Editorial: Plenty to read at city library

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but many have been quick to pass judgement on the library renovations downtown.

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but a lot of readers have been quick to pass judgement on the library renovations downtown.

The Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Harbourfront branch re-opened last month after a major interior redesign. According to the library, the collection of books was trimmed from 50,000 to 45,000, but some patrons suggest the reduction was more significant than that and have gone so far as to circulate a petition in protest. Certainly the space has become a lot more, well, spacious.

Though we think the complaints are exaggerated, we’re encouraged that patrons feel protective about their library – it shows that a connection exists with this important public institution. And it indicates that there should have been a greater level of community consultation, and if not in this instance, then certainly in the future.

While some readers don’t want their library to change, libraries must change. They must appeal to book lovers, while at the same time endeavouring to keep up with the times and remain relevant to residents. We know that libraries don’t serve the same purpose they once did, as different kinds of reading material is available on different kinds of platforms. What has remained, fortunately, is a love of reading, though we must do our very best to pass it on to the next generation and the next, and ensure that text messages don’t totally supersede the attraction of a good book.

Vancouver Island’s libraries proficiently balance these various challenges, and the regional book-sharing system is a major advantage in providing accessibility to materials. The book we want may not be on the shelf, but it isn’t far away.

The renovated library looks great. We hope the shelves will be filled, in time. But honestly, if we visit Nanaimo’s libraries and we can’t find anything to read, that is our failing, not theirs.

Just Posted

This year’s Maple Sugar Festival will be sweet

L’Association des francophones de Nanaimo hosts 17th Maple Sugar Festival this weekend

Adopted pet pig gets killed and eaten

Animal was adopted out by SPCA staff in the Cowichan Valley

Snowfall in Nanaimo creating slippery roads, causing flight disruptions

No snowfall warning in effect, but snow forecasted to intensify

UPDATE: 13-year-old Nanaimo boy located

Chaas Mearns, 13, had been reported missing Jan. 30

UPDATE: Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

All 19 events are underway across Kamloops, where five to 10 cm of snow is expected to fall

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

This year’s Maple Sugar Festival will be sweet

L’Association des francophones de Nanaimo hosts 17th Maple Sugar Festival this weekend

Hundreds march for justice in death of Winnipeg teen

Tina Fontaine was pulled from a river in 2014, her body wrapped in a blanket and weighed down by rocks

Maritimes want their own CFL team

Their biggest hurdle is getting a stadium commitment in place

Wounded Warrior Run BC makes it to the Comox Valley

Day four of the annual fundraiser saw the team stop in Courtenay and Comox

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Internet questions PM’s fashion choices in India

The Trudeaus’ eight-day visit has been dogged by various controversies since it began Feb. 17

Most Read