Fort Smith reopens library in new space


Fort Smith’s Mary Kaeser Library reopened on the second floor of the Recreation and Community Centre on Tuesday – a much more accessible space for the library.

The library closed its original building on McDougal Road due to its age on August 20. Opened originally in 1970, town staff says the building was reaching the end of its life.

Along with being over 50 years old, the building was two storeys and the basement was only accessible by a set of stairs. While new space is on the second floor at the Recreation and Community Centre, it is accessible via elevator.

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The town’s senior administrative officer Cynthia White says that the new library offers potential for growth in ways the past building did not.

“We have a bright beautiful new space, we’re fully moved in, and we still have room for a little bit of collection growth,” she said.

“We also have more programming space, because adjacent to the library we have a multi-purpose room with a full kitchen. This, with the accessibility and brightness, it just looks so inviting.”

The Recreation and Community Centre also offers wi-fi throughout the building and is located closer to the high school, which doesn’t have its own library.

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White says they will welcome students to use the facility as a workspace and will soon have lounging spaces for a more comfortable work environment.  

Currently, the hours of the library are 3pm-6pm Monday through Friday, though White says the town is anticipating adding additional hours once the new space is more settled.

Here are a few photos the library shared on Facebook:

 

The library's adult fiction section. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook
The library’s adult fiction section. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook
A photo of reading chairs in the revamped library. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook
A photo of reading chairs in the revamped library. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook
An early literacy computer in the library, a purchase supported by the Anti-Poverty Fund. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook
An early literacy computer in the library, a purchase supported by the Anti-Poverty Fund. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook
Computers in the new Mary Kaeser Library location. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook
Computers in the new Mary Kaeser Library location. Mary Kaeser Library/Facebook

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