There’s little double it’s a unique concept.
After all, there aren’t many – if any – public libraries that offer university classes.
But Surrey’s new City Centre Library will do just that when it opens this fall.
An agreement between SFU and the City of Surrey will see the university rent three classrooms in the new, 77,000 sq.-ft. library in Whalley, where everything from art classes to urban planning courses may be offered for the fall 2011 and spring 2012 semesters.
Helen Wussow, SFU’s Dean of Lifelong Learning, has plans for a range of continuing studies courses in English language and culture, career transition, arts, history and culture, community engagement, writing and communications, and community and urban planning.
“Our partnership with the City Centre Library provides a unique opportunity to address the educational needs of the community,” Wussow says. “Just as SFU Surrey is situated in a major public space (Central City Shopping Centre), so the classrooms in the library will provide access to people who have never thought of passing through a university’s doors.”
Along with a Philosophers’ Café series and workshops and courses by DiverseCity, the Surrey Transportation lecture program will be offered at the library this fall.
Plans are also underway for initiatives involving SFU Surrey students, including book discussions led by World Literature students, student research assistance for small business owners, and tutoring opportunities.
“Having a university deliver courses in a municipal library is a unique concept,” says chief librarian Beth Barlow. “We also like the idea of having a university in our library, especially since public libraries have often been called the ‘people’s university’ – now we can make that come true in many more ways.”