City opens new joint Archives and Library facility


[click on photo to enlarge]

June 27, 2011:  Mayor Jim Watson officially opened the new Central Archives and Library Materials Centre to the public today in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility on Tallwood Drive.

“This beautifully designed building provides the ideal stage for the vision of complementary joint Archives and Library programming” said Mayor Watson. “Together under this roof these two key institutions will enhance our ability to educate, engage and inspire the residents of Ottawa and preserve, display and illuminate the history of our city.”

The Mayor was joined by Councillors Jan Harder, Mark Taylor and Rick Chiarelli and the Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure and M.P.P. for Ottawa West-Nepean. The new facility was made possible with a $20 million dollar contribution from the Provincial Government’s Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative.

“The joint Archives and Library facility is complementing the rich history and the dense population of academics here in our nation’s Capital. We are proud to contribute to preserving our history and providing visitors from around the world and Ontario’s curious intellects a clean, safe and beautiful place to visit, learn and congregate,” said Minister Chiarelli.

The Ottawa Public Library has been afforded an opportunity to make better use of its downtown headquarters through this partnering with the Central Archives.

“This new building is an important element of OPL’s strategic priority of improving the Library’s places and spaces,” said Councillor Jan Harder, Chair of the Ottawa Public Library Board. “Consolidating collection management and materials distribution functions in this purpose-built facility is a forward-looking solution to the logistical challenges of moving 70 tonnes of materials through the library system every week, which in turn helps us serve the citizens of Ottawa better”.

The new Archives facility also includes room for public spaces, which will allow the community to utilize it for research and education.

“With classroom and workshop space, more reference and consultation space for researchers as well as access to modern research tools, this facility will become a hub of culture and learning,” said ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli.

The official unveiling of the commissioned public artwork titled Archive by Don Maynard also took place today. Mr. Maynard’s sculpture consists of a stainless steel house floating 20 feet off the plaza, tethered to the ground by ropes and boulders.

“Don’s sculpture speaks to the challenge and importance of collecting and preserving our shared memories and histories for future generations lest they fly away just as the house threatens to do” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee.

[from City of Ottawa News Release]