Staff at the Halifax Public Libraries are hoping downtown borrowers take out a lot of books — and then keep them out until they're months overdue.
The Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library in Halifax is due to close its doors permanently on Saturday. Staff have to move thousands of books across the road to the new Halifax Central Library.
Patrons can help by borrowing books before the old branch closes, and then returning them to the new branch in December. There will be no late fees for such books.
Manager Darlene Beck has been with the branch for 15 years.
"It’s never been a boring day here. It's a community, a hub for the downtown with lots of activities and programs," she said Wednesday.
Staff are preparing to pack up and close down after 60 years.
About 4,400 boxes have been brought in for the move. They estimate it will take two weeks to pack up the collection safely.
From there, moving consultants take over the process. They will coordinate with IT workers and the deliverers of new furniture to make sure all goes according to plan.
Library goers still have three days to pick up books and leave their own personal mark. Many have been sharing their memories and messages to staff on old catalogue cards.
The library also serves as a war memorial. Joanne McCarthy-O’Leary is the branch historian and has been there for 19 years.
"The Books of Remembrance are my favourite things," she says. "We use them to connect to high schools, where we show service files and let them explore who these people are. They have a personal experience with who they were and what they sacrificed their lives for."
There are no plans for the future of the old building. City staff are expected to come up with a list of recommendations for the property, but it could be months before it goes to council.
The new Halifax Central Library will open across the street in late fall, but specific date has been announced yet.