The North Branch Library celebrated their grand opening for their donors and sponsors on Monday evening, with a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours, refreshments and a cash bar.
“Without the partnerships, sponsors and donors in this community, we wouldn’t be here today,” Public Library Community Engagement Manager Helena Huopalainen said.
The library, located at 232C Northern Ave., is one of six Northern Ontario homes to the Science North Think Hub, as well as the Sault Creator studio, which includes a 3D printer, a vinyl cutter, a green screen and cameras, and an extensive archival space.
“It’s great being able to expand, because we have some of these services already at the (James L. McIntyre) Centennial, but to move up to another part of the city and have all of this great new technology is fantastic,” Acting CEO/Director of Public Libraries Matthew MacDonald told SaultOnline.
He said the new location is fantastic because, being off of Great Northern Rd., it’s more central and closer to both schools and senior’s residences.
“We are literally next door to Boreal School, and there are several other public schools around us as well, and we are in between Superior Heights and St. Mary’s, we are just down the road from Sault College, and there are senior’s residences all around us,” he said.
MacDonald said he thinks another branch is an important addition to the city, as it will benefit people with limited transportation who may not be able to make it to one of the other branches in the city.
“It’s very important to have more than one library in the city,” he said.
“A lot of people are limited in their transportation…and I know a lot of people suggest that everything’s within 15 minutes, but that’s not true if you don’t have a vehicle. So community branches are really valuable to those people who don’t have their own transportation. And it also gives us a chance to increase our square footage as well – the Centennial building is a fantastic building, but it’s limited in the amount of space it has, and in order to have growth, we have to have other library branches.”
The North St. Branch will be operational from 10-6 Monday, 10-8 Tuesday to Thursday, 10-5 Friday and Saturday and closed on Sundays.