Vaughan's newest library is nothing like the ones you grew up in
Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library features a recording booth, teen room, cafe, and virtual reality station
When you hear the word "library," you probably don't think of a DJ booth. But not a lot of things are typical about the Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library.
Whether it's the recording studio, the café, or the 3D printer, Vaughan's newest public library was designed to flip the typical library on its head.
"People who come in this facility, one of the first comments is usually, 'this is nothing like the library that I grew up in,'" said Margie Singleton, CEO of Vaughan Public Libraries, during a tour of the facility this week for CBC's Our Toronto.
"That was our guiding principle — to rethink what libraries were and to try to anticipate what they can become in the future."
The $15 million glass and metal facility opened to the public in May, but had its official launch on September 10.
Singleton said the modern building is fully accessible, and meant to be a community hub.
There are lots of glass walls and natural light, and it features meeting and study space, a large children's area and a room just for teenagers.
"We wanted it to be exceptionally welcoming — no shushing in this library," said Singleton.
It's true that this library isn't meant to be quiet. It has a creative suite where people can use the audio recording studio, mix music in a DJ booth, or make videos on a green screen.
The floors are heated, so kids can read on the ground. Users can take out iPads, and there's even a virtual reality station.
Library architect Paul Stevens said there are self-serve checkout stations to take out books, so librarians have more time to help people find information.
Singleton said that when they asked the community for ideas, people said they wanted outdoor areas, an unstructured space, and creative outlets.
She said that while she knows things will change, she thinks the library has delivered on all the community's needs.
"We wanted people to come in and want to stay. We didn't want people to come here because they had to," she said.