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Vue interieure de la bibliothèque Saul-Bellow à Lachine

Next-Generation libraries

Published on
December 13, 2015
Bathed in light, welcoming and modern, new public libraries are springing up across the city, infusing a breath of fresh air well beyond the bricks and mortar. The role of libraries is undergoing a profound transformation.

Cornerstones of the City of Knowledge

The trend is a global one. All the great metropolises are acquiring libraries better suited to a world in which the explosion of information technologies is turning our relationship with knowledge on its head.

In Montréal, the next-generation library is multi-faceted: a place of learning, of course, but also a meeting place, a lively community forum, a veritable destination that even has a name: the “third place.”

With multifunctional rooms ideal for holding workshops, meeting areas that foster discussion, self-serve technology equipment and rich and varied collections, the next-generation library offers a vast array of resources to make access to knowledge and self-study easier. More than ever, knowledge is being contextualized and valued. A word of advice: go at your own pace and find what you truly like.

Citizen forums

Next-generation public libraries are special places that make knowledge accessible to everyone and empower all Montrealers to be active players in a dynamic and modern society. One of their roles, for example, is to help citizens acquire communication technology skills. In doing so, they bridge the digital divide that continues to be a reality for a segment of the population.

Open to the world around them and located in the very heart of their neighbourhoods, these institutions seek to a broader extent to be instruments of multi-generational and multicultural socialization and integration. Mobile programs and services bring the experience of the library to people in the community. These warm and inviting places provide an environment that reaches out to all members of society: families, of course, but also the marginalized, people living alone and new immigrants. Libraries are unique places that bear the stamp of their surroundings. Through their participation in the city’s social, cultural and economic development, 21st-century public libraries contribute to making Montréal a smart city in the full meaning of the term.

A vital partnership
Ville de Montréal and Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications have implemented the Programme de rénovation, d’agrandissement et de construction de bibliothèques (RAC). Four libraries (du Boisé, Marc-Favreau, Saul-Bellow and the NDG Cultural Center) have already benefited from the program. Several other libraries will receive funding between now and 2020.