Why isn’t the Colonial Building on Military Road being utilized as a downtown library space? This building would be the perfect site for a downtown public library. The building currently is being renovated to house a political interpretation museum. It has sat empty since at least 2010 and I think it is time to start asking what is going on with it.
I do understand the historical significance of the building, and think a political museum is a good idea. However, I feel a better use of this space would be to convert it into a fully accessible library. What St. John’s lacks, that many cities of its size have, is a library in the downtown area.
I believe this location is a perfect place for a library due to its vicinity to the popular Bannerman Park, many schools, tourist attractions, and it is on a bus route. The building, which is of significant historical value, can still show off the political history, while the space itself can be used as a library.
This can be done by having it in and amongst the library exhibits, displays, or plaques to honour the historical importance of the site. A well designed library/museum could easily draw all types of folks from students, elders, families, and even tourists.
Our public libraries would be better attended if we actually put money into making them easy to access. Make our downtown library an enjoyable landmark in our community. Make it a place people look at in awe and become inspired by. Make it a thriving hub instead of a strip mall cast away. We can make our libraries worthwhile to visit by combining the beauty, history, and needed social amenities in this space, the Colonial Building. Who’s with me on this one?
Take pride St. John’s and stand up for your public spaces. I want my children to remember the library as a beautiful fortress of knowledge. We deserve to have a downtown library that we can be proud of. Let’s put value, history, and beauty back into our libraries because they are worthwhile. Libraries do mean something to our community. I’d vote for that.
Letter to the Editor by Katrina Taliana