Artwork at Tommy Douglas

  Hi,

   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

March 8, 2010 at 11:30 pm 1 comment

A Common Question Revisited

 Hi,

   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 I’d  refer back to  the architect’s response to the question :

  Derek Newby at CEI Architects (one of the partners along with Diamond & Schmitt who designed the building) was asked  to explain this design choice.  His response follows:

“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!

March 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

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 Matzkuhn’s 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. It’s located near the children’s 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 what’s happening at our newest branch.

Deb Thomas, Deputy Chief Librarian

January 5, 2010 at 12:48 am Leave a comment

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.

Deb Thomas, Deputy Chief Librarian

Unveiling the Tommy Douglas plaque

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

December 31, 2009 at 11:23 pm Leave a comment

Sitting pretty

Lounge chairs

We have a variety of seating in the new branch, from lounge chairs to “laptop” chairs to study tables. Some pictures below and come in and enjoy!

Deb Thomas, Deputy Chief Librarian

Laptop chairs

Study Tables

 

November 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm 2 comments

Pictures of the Inside

For those who haven’t yet visited the new Tommy Douglas Library, here are a few pictures of what it looks like inside. Comments are that it is light and airy, bright and welcoming.

Deb Thomas, Deputy Chief

Our green wall

Computer commons and adult books

November 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm 2 comments

A common question…

Staff report that the most frequently asked question about the new building is “why is it so tall when it is only one story?”  Since this is question we’ve been fielding since the first drawings of the new building were made public, we asked Derek Newby at CEI Architects (one of the partners along with Diamond & Schmitt who designed the building) to explain this design choice.  His response follows:

“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!

Deb Thomas, Deputy Chief Librarian

November 18, 2009 at 8:26 pm Leave a comment

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