$98M Montreal library fights falling glass

Officials with Montreal's new library want to build awnings around the building to protect passersby from possible falling glass.

Several million dollars in renovations that would include new awnings are being proposed for Montreal's new $98-million library to protect passersby from possible falling glass.

More than a dozen decorative glass panels on La Grande Bibliothèque have crashed to the sidewalk since the downtown five-storey building opened in April 2005.

Hélène Panaïoti, head of Quebec's library system, told CBC News Wednesday that it would be too costly to refit the thousands of panels covering the building.

Instead, the library wants to build awnings andoverhangs around the building on Boulevard De Maisonneuve.

Italso wants to plant gardens along the perimeter to keep people from getting too close.

The proposed renovations still need to beapproved by the city. In the meantime, a temporary barrier is in place to keep any falling glass away from pedestrians.

Jean Yves Duthel, spokesman for the downtown borough where the library is located, said the borough recently paid a consultant to study the extent of the falling glass problem.

"There is a danger," he told CBC News.

Michel Robert, who uses the library every week, said he wasnotcomfortable knowing falling glass has been an issue.

"I don't think we're safe here," he said as he entered the library Wednesday.