Help Us Design Surrey’s Newest Library

Share your images, photos, ideas and words with us about your suggestions  for a new Library in City Centre.

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4 Responses to Help Us Design Surrey’s Newest Library

  1. Allen says:

    What is the point of a huge expenditure for a library? Google is scanning all books. Tons of information is available online and almost everyone is online now. eBooks are about to “take off”. Books will be a thing of the past before the library has been paid for and long before it is demolished through lack of interest.

    What use will a library be in five years?


    • btaworks says:

      Dear Allen –

      It is true that libraries are changing dramatically, due in a large part to technology, as are other community services. Because of this, the role of library workers is also changing. While libraries used to be book warehouses, that is no longer the case. We still buy and circulate books, but we now also offer access to online resources including electronic books, downloadable music and books, reference services online, etc. The need for human intervention in finding information has not waned as there are more resources than ever to consult. Have a look at our webpage, if you would like a better idea of what is offered online at

      Library staff now also spend a lot of time teaching people how to use resources. We find there is still a big demand for people wanting to learn how to use a computer, conduct research on the Internet, set up an email account, write resumes using Word, etc.

      People also use Library space differently than they used to. In the past people visited the library to find a book or research a particular topic. Now they come to the Library to find a place to read or study, work with a group to complete homework or plan a community event, or attend a storytime or program. Instead of rows of book stacks libraries are now being built as people places.

      Libraries are embracing technology to make access to information and our services more efficient. The City Centre Library will offer wireless access to the Internet for those who wish to bring in their laptops. We will also have computer workstations as well as an Electronic Classroom, where staff can teach people to use technology and individuals can have access to technology that they do not have at home. The Outreach Services Department will be equipped with technology that assists people with visual impairments or learning disabilities.

      On the low tech front, the Library will offer community meeting rooms, group and individual study spaces, early literacy programs, workshops for new Canadians, resources for learners of all ages, and a coffee shop.

      We are confident that the Library will still be here in 5 years. People borrowed over 4 million items in 2009 and over 2.5 million people visited Surrey’s 9 libraries. We hope you will visit us at our new location when we open in 2011.

      Best regards, Melanie at Library.

  2. btaworks says:

    from Robert Doll

    the Whalley library is home to many local homeless men and i don’t see that changing. if anything, a bigger library will offer more corners for them to keep warm and at least appear to be reading. I’d hate to see them thrown out because the don’t belong or just aren’t acceptable.

    could the library in fact help these people, these customers ? work with a local agency which provides support services …. i’m thinking of library compatible services such as employment information, computer access, life skill books that are readable. the other agency could provide a worker or two to give them some assistance….and they could be an outreach to their own services – where they’ll be able to lay down that they’d really like to do (i assume). they are almost entirely men for some reason.

    i’d hate to see a better services go only to the proper people and the homeless loss one more place to go. we closed down all the old supports they had, and then close down one they’re able to use now, unofficially. this new library is for all people of surrey not just the good smelling ones.

    • btaworks says:

      from Surinder

      Hello, Mr. Doll

      Thank you for sharing your ideas for the new City Centre Library. I couldn’t agree with you more! The new library will be a welcoming place for all people – regardless of age, race, culture, or socio-economic background. We already work with local agencies to provide services to marginalized communities. Our libraries partner with Hyland House & Gateway Homeless Shelters, Surrey Food Bank and other agencies, e.g. connecting homeless people to outreach workers, offering Internet service for people with no fixed address, providing free basic computer classes, training staff on serving people from all backgrounds, etc. We intend to continue these and spearhead more initiatives to ensure the library remains inclusive to all people of Surrey.

      We appreciate any further suggestions and ideas for planning the new library and the services it will offer. Your input is valuable to us.

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