Fast progress expected on new library

The construction of the new Summerland library branch is expected to take place quickly this fall.

The construction of the new Summerland library branch is expected to take place quickly this fall.

Michele Rule, communications manager for the Okanagan Regional Library, said the site preparation has been completed and the foundations will be put in shortly.

“We’re hoping to have a significant portion of the structure before it gets cold,” she said, adding that library officials hope to have the roof and walls in place before the end of the year.

The timeline calls for the building to be completed by late May or early June of next year.

While the exterior work is expected to happen quickly, she said the inside work will take some time as shelving and automatic checkout machines must be installed.

The new structure will be around 743 square metres, more than double the size of the existing branch on Wharton Street.

Mayor Janice Perrino said the timeline for the new branch is exciting.

“We’re very impressed with how quickly this will go forward,” she said.

When it is completed, Perrino expects the new branch will draw activity to Main Street.

The Summerland library branch receives many visitors throughout the year.

There are 6,381 registered users in Summerland.

In 2013, there were 70,203 visits to the branch.

“The library is like the living room for the community,” Rule said.

While library use is changing as people use online sources and e-books, the branch continues to circulate many books.

“The circulation is very high and it’s always been busy in Summerland,” Rule said.

She added that the library continues to play an important role as users seek accurate and reliable information about many topics.

“Librarians are trained to research and find information for people,” she said.

The new branch, a mid-sized branch in the Okanagan Regional Library’s system, will continue to operate under the same hours as at present.