents, daycares, teachers and ESL teachers rely heavily on the public library.

Compare the collection of the Nanaimo North Library with Harbourfront. It is evident, even to the casual user, that there are many more books in the north end branch.

I would disagree with you that libraries don’t serve the same purpose they once did. People need information and books in many different forms. That has not changed.

As you so clearly note, we need to encourage a love of reading and what better way to do that to provide  families with the best possible collection of picture books. Perhaps we could have put some of the money used in the renovation into a comprehensive children’s book collection.

You make an excellent point when you suggest that there could  have been a greater level of community consultation.  Many people have tried to communicate their concerns and have not met with any success.

Thora HowellNanaimo

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