Sunshine streams through the many windows of the Headingley Municipal Library, helping to make the building a welcoming community space.
Head librarian Joan Spice proudly shows off the paperback and hardcover books, magazines, DVDs, audio books and e-book resources within the cottage-style building on Headingley’s Alboro Street.
"We work very hard to provide the same things as they do in the city libraries," Spice said, adding members are pleased to discover the waiting lists for popular new books are much shorter than at Winnipeg branches.
Headingley councillor and library board representative Jim Robson said the municipal council considers the library a valuable community asset.
"We really want to create a true community and the library is a big part of it," he said.
The 2,760-sq. ft. building was opened in January 2010 at a cost of $624,000. The library’s collection didn’t have to be moved very far as it was previously housed in a modified mobile building, now the Macdonald-Headingley Recreation District office, located between the new library and Phoenix School.
Spice said the former building was completely filled with shelves, so she requested that plans for the new building include plenty of room for shelving units and lots of windows.
She got her wish on both accounts. Windows are featured along the library’s front and side walls. All the natural light, combined with a few comfy chairs and a small gas fireplace, give the library a homey feel.
Community groups are able to use a small meeting room and the library also runs a pre-school story time and other programs. Spice said the library will offer story time sessions with a Christmas theme on Dec. 7, 14 and 21 from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
The library now has more than 1,100 members, and membership grew by 14% within the first year of operating in the new building. With a full basement, the library has extra room available for future expansion.
While Headingley residents and land owners receive free library membership, non-residents must pay an annual fee of $30 per family. Spice said people living in surrounding municipalities and even a few Winnipeggers have become members.