January 19, 2022

Calgary: “Central Libraries Turn the Page”

From The Globe and Mail:

‘When you walk into this building, it is so spectacular — it’s breathtaking,” says Calgary Public Library chief executive officer Bill Ptacek as he describes each floor inside the city’s $245-million central library that will open to the public on Nov. 1.

When speaking of the nearly-completed space, Mr. Ptacek touches on the impressive exterior design of warm wood and arched glass, reminiscent of a terrarium, that houses four floors spread over 240,000 square feet. On the ground level is a 350-person theatre where patrons can hear lectures or concerts. The top floor, “where silence is a service,” according to the CEO, will act as a vast “community living room” to take in all the library has to offer, including its view of the city skyline and City Hall to the west and the Bow River to the east.


“It’s a fascinating time to work in public libraries,” says Asa Kachan, CEO of the Halifax Public Library. “This is a space where human interactions happen alongside access to democratic knowledge and learning.”

Built to resemble a stack of books, the Halifax Central Library opened its doors in 2014 to global praise for its modern, cubic design, including its eye-catching fifth storey with floor-to-ceiling windows that jut out over the downtown.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.