Mayor Peter Waterman

Library a runner-up in building competition

Summerland’s new library building has received special recognition in a regional building competition.

Summerland’s new library building has received special recognition in a regional building competition.

Last week in Kelowna, the building was named a runner-up in the Eighth Annual Southern Interior Construction Association Commercial Building Awards.

The architect/designer was Urban Arts Architecture. Tango was the general contractor.

Marla O’Brien, public relations/fundraising manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, said the award is prestigious for the library chain and the Summerland branch.

She said the design, which features plenty of wood and allows for natural light, has worked well for the library.

“Ït’s not just beautiful. It’s designed functionally as well,” she said. “It flies in the face of the traditional image of a library as a dark,  musty place.”

Sue Kline, librarian at the Summerland branch, said the building has been well received by the public.

Overall use of the building is up by around 15 per cent from last year’s figures.

Attendance is up noticeably in adult programs, she added.

Because of the increased use, staff have had to take measures to ensure all users are able to access study rooms and meeting rooms.

“We’ve had to limit the number of times in a week that one group can book a meeting room,”she said. “These rooms are really popular. They’re being used all the time.”

The library building, on Main Street, was opened Oct. 3, 2015 and during the first year of its operation, more than 75,000 people have used the facility.