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library plans

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The Whistler Museum and Archives Society and the Whistler Public Library have joined forces to build a permanent home for both facilities. The two boards have commissioned a feasibility study for a three-storey building on Lot 21 in Village North, next to the park which will run through the centre of the lands. The boards are also approaching community groups to gather information about other people’s visions for the facilities. They plan to form joint building and fund-raising committees soon and will be hiring an architect this summer. A major capital fund-raising campaign will be launched in December, with the goal being occupancy of the new facility in the fall of 1999. The boards envision a three-storey building with a basement, which would provide additional space for offices and other uses. Once the building is completed, however, the library board wants to donate it to the community. Both the library and the museum have seen visits increase dramatically since they moved to their new, temporary locations in Village North. The library issued 3,700 library cards to Whistler residents — half the permanent population — in 1995. Library visits in 1995, the first full year of operation on the Village North site, were almost double the previous record, when the library was located beneath municipal hall. Second homeowners and visitors are also beginning to use the library regularly. The library will receive $10,000 from the RMCC Ski Challenge this spring, which it will use to increase its collection and buy equipment. Next January the library will become part of Interlink, a network of libraries from Boston Bar to Bowen Island, including West Vancouver, Burnaby and Vancouver. This will give every Whistler library member defacto membership in all the other libraries. This will allow residents in West Vancouver, for example, to borrow books from their local library and return them in Whistler.

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