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Public engages in library expansion plans

DIDSBURY - Close to 100 people came out to a couple of different visioning workshops on July 20 to discuss the plans for library expansion.

DIDSBURY - Close to 100 people came out to a couple of different visioning workshops on July 20 to discuss the plans for library expansion.

The workshops were hosted by the Didsbury Library Expansion Committee and Avid Architecture, which won the contract to build the expansion, and were held at the new council chambers.

Committee chair Kevin Bentley said the workshops are designed to encourage participation in the process of expanding the library.

"These workshops sought participation as to a community vision for not only the bricks and mortar attributes of the expanded building, but also a vision of the building as a community space offering programs, services, cultural and artistic opportunities, and as a public gathering place," said Bentley.

"The information gathered will allow Avid to commence its design drawing process to reflect the passion and pride of the community, who we are, our needs today and in the future with the goal of a building that is pleasing to the eye but is also functional."

Bentley said there will be other opportunities for the community to participate in the design process. He said it's important to honour and invite the voices of the community.

"People having the ability to take ownership of ideas in the process is the foundation of community development," he said.

The workshops featured residents working together in small groups to put ideas for the library expansion on sticky notes and then on to poster boards to share with the rest of the groups.

Bentley said that the library expansion is much needed.

"The Didsbury Municipal Library had 55,000 visitors last year," said Bentley. "It has the highest per capita library card membership in all of Alberta. We are excited for what the future holds for the library."