Report on Library Location Meeting.
On 13 October 1994 Peter Vasdi attended a public meeting organized by the Ottawa Public Library at the Greenboro Community Centre. M. Gilles Frappier, the Chief Librarian for the City of Ottawa gave a short talk on the library situation in the south end of Ottawa. He explained that a branch at the South Keys shopping centre was first proposed in 1979 but the delay of the development forced them into looking at other proposals. The Ottawa Board of Education (OBE) is planning to build a public (JK-6) school on Lorry Greenberg drive near Margaret d'Youville separate school and the Greenboro Community Centre. The OBE invited the library board to build a library as part of the school as there are provincial grants that pay for 1/3 of cost when used as shared facilities. The original library proposal in Barry Hobin's school design was for 1600 sq.ft. (about size of Alta Vista built 1996-7 for Riverside Park) to be the only south end library. A library this size created some problems on site because of parking needs and space intrusions into playing fields but was feasible.
M. Frappier also outlined other possible sites for a south end library, including the South Keys mall, which has included library in preliminary site plan. Another possible site available to Ottawa Public Library is at Hunt Club Community Centre (city already owns land) perhaps where hockey rink is located. He explained that the 1600 sq.ft. version of a library would be about $1.6 million.
After some discussion by the meeting participants, the consensus was that it would be better to build 2 smaller libraries, one at the school site in Greenboro and another at McCarthy and Paul Anka. This would provide better service to local users. Because the debentures that were used to pay for Alta Vista and Carlingwood branches as well as Central Library are almost ended (end of 1996), M. Frappier felt that the library would be able to raise money for new libraries without much of a budget increase but that it depended on the support of the new city council. An alternative proposal (since 2 libraries have a larger ongoing cost than 1) was to lease space in new South Keys mall. Participants from all areas did not see this as the better option because the mall will be an automobile oriented discount warehouse operation with not much in other amenities for casual use.