Central Library To Relocate In Deal With Downtown Mission

The Windsor Public Library (WPL) is about to write the next chapter in its nearly 125 years of history after agreeing to sell the Central Library building at 850 Ouellette to the Downtown Mission.

Following the opening last year of the W.F. Chisholm Branch at the Optimist Community Centre, the start of construction on the John Muir Branch in Sandwich Town and the forthcoming renovation of the Budimir Branch in South Windsor, the WPL will begin the process of locating a new Central Branch in the Downtown area.

“We are excited to continue with our library system renewal and look forward to creating a new library space that best meets the needs of our community,” said Windsor Mayor and Library Board Chair Drew Dilkens.  “We’ve been working hard to bring our libraries into the 21st Century and when the offer to purchase the Central Branch building was presented by the Mission we knew the time to act was now.”

Constructed in 1972, the Main Library comprises 101,467 square feet of space over three floors. The building is too large and no longer meets the needs of a 21st century public library.

“We have been presented with an opportunity to become more accessible and relevant to Windsorites and expand our services to the whole community,” says WPL CEO Kitty Pope. “It’s a great opportunity for us to move ahead and begin the next 50 years of WPL history.  The planning to transition to a new location will begin immediately.”

Library Administration is already working on relocation and moving plans to a temporary site that will be needed when the building is turned over to the Mission at the end of June 2019.  Plans for a new library will also be worked on during that time and public input will be sought.

Pictured at the announcement are (Left to Right):  City of Windsor Mayor and WPL Board Chair Drew Dilkens, Executive Director/CEO of the Downtown Mission Ron Dunn and WPL CEO Kitty Pope.

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10 Responses to "Central Library To Relocate In Deal With Downtown Mission"

  1. Generic says:

    Yes, many universities have delivery for volumes stored offsite, but those are usually, rarely used, redundant, or items removed from circulation because of condition. Here, the reduction has meant the atrophy of our library in a very different manner, e.g., at present, we have only five remaining journals in our library, and those are there only because of faculty intervention. Many, if not the majority, of these journals have not been digitized. Art Historians need old journals (as well as older exhibition catalogs and monographs) in order to do historiography, in order to trace the circulation and transformation of ideas. Call me daft, but I do not think it should take me three day or more to check a footnote at a research university! This is not merely about modernizingthis is a matter of hobbling several existing programs in order to make space for a new program. The previous reduction of the library was enacted without consulting the students and faculty that use the library regarding their needs. Now, caught out, the administration puts on what amounts to a theater of engagement, all while what is left out our once brilliant Fine Arts Library faces the existential threat of possibly being closed entirely.

  2. Beth Bawtenheimer says:

    Why was there no public discussion regarding the sale and possible relocation of the central branch? This is another example of the underhanded politics that run our city. I am sure the mission can find a better location instead taking over one of Windsor’s unique and iconic buildings. The central branch is always busy and provides many services to wide segments of our community, the homeless included.

  3. Linda says:

    I feel sad to hear that. This library is so good and meets my needs perfectly. I like to study here. I don’t know why you rush to sell it before you even have found a new site. Why does downtown mission have so much money? You should have consult with the public before you made a decision. I’m strongly against it!

  4. anna calleja says:

    Hi. Sorry to hear the building has been sold. What will happen to all the artwork that was commissioned for the building? My father built the large spiral kinetic sculpture located in the upper level…will the work be moved or is it all facing demolition?

  5. David Hanna says:

    Citizens of Windsor may get a nice shiny new building or re-tread, but the Mayor’s sales propaganda about Windsor gaining the equivalent of the new ‘Halifax Library’ is patently false in terms of size, services, programs, central location, architecture and landscape. Simply put, the City of Windsor is downsizing the Main Library to a branch size with the excuse that it will be ‘better’ located near the Art Gallery / Museum / Aquatic Centre. The new location will encompass issues of higher new building costs or renovation, land acquisition or lease costs, parking shortages and possibly a lack of Library institutional profile. Relocation and downsizing will force scatterings of the Library Administration, City Archives, Book Truck interior drop & Pickup, existing public art designed for the existing Main Library building and complete negation of private donation monies now seemingly ill spent on the recent existing Main Library renovations such as: the new Genealogical History Room, Tech Space and Self Publishing Lab and Garden balcony. It is unlikely that a new smaller, relocated Library will have the same size of Lecture Room rental space that accommodated such a diverse history of events that the existing Main Windsor Library did. The existing Main Windsor Library – a building designed as Main Library and a building that was never fully explored as to how to share it and improve it.

  6. Brenda Schmidt says:

    I am very sad to see this library move to a different location .I live next door & it was always so close for me & others in our building to visit here .I hope that it ‘s new location won’t be far for us in the downtown area to get too. This library has helped me through many essays that I had to do for school & also was a place to come to use the computers or just to sit & relax .I will miss it very much & will keep updated as to where they will move to.

  7. Frances Moroz says:

    I have read regarding going to build a new Windsor Public Library and asking input regarding where to build it. My suggestion is that it is put on the grassy land where the Grace Hospital stood. That would be a good central location and buses run past there so people could walk, take a bus and with a good parking area, I think that would be a really nice place.

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