Maureen Sawa, CEO of the GVPL stands in the new sxʷeŋ’xʷəŋ taŋ’exw James Bay Branch with Jennifer Windecker, director of public services for GVPL. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

GVPL opens new sxʷeŋ’xʷəŋ taŋ’exw James Bay Branch

New space at Superior and Menzies offers 12,000 brand new materials

The newest branch of the Greater Victoria Library system will open Monday, April 9 in James Bay.

We joined Jennifer Windecker, director of public services and Maureen Sawa, CEO of the GVPL for a sneak peek at the sxʷeŋ’xʷəŋ taŋ’exw James Bay Branch in the Capital Park development on the corner of Superior and Menzies streets.

Pronounced s-hweng hw-ung tongue-oo-hw, sxʷeŋ’xʷəŋ taŋ’exw is the Lekwungen name for James Bay, joining seven other GVPL branches whose names also reflect their geographic locations.

“Public libraries today are much more than collections, they’re really focused on making connections,” says Sawa, who calls the new 7,150 sq. ft. branch a “community living room.”

Comfortable seating, spacious design, a wi-fi enabled outdoor reading space, and communal meeting spaces with an accessible universal washroom and kitchenette all work to convey that feel, amidst a colour palette of cozy hues.

In 2015, GVPL staff conducted a survey asking what residents wanted to see in the new space, and Windecker says community suggestions became the foundation for the planning of the new branch.

“We were surprised to hear that what they wanted was the traditional and the innovative all in one,” she explains. “They wanted the collection but they also wanted the technology.”

Windecker calls the library a space for people of all ages, doing all kinds of activities, because “that’s what libraries are nowadays.”

READ MORE: Victoria honours local First Nations in naming new library branch

The 12,000 brand new materials at the James Bay branch will circulate across the GVPL system, hopefully easing up on some hold times for newer, more popular titles.

“When we add a branch it really lifts up the entire system,” says Sawa.

Books, movies, music, and audio books are all available as well as 18 accessible computer stations, a newspaper rack and multiple check-out kiosks.

Unique to the new branch will be a collection of easels available for loan to support creativity in the arts across Greater Victoria. And, the new location is also home to one of three automated material handling machines within the GVPL system, allowing automatic check-in 24/7 with touch-screen technology.

The GVPL is planning a grand opening for the new branch later this spring.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Oak Bay realtor recalls sale of home where family was murdered

Home sellers not always required to disclose violent crimes

Victoria police seek witnesses after assault reported by man in wheelchair

Cops hope to speak with witnesses near Yates and Douglas on Jan. 13 between 1:45 and 3:15 p.m.

Victoria dancer shares concussion experience in a neuro-diverse performance

Stacey Horton’s Concussion explores living with and recovering from brain injury

Olympic Gold medalist rower disppointed Saanich won’t host national training centre

Adam Kreek said also he respects decision by Rowing Canada Aviron

City of Victoria denies cannabis lounge business licence

Terp City Canna Lounge has been illegally operating for several years

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read