“…the renovation was major and it really revitalized not only the library, but the community around it”

“When I was younger my mom took me a couple times for March Break programming and stuff like that. I remember as a kid . . . being from a small town it was like, ‘Whoa this it intimidating.’ I loved books as a kid.

“I came back to it when I started going to university here, because I needed a space to study. And I was like ‘Wow, they’ve really done a number on this place.’ The renovation was major, and it really revitalized not only the library, but the community around it. I think it’s a much more positive influence on downtown Kitchener now. It looks more inviting and more accepting of a variety of communities, and I think having the event space in the downtown area will also be really helpful.

“It gives volunteer organisations a place to meet and congregate and host their events or meetings. I used that space when I volunteered with the Kitchener Volunteer Action Centre. I hosted an event down there for high schoolers — to empower them to be involved in their community, and teach them how to get involved and contribute in a meaningful way. And I think that’s building the community in a way where the library is really functioning as the community building block.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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