As the construction of the Marigold Library System and Western Irrigation District Headquarters building is in full swing, there’s a growing misconception among library patrons that the Strathmore Municipal Library is packing up its books and resources and moving across the highway.
The new facility, which is located on a 6-acre parcel on Orchard and Pine near the No Frills grocery store, will house the headquarters of the Western Irrigation District (WID) and Marigold Library System- a not-for-profit collective servicing libraries in 43 municipalities, including the Town of Strathmore and the Strathmore Municipal Library at the Lambert Centre.
Marigold is not a public library, nor does it overlap services with public libraries. Local libraries provide the location (building), service (staff) and community connection. Marigold provides the product, such as collection materials, IT infrastructure, consultation and behind-the-scenes support. Marigold also supports a province-wide network of sharing print, AV and electronic resources and mail service – a cost too great for most libraries to take on themselves.
Marigold has outgrown its current space in downtown Strathmore and has been planning to move to a new headquarters facility for over ten years. Public library services rely heavily on technology, which requires updated infrastructure. To meet their needs, Marigold and the WID collaborated to build a new joint facility which will serve as an operational headquarters for both, as well as support their vision to invest in and contribute to the local community and economy. A large gathering space for use by community groups is a major component of the larger project that the WID and Marigold will jointly manage and use to bring community members together.
Marigold serves a population of nearly 340,000 people in the 43 municipalities that surround Calgary; this service population has tripled in 15 years. Municipalities and library users understand that public library resources support access to affordable information and recreation, digital inclusion, skills and employment, early childhood and literacy development, services for new Canadians, and much more, which in turn leads to community sustainability and cohesion.
In recognition of the important role public libraries play in building communities and supporting its residents, the Town of Strathmore partnered with the Strathmore Municipal Library Board to co-fund an extensive renovation and expansion project in 2017. This project provided enhanced spaces for children’s activities, programs, meetings, studying, and all kinds of community events within the Lambert Centre. In the years since the project was completed, library usage has increased substantially with over 70,000 visits to the library in 2019. The expansion has also allowed the Strathmore Municipal Library to host and facilitate the Strathmore and Area Adult Inclusive Literacy program which began serving the community in 2020.
With the Strathmore Municipal Library enjoying their renovated space at the Lambert Centre, Marigold is eagerly awaiting the opening of their new headquarters. The building construction is well underway and the WID and Marigold expect to move into the facility in fall of 2021. For more information visit www.marigoldwidcommunity.ca
Marigold is a not‐for‐profit collective for municipalities to provide affordable public library services and support to residents in 43 rural and urban municipalities that surround Calgary, as well as to two First Nations Reserves. Cost savings and efficiencies are achieved with volume discounts, by consolidating work and by providing expert consultation. Our services are largely focused on the 36 libraries in our region, although Marigold also delivers services to residents in a variety of ways: Library Lending Lockers in Hussar and Bragg Creek, 24/7 digital resources on our website, volunteer book deposits and mail services.
A large gathering space for use by community groups is a major component of the larger project that the WID and Marigold will jointly manage and use to bring community members together. This space will include a large, fully accessible multipurpose room for up to 100 people with event and lecture seating, and kitchen and restroom amenities. This public-use space will provide a venue for community organizations and local not-for profit organizations to host events that could not otherwise be held in Strathmore, such as volunteer board meetings, training, and educational events such as learning about resource conservation. The gallery space will feature the WID and Marigold’s history in providing water and public library resources and services to communities across south-central Alberta. This project will therefore enhance opportunity for social benefits in the region by providing a local, affordable space for meetings and programs that support childhood literacy, the performing arts, Indigenous groups, seniors’ programs, improved accessibility for the disabled, and so much more. Marigold’s 43 volunteer board members and board subcommittees will also use this space, as well as over 600 Marigold member library staff and Board members who will attend workshops and training events.
CEO Marigold Library System
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