Here's a look back at Calgary Central Library's first year

Nov 1 2019, 5:14 pm

It’s no stretch to say that, over the past year of operations, Calgary’s Central Library has become a staple in the skyline and the community.

Built between 2013 and 2018, the interestingly-shaped building opened to much fanfare on November 1, 2018.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke at the opening celebration — which included appearances by astronaut Chris Hadfield and musicians Tegan and Sara — and lines were seen down the block to gain access on opening weekend.

A total of 50,000 visitors had made their way through the building’s doors by the time opening weekend was done, and in the year that would follow another 1.7 million visitors would enter Central Library, according to statistics shared with Daily Hive from Calgary Public Libraries.

The stats also noted that the past year has seen 107,606 attendees, 61,351 new members, 21,024 room bookings, 859 tours, 589,068 computer bookings, and 754,053 items checked out.

To say that the past year has been a successful one or the library would be an understatement, especially given the numerous accolades the building received within its first few months of operation.

The New York Times placed Calgary’s Central Library on two best-of lists: An article featuring the “world’s newest and most creative libraries,” and another detailing 2019’s 100 greatest places.

The BBC added Central Library to their list of top contemporary libraries in March, joining it to the ranks of Oodi Central Library in Helsinki, Finland, the Chicago Public Library, Copenhagen’s Tingberg Library, the TĆ«ranga Christchurch Central Library in New Zealand, Hanoi, Vietnam’s VAC Library, Biblioteca Sur in Lima, Peru, Dandaji Library in Western Niger, and China’s Tianjin Library.

A celebration is, naturally, in order, with Calgary Public Library planning to host a first birthday party for the building this Saturday featuring live music, gifts, free hot chocolate, and much more.

Details about the event can be found below:

Calgary Central Library’s First Birthday Bash

When: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Where: Central Library — 800 3 Street SE, Calgary
Admission: Free!