By Jaime Bayers
The Musquodoboit Harbour library is a familiar place for many residents of the Eastern Shore. HRM is now engaged in a major updating of the building containing the library, the HRM offices, and the fitness center. Most of fitness center is still in place, but the library is now living in a small space carved out of the fitness center, and the HRM staff are making do in a trailer next to the relocated library.
Before the renovations, there were three separate entrances to the facilities. The renovated building will feature a single large entrance area facing Highway 7, with a common reception desk and a shared area for sitting.
Amanda Fullerton, the manager for the Eastern Shore and Musquodoboit Valley library service, said the library staff have high hopes for the new space. “We would love for the community to use the space as a home away from home. It would be great for people to hang out, and feel comfortable. We want to show that our community is growing and vibrant.”
The library will have new mobile shelving, a new children’s area with a teen area, a larger programming room, new flooring, gender-neutral washrooms, and a sound-minimizing ceiling. There will be much more natural light, thanks to a skylight and windows along the back of the building. For the benefit of library patrons, there will also be a self-check machine so that taking out books, movies, or other services is a quicker process. There will also a printer that is available to the public even when the library is not open.
Fullerton said that she expected the new shared space to include art displays, and to host art programs like the rug-hooking group. “We are open to new ideas and suggestions of what people want to do,” Fullerton said. “We want to showcase the talent in the community where we are. We are hoping to move into the new space by the late fall.”