Sidney library to reopen Tuesday

The renovated Sidney/North Saanich library is set to reopen Tuesday morning, following $2 million in upgrades to make the space more modern and accessible.

The branch has been closed since Sept. 23, while undergoing renovations to electrical systems and lighting, as well as a full remodelling of the youth and adult sections.

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The upgraded library will feature additional computers, a fireplace lounge area and large windows to increase natural lighting.

“The other thing that we’re really, really, really excited about is some of the upgrades are going to improve accessibility,” said Virginia MacLeod, a customer-service librarian at the branch.

The revamped space was designed to be more accessible for people with wheelchairs and mobility challenges, said David Carson, director of corporate communications and strategic initiatives at Vancouver Island Regional Library. There will also be assistive computer stations for people with vision and hearing challenges.

A few blocks away from the branch’s downtown Sidney location, a smaller, temporary location has continued to provide books and programs to the community. The temporary location will close today.

MacLeod said the space’s smaller size has posed a challenge to library staff, forcing them to find other locations to run some of their programs. Sidney All Care, a residential-care facility, has hosted the library’s story time since the renovations began.

“Their residents were able to participate in story time with all our regular kids, so it became a fantastic intergenerational program,” MacLeod said.

The library will host a grand-opening party for the public on June 15.

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