Ava Levecque was thrilled to be surrounded by books again.
The seven-year-old said it felt “awesome” to be in the brand-new South End Library.
“I like the books,” she said, flipping through some chapter-book titles.
Her grandma, Monica Levecque, said she and her family had been anxiously awaiting the grand opening.
“We have been waiting for it for a long time,” she said. “It's really nice to have our library back.”
Ava and Monica, along with hundreds of others, were on hand for the ribbon-cutting of the $5-million building.
Along with countless titles from which to choose, spread out over two floors, the library also features two lounge areas, two meeting rooms, three study spaces, an outdoor balcony and and outdoor reading garden.
“We are extremely proud of the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the South End Library project, including city council, the Greater Sudbury Public Library Board, Friends of the Greater Sudbury Public Library, staff and all community volunteers,” Martin Lajeunesse, chair of the GSPL board, said.
Lajeunesse said the new facility was designed to be a “people place.”
There is an extensive children's area in the lower level, complete with cozy reading chairs and even a gaming station. Throughout the library, there are 45 workstations, as well as access to a number of BlackBerry PlayBooks.
Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk said gone are the days of a library being a “shhh” place.
“Libraries are about more than books,” she said. The South End location, along with other local libraries, is a “one-stop-shop” for city services — a place people can go to renew their dog licenses, sign up for swimming lessons and more.
Of course, traditional activities are still part of the library's offerings.
“It's easy to imagine how tomorrow's leaders would be inspired here,” Matichuk said.
The South End Library is located at 1991 Regent St. For more information, visit www.sudburylibraries.ca.