Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Brampton Gaurdian: Newly renovated Brampton's Chinguacousy branch library now open to public

New space boasts several features including an audio recording studio, 3-D printers and more

by Radhika Panjwani
August 01, 2017

Rebecca Raven, CEO, Brampton Public Library, in the sound studio at the newly renovated Chinguacousy Library. - Bryon Johnson/Metroland
Brampton’s Chinguacousy branch library, which underwent massive renovation, opened its doors to the public, Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Children's area at the newly renovated Chinguacousy Library in Brampton. The library branch which underwent a makeover opened to public, Tuesday, Aug. 1. - Bryon Johnson/Metroland
The 38,000-square-foot airy space, located at the Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Dr., has been completely transformed and upgraded to include features such as a brand new audio recording studio, a spacious area for makerspace, group study rooms, computer labs that have been doubled in size, rearranged books shelves offering easier access to the tomes and more.

Workstations at the new Innovation Zone at the newly renovated Chinguacousy Library in Brampton. The library branch which underwent extensive makeover opens to public Tuesday, Aug. 1 - Bryon Johnson/Metroland
“This is the kind of digital information and literacy features that redefines what a library is,” said Rebecca Raven, CEO, Brampton Library. “While we still have books, and will always have books, people may not have access to a recording studio or a 3-D printer without incurring a cost, so philosophically, this is so important that they can now access all this for free at their public library.”

The Lab, a work area at the newly renovated Chinguacousy Library in Brampton. The library which underwent a significant makeover opened to public Tuesday, Aug. 1 - Bryon Johnson/Metroland

The $2-million dramatic renovation will make the already busy Chinguacousy branch library into a flagship one, Raven said.

Since 2014, more than 18,000 people have accessed some 820 programs at the location. With the addition of Makerspace Brampton — the second such program within the library system — it’s likely the number of people accessing the programs at the branch will see an increase, she said.

Copy photo of the Chinguacousy Library in Brampton before it underwent a $2 million makeover. The library opened to public Tuesday, Aug. 1. - Bryon Johnson/Metroland

The yearlong renovation was undertaken by ward99, a Mississauga-based architectural firm and also includes plush seating areas, study areas equipped with power outlets, bright d├ęcor with a splash of colour and reimagined areas for children’s programming.

“When we first visited the library before it was renovated, it was very cluttered and dark,” said Tina Ranieri-D’Ovidio, principal architect of ward99. “The space was filled with people, but there was no collaborative space for them to enjoy the library or study. So, our mandate was to make the library open, welcoming and add interactive spaces. This new space is revitalized, fresh and very inviting …”

The makerspace program, a collaboration between the library, the city and Sheridan College offering workshops geared toward nurturing creativity, innovation and interest in the STEM branches, has been expanded to include the Chinguacousy branch library. The program until now was available only at the Four Corners. It’s a definite crowd-puller and is popular with not just children but adults as well, Raven explained.

Source: The Brampton Gaurdian

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