Meet Elton from the Newly Renovated Albion Branch
How do you and the Albion staff feel about moving from the old building to the new?
We are happy and sad about the move. Many of the staff have worked at Albion for over 15 years, one has been at Albion for 25 years! The staff are like a family, we are there for each other every day. So you can imagine the number of memories that we have about the old branch. So it's quite emotional to say good-bye! But at the same time, we are all super excited about the new building. With all the new gadgets and features, we cannot wait to start exploring it, assisting our customers in the new space and creating a whole new set of memories in the new branch!
There are so many great details to the new branch. What are some of your favourites?
Where do I start!
There are reading gardens! Not just one, but three reading gardens that can be used for programming or just to relax and read.
The Digital Innovation Hub is also at the top of my list. It is going to be filled with the latest technology such as 3D printers, a scanner, iMacs, iPads, MacBooks and robotics to name just a few. And the lineup of programs is mind-boggling!! You can find them all on the website.
The teen area is another of my favourite details. It is finished with a large screen TV, computers and study tables! And then there are the six group study rooms throughout the library! The community is always asking and looking for quiet study space and group study space, so this is a great feature. Albion is also going to be the first branch to have a Digital Innovation Hub and a Youth Hub!
In the children's area, the middle years Discovery Zone and KidsStop are by far the top highlights for me. I spent hours exploring them. And there is still more to find! I cannot wait to see the kids’ reactions to these spaces.
Then there is the auditorium, which has a movable glass wall! I'm still in awe of this detail. When an enclosed program space is needed, the glass wall can be pulled out but for those large programs, the glass wall can be opened creating a space that spills into the urban living room which can accommodate a large number of people.
And I'm looking forward to the new parking lot. It is going to be built where the old building currently sits. But the beauty of the parking lot is that it's designed to be used as an outdoor events place too. Everyone in the Albion community can tell you about the foodie festivals that happened in the parking lot of the old building. Well, you can imagine how big the event will be when we have the new space ready to use. It should be ready in fall 2017.
I could keep going, but I will stop with those.
What are some of the biggest challenges to opening a branch?
I'm not sure if I can say that anything is really a challenge to opening a new branch. But if I had to choose something, it would be the packing up of things in the old branch and then opening everything back up in the new space. I almost wish there was a way to just point at things and have them unpacked like magic.
The Digital Innovation Hub is an exciting new part of Albion Branch that a lot of people are looking forward to. Can you tell us a bit about what the Hub is, what it has and what kind of programming will be presented?
The Digital Innovation Hub will have all the latest technology such as 3D printers, iMacs, iPads, MacBooks, robotics and much more. The Hub will have all the usual library innovation programs such as 3D Printer Certification, Introduction to 3D Design, Introduction to Arduino, HTML and CSS workshops, iMovie workshops and Photoshop workshops. There will also be some special program such a Robot Club, Synthesizer Workshop and Hydroponics Workshops. The Digital Innovation Hub staff at Albion are working on other programs and workshops too.
If you could choose a mascot for Albion Branch, what would it be?
Since the Albion team refers to itself as ‘Albion All-Stars’, I’d say a shooting star should be our mascot.
Any final thoughts about the opening? What should people look forward to at the opening?
Let’s just say the opening is going to be amazing; there will be a DJ, a magician, balloon-making and refreshments, to name just a few things. But you will have to come out on June 5th at 3:30 pm to see it all!