An Arena of Possibility

A new publicly-based nonprofit organization, Charlottetown Library Learning Centre Inc. has launched a capital project to assist the funding that will more than triple the size of the facilityfrom 12,000 to 42,000 square feet.

The new Charlottetown Library Learning Centre will encompass the entire ground floor of the Dominion Building in the heart of Downtown Charlottetown, and will add a whole new dimension to the already bustling downtown creative hub. Incorporating the latest in modern technology and design, it will provide an engaging cultural and educational space for adults, youth, and families, including indigenous peoples and vulnerable populations.

The need and public acceptance of such facilities is already well established. Calgary’s Central Library opened in 2018 and is already considered one of the most dynamic in the world, drawing large numbers of patrons and visitors. Closer to home, the new Halifax Library, opened in 2014, has also drawn rave reviews … and seen its annual site user traffic grow by 6-fold.

The new Charlottetown facility, while more modest than Halifax or Calgary, will still go far beyond the traditional understanding of “the library” and provide the public with a comprehensive Library Learning Centre. Think of it as a Community Centre designed to enhance community interaction, which also houses a modern, 21st century library that will truly be the flagship library and learning centre for the province. It will incorporate full accessibility and meet the space requirements of a modern library and community centre, including event and programming space, community gathering areas, study rooms, creative spaces and training areas. There will also be:

  • Increased space for collections and technology
  • Expanded areas for simultaneous uses
  • Separated and dedicated areas for adults, children, staff, and young adults
  • Expanded and accessible restroom facilities
  • Outdoor seating and gathering areas
  • A cafe and light meal facility
  • Retail space

Total estimated project cost is $16.8 million to cover the acquisition of the ground floor, extensive renovations to the space, and new facility equipment. Financial commitments have been secured at all three levels of government totaling $12.8 million, leaving CLLC charged with raising $4 million from private funds.

The Charlottetown Library Learning Centre will be a welcoming and engaging space, the Island’s community meeting space and the flagship library of the province. Everyone in the community, people from across the province and the hundreds of thousands who visit the city every year will feel the benefit of the facility, its programs and its services.

We’ve started to write the next chapter of the Charlottetown Library Learning Centre story, we’ll need many people to help us finish it.

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