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Halifax Public Library's new plan is on the books 

Chief librarian and library CEO talks about the launch of their five year plan

click to enlarge Åsa Kachan, chief librarian and CEO of Halifax Public Libraries, has a modern vision for our library system. - COURTESY OF HALIFAX PUBLIC LIBRARIES
  • Åsa Kachan, chief librarian and CEO of Halifax Public Libraries, has a modern vision for our library system.
  • courtesy of Halifax Public Libraries

While most of us, by now, are familiar with the central library’s gleaming glass and endless shelves, it seems it won’t be the only chic circulation desk much longer: Today, Halifax Public Libraries unveiled its five year plan, a vision of what the city’s 15 branches will look like by 2021.

The plan, available on the libraries’ website, is full of bright colours and sharp graphics (and many, many shots of the central branch—call it the Kim of the library family).

Chief librarian and CEO of Halifax Public Libraries, Åsa Kachan, says it’s a rallying cry to keep libraries a part of daily life, and make them as “inclusive and modern” as possible. “Libraries are one of the most egalitarian, democratic spaces in our society,” she adds in a phone interview.

So what does that mean for borrowers? For starts, spaces in branches that allow snacking—Kachan mentions the central branch’s redux showed how vital it can be to have a brew with your book—and more accessible bathrooms.

It also means a wider implication of another big lesson learned during the Central Library’s retooling: Balancing quiet nooks for silent reading and what Kachan describes as “places where you can have creative interaction, where you can bring something louder and find a sense of community.”

Oh, and if all that (or an extra-foamy latte from Pavia) doesn’t woo you through the library doors, Kachan adds that she’s hatching plans to bring borrowing materials to the people: “You will see us where you least expect us. One sneak peek is that we’re getting a programming van,” she says. The van will deliver materials and wifi to various areas and events.

“There’s always an opportunity to be more creative in how we deliver our services. We belong to everybody.”

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Vol 25, No 29
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