The children came first, one at a time so the books they were carrying from the shelves of the old Whistler library could be replaced on the shelves of the new library alphabetically. They were followed by young adults, adults, seniors, and various VIPs from the community — well over 200 people who took advantage of Books on the Move this past Sunday to see the inside of the new Whistler library for the first time.
The new library is scheduled to open on Jan. 26, and construction was still very much underway during the sneak preview event, but it was long enough for some locals to make up their minds.
Geoff Clarke and his wife Wynne were regulars at the old library, and can’t wait for the new facility to open.
“We’re very impressed, it’s an excellent building,” said Geoff. “It was great to be able to come out and carry our one little book over and see it after all this time.
“We were a bit concerned about the funding, and the stories of the price going up, up and up. But there’s no point moaning about everything now, it’s been done, and the new library is excellent.”
Wynne said she enjoyed the atmosphere of the building, with its walls of windows and the fireplace area.
“It’s a great space, and will be a wonderful place to come and spend time. We’re very lucky to have it,” she said.
Kitty Chase, who was attending with her four-year old grandson Ryan Holden, was also impressed.
“It’s absolutely excellent,” she said. “It’s a wonderful design and it has been built beautifully. I love the colours, the windows and the brightness of the place, and the kids reading area will be fantastic. It looks like we’re going to be spending a lot of time there. We stopped going to story time at the other library because it was so crowded at times, and we’re looking forward to going back again when it opens.”
Holden was speechless, but nodded enthusiastically when asked if he liked the new building.
The turnout was bigger than Library director Lauren Stara expected, but she welcomed the community’s enthusiasm.
“We’re really pleased,” she said. “We expected a good crowd, but this was a great turnout. We also got a great mix of young children, young adults, seniors, and dignitaries like members of council.
“I think everybody is pretty excited to see the doors open January 26, once we get the doors put in.”