Double the books. More computer access. Comfortable sitting spaces to enjoy reading books, e-books, tablets or laptops.
Even a full-time librarian.
All that plus a bigger and brighter space is what you will find when the new library opens in Lake Cowichan on Oct. 8.
One of the last things you will hear at this library is “shhhhh.”
Today’s libraries are filled with interactive programs, guest speakers and even music. Borrow an e-reader with a book on it for up to three weeks, or enjoy taking home the paper version. Story time is popular, as is training on how to use ebooks.
The staff says this library hopes to take its cue from the community on what to bring in terms of programs.
“It’s what the community wants to see,” said library manager Melanie Reaveley. “In the past year, for example, we have done programming about farming on a small holding, fall prevention for seniors, or general eye health.
“In the future we hope to bring a financial person in to talk and more author visits”
Kristen Rumohr, Lake Cowichan’s new full-time librarian aims to be opening her doors with a vision.
“A library is a place you can come to get books, movies and music but it is also a place you can come to get information from people in your community or people visiting your community.” she said.
“It’s not just about books but about connecting the community with people who have expertise in things.”.
Reaveley and Rumohr are also excited now that they will be able to handle larger groups of people in the library, especially kids.
They believe the library differs from the Lake Cowichan School library in many ways, especially the book selection. It will feature more books for recreational reading and “imagination books” not just curriculum-based books.
Staff said families with home-schooled children or the elderly can benefit from a visit to the library. They urge Lake area residents to think of it as a community living room, a place you can bump into an old neighbour or work on a computer.
Four public access computer stations will be available, with training on how to use them. Also available will be a laptop bar where you can plug in and use the free wifi.
In today’s world where forms and information are sometimes only available online, you can receive help navigating the internet to find and print them, find phone numbers or check your Facebook page.
Reaveley invites the whole community to get a library card and help make the library the place you want it to be.
“If someone has an idea come down and pitch it to Kristen, there is no harm in trying anything.”
• Casual drop-in open-house on Thursday, Oct.3 from 2:30 to 5p.m. at the old Cowichan Lake branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library.
“Come say good-bye to the old branch!”