The Mississippi Mills Public Library is renovating its Pakenham branch to comply with provincial accessibility regulations and to create a more inclusive environment for the community.
The library is the recipient of $264,880, a contribution from Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program as well as generous funding from the Elizabeth Kelly Foundation Inc. The Library Board’s Outreach Committee and a local fundraising team have joined together to raise $20,000 for appropriate furnishings, computers, and audio visual equipment to make the new space welcoming, accessible and useful for community use.
Libraries are changing to become more welcoming, bright, and accessible to all while ensuring there are spaces for individual pursuits as well as places for people to gather. Rural and smaller urban libraries are taking on a much dynamic role in their communities out of necessity and opportunity. The Pakenham library was identified during the Age Friendly Pakenham process in 2016 as ideally placed to serve as a community information centre and gathering place, especially for seniors. However, as current users age, libraries need to ensure that their services are aligned with both the needs of a younger, more demanding and more technologically oriented clientele while continuing to serve present demands.
The Mississippi Mills Public Library’s mandate meshes well with the Municipality of Mississippi Mills’ economic and social strategy to strengthen the cultural and creative life of the community as a whole. Innovation is a key driver of economies, and innovation thrives where creativity and cultural life is valued. For towns or cities of all sizes and character – such as Mississippi Mills – the cultural character is becoming a major platform in plans to attract and retain the businesses and individuals that contribute to a modern economy. The library is an essential factor in this community’s culture: it is a resource, participant and catalyst in the cultural landscape. This redesigned space must therefore be aligned with the Mississippi Mills Municipal Cultural Plan’s strategies and actions which speaks to many of the trends developing in libraries all over North America.
With all of these factors in mind, the library board’s outreach committee will be kicking off a series of events that will bring awareness to the renovated branch but also raise much-needed funds to ensure the branch is able to meet today’s demands and trends in service provision.
The first of these events will be a Trivia Night to be held on Friday, March 31 from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at the Stewart Community Centre in Pakenham. Teams of four to eight people are encouraged to pre-register at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the branch at 613-624-5306.
The cost is $10 per person, a light lunch is included and there will be a cash bar. Participants are encouraged to come out and have a little fun, win prizes and test their local knowledge! There will even be bonus points for best team names and costume!