Ensuring West Kildonan Library has a future


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/06/2022 (358 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

We have spoken loud and clear — West Kildonan Library is here to stay.

I am proud of our community for standing up and fighting to save our beloved local library. This ill-conceived plan by city hall was an attempt to shortchange our area and reward private developers. After a long and tough fight last month, I am thrilled that we can collectively celebrate this win and work towards improvements for West Kildonan Library.

Over 12,000 residents signed the official petition to stop the closure. Hundreds rallied outside West Kildonan Library on May 17 in an inspiring display of civic engagement. Students and educators spoke of how this branch is essential for fostering the bright minds of the future. This outpouring of community support was critical to swaying city hall to keep our treasured neighbourhood institution open.

Evan Krosney (left) and Daniel Guenther are co-chairs of the Friends of West Kildonan Library coalition.
Evan Krosney (left) and Daniel Guenther are co-chairs of the Friends of West Kildonan Library coalition.

As a result of our efforts, I am excited to share that the Friends of West Kildonan Library coalition has officially been formed and will continue advocating for preservation and improvements at the library. Evan Krosney and I are proud to serve as co-chairs and are now seeking interested residents and library patrons to join the FWKL coalition. Public meetings and events will be announced later this summer. If you are interested in volunteering or wish to learn more, please reach out to us at fwklibrary@gmail.com

Over the past month, Evan and I have been speaking with residents and connecting with organizations across northwest Winnipeg to understand what our local library branch means to them. Parents told us how much they value the current library’s safe and accessible location, which kids can walk and bike to. Students shared the importance of researching for school projects and enjoying quiet study areas after school. Seniors said they appreciate the dedicated accessible parking and shared intriguing stories of the branch’s proud history. Listening to all this important feedback ensures we can advocate on behalf of our community and that our neighbourhood’s needs are reflected at our local library.

As the plaque clearly states on the front of this historic branch, it was built as a permanent commemoration of the Canadian centennial and was a gift to our community — it belongs to our community. In the past three years, city hall has tried to close it twice. But civic democracy has prevailed, and residents had they voices heard. I would like to thank city council for listening to our community and opposing this closure.

Together as a community, our coalition is working hard to ensure a bright and thriving future for West Kildonan Library. As they often say, the best is yet to come. So, please continue to share your passion and ideas for our local library — it is part of what makes Garden City and West Kildonan so great.

Daniel Guenther

Daniel Guenther
Garden City community correspondent

Daniel Guenther is president of the Garden City Residents’ Association and a community correspondent for his neighbourhood. Email him at: gardencitywinnipeg@gmail.com

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