Flip flop.

When I moved to Waterloo, Canada a while ago the city was considering building new branch libraries and increasing the size of the main branch of the Waterloo Public Library. At the time I thought that RIM Park, on the east edge of the city, was a perfect place for a library. The head librarian explained it wasn’t a good site because at the edge of the city it did not have an effective radius of customers to serve; the branch needed to be closer to the center of the city.

Apparently that no longer matters because today’s paper says that RIM Park is now the favoured site for a new library branch (Note: link may be broken by the time you read this), only about four years after I suggested the same thing:

But in a report to the city, the library said the RIM Park location was more convenient and more people would likely support building a library next to a recreation facility, than near a school.

The park and the school are right next to each other at the absolutely most distant corner of the city. I’m not even sure that there is a bus route there, so driving is likely the only option except for the closest houses. There is nothing convenient about either location.

Now at the same time a large Canadian supermarket chain, Loblaw, is planning to close a Zehrs store at the more centrally located Conestoga Mall in order to open a new superstore. Nobody wants this store but it will likely happen anyway, and the Zehrs will sit empty. Given the timeframes involved, why doesn’t the library consider the possibility of locating in the soon-to-be former Zehrs store?


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3 thoughts on “Flip flop.

  1. > why doesn’t the library consider the possibility
    > of locating in the soon-to-be former Zehrs store?

    Just wait, four years from now this prediction will come true. :)

  2. The idea of putting a public library in a mall is a stroke of genius. I imagine you would see a lot more books walking away and the ones returned would be more beaten up, but those are the two best metrics for a library’s actual usage. With the advent of the Web, fewer and fewer people go to public libraries. Like many other facilities, libraries need to change to suit the needs of their patrons. Man, what a great idea.

    Do you know if there are currently any public library branches in any malls anywhere?

  3. People don’t want that new store??? Wrong!!!
    They say that all the time, then after they build it the parking lots are full.
    As far a Zehrs being the big evil corporation that some are suggesting, I would say they are not. The problem is that stupid city/town/regional governments are attracting a Walmart to their area as if it is a symbol of prosperity, ie. we have made it to the big league.
    After they get their Walmart the competition has to do something or go out of business. Walmart put over 20 grocery chains out of busines in the States. City/town councils want the existing business that have been here from the start to remain the mom & pop walking distance store, while they brought this oversize mamoth from Bentonville into their backyard. So Zehrs (or Loblaws) has to upsize to stay competative.
    I support Zehrs move to keep alive by moving. They are smart enough to realize what happened to the competition in the States that did not act.
    Most people will support the new location for the former Zehrs.

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