The hotel we were staying at was right next door to the stunning new (opened November, 2018) Calgary Public Library Central Branch. It is an amazingly beautiful building, with sleek curves softened with the generous use of wood. Although super modern and open floor plan, it is not completely unwelcoming (as modern buildings sometimes are.) Or maybe just the fact that it is a home for books gives it a touch of homey feel to me.
There were actually a number of nooks and crannies, and more secluded areas for quiet study scattered throughout the library. And two cafes! Which – food and drink in a library still weirds me out, but whatever, they definitely seemed to be a draw. Ohand!!! and indoor play area in the Children’s Library section!!!
The building also seems well integrated into the site, with the light rail passing underneath it, and a public plaza area with some fun sculpture. The main entrance can be accessed from either side, and is nestled under a swooping wooden curve that suggests a boat.
Besides the beauty of the building, there were a variety of art works on display, and I found a small gallery with an exhibit of artist’s books, which was very cool. The reading room had shelves with book selections on various themes, which was also neat. Perhaps my favorite thing was that there were spaces for an Author in Residence, an Artist in Residence and a Historian in Residence. None of them were in when I visited (in the evenings), and I’m not sure what I might have talked with them about anyway, but it seems like a great thing for a library to have this sort of program. I also got a chuckle from the “Vintage Media Lab,” which included such historical equipment as a typewriter, and film and slide projectors.