Edmondslibs Weblog Follow the progress of the new Edmonds branch of BPL

Edmondslibs Weblog

Artwork at Tommy Douglas


Some of you may have noticed the colourful art object hanging from the ceiling near the study tables on the Kingsway side of the building.

30 students from the Ceramics and Sculpture Class of teacher Donna Clark at Alpha Secondary created this green art installation after a fieldtrip to view the green features of the new Tommy Douglas Library.

Using Plarn made from recycled shopping bags, students knit and did macrame  to create a bright, lively piece of art to enhance our interior and remind people that upcycling can convert waste into new materials, and sometimes even an object of beauty.

Roberta Summersgill

Branch Manager

A Common Question Revisited


Thanks for your comment about the interior space.This continues to be one of the most popular questions at Tommy Douglas Library and I thought Id  refer back to  the architects response to the question :

“The height of the ceiling in the main room of the library was driven by a number of considerations.   Significantly, the ceiling height has to do with making the interior feel welcoming and comfortable.  The main library space is a large room, and was designed to serve a variety of roles while being very open and interconnected.  The high ceiling helps to make the size of the room feel united.  Also, given the importance of the site as it faces Kingsway, the scale of the building from the street was considered.  As an important public institution in the City, the shape and height of the building was composed to make it be commensurate with its significance.

Beyond this, the high ceiling also contributes to the daylighting of the space by allowing high-level light from the clerestory windows to penetrate across the room.  The added height also improves the ability to naturally ventilate the space – automated windows at the high level can open to allow hot air to escape, exploiting natural convective forces.”

Thanks Derek!

More on the inside

The figures are in. Area residents borrowed 33% more items from the new Tommy Douglas Library in its first full month of operation than they did from the old branch in December 2008.

Some of what is attracting them is the spacious light filled interior, the many types of seating, the quiet study areas with plugins for laptops, the aesthetics plants, artwork, coloured glass windows; friendly and helpful staff and the collections easier to find and to browse.

One particular piece of artwork worthy of attention is Bettina Matzkuhns fabric art piece in memory of a former Kingsway Branch staff person. The piece includes details that only those who knew her can fully appreciate but it can be enjoyed by anyone. It includes a depiction of the old Kingsway branch with a path leading up to the site of the new building showing  the Walker house that used to occupy that piece of land. Fabrics were deliberately chosen for their resonance with the cultures the diverse neighbourhood includes. It was commissioned by former Kingsway Branch Manager Caroline Christie. A picture is included here but it is best to see the real thing yourself. Its located near the childrens program room.

By the end of this month, I will be turning over the position of BlogMaster for this blog to Roberta Summersgill, Branch Manager of the Tommy Douglas Library, who can continue to keep you up to date on whats happening at our newest branch.

Deb Thomas, Deputy Chief Librarian

The busy new library

The Grand Opening on November 21st drew over 700 area residents and local dignitaries. Since then, the library has been hopping! In the first two open weeks, circulation of books and other materials was 24% higher than the same time last year. People are happily using the new self-checkout machine to borrow materials and all of the many types of chairs usually have someone in them. Students are finding the right spaces to study, work on school projects or homework, and do research. Our computers, collections, and program rooms are also being well-used.

As those who have visited in the past few weeks are well aware, we had some issues with our heating and cooling systems especially during that first cold snap of the season. Fortunately, this issue has been resolved enough for the library to once again be at a comfortable temperature. We are continuing to work at a long term resolution.

Library Board Chair Iqbal Dhanani, Mayor Derek Corrigan and Councilor Dan Johnston unveil the Tommy Douglas plaque

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