Thursday, August 14, 2008

IFLA 2008 (part 11): Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg (Charlesbourg Public Library)

[From Part 11]

13 Aug 08, 8am. Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section off-site programme.

This is a long post. Plenty of pictures.

This morning, we visited the Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg (pronounced "char-le-boo").
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

We were ushered into a very cosy auditorium.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

I love how they constructed this balcony to accommodate wheelchairs and maybe baby prams. So thoughtful!
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

The library was started in October 1981, then relocated to its new premises in October 1983. It's said to have one of the best Young Adults service and programmes.

They serve 74,000 residents. Renovated two years ago (enlarged the library space by three times, at a cost of €6.3 million Euros -- wow, did I hear that right?)

I canbelieve it cost that much.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

It's an impressive building.

Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Our guide explained how the building is designed to be eco-friendly (something about the roof but I didn't catch the details).

Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

The interior was designed for efficient traffic flow. The designers aimed to make it easy to find things and for the place to feel like a second home.

[I found this to be true. It's huge and looks complex but somehow moving from section to section was straight forward and along structured path ways. The 6.3m Euros was well-spent].
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

I believe this is the self-checkout machine. It was the only one I saw in the library. The library isn't into self-help services it seems.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

The OPAC stations are clustered together. Very simple yet elegant designs. Their CPU unit is exposed. I guess it eliminates the heat issue but wonder if any users have itchy-fingers and switch the machines on/ off.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

The holder for the paper (for users to copy the Call Number) is bolted down. Nice.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Here's something new to me: Library items with the "$" symbol on the cover means users have to pay a fee per item to borrow. This is the Bestsellers and popular items section. The fee is around $3 Canadian.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg
They have adopted to use fees to regulate demand. I wondered how they dealt with complaints by those who say they cannot pay.

There's WIFI access in the library (not sure if it's free or fee).

Here's the study area.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Table-top has concealed power and LAN points.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Their Children's Section is enclosed in glass (stops the noise).
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

From the outside, the desk of the Children's Librarian is visible.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Here's the inside of the section.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

A shelf of toys!
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

There's a presentation room for kids. I think the sign says "No Admittance over 6".
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

When I stepped in, the space looked impressive. It wasn't apparent there was this space from the outside.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

At the corner there's a audio/ headset.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

There's an area where the kids can watch stuff from a TV (videos or TV programmes I think). Parents can sit on the couch overlooking the kids.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Behind the wall (where the TV is installed) is a nappy changing fold-up board and a microwave oven for heating up milk! Wow.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Upstairs is the Young People's section, if I'm not wrong. I'm guessing from the beanbags that it is! Correction: Their library inter-shelves the Young Adult and Adult collections.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Straight ahead is the Periodicals section.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg
There are a few steps up. The designers provided a lift (no space to build a ramp, I think).
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

There's a consistent clean, cool feel to the whole place. It's modern and cozy.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

The cool thing is that right across the other side, you can see the office. I wonder if that's the library director at her desk?!
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Walking out, you see a TV lounge area. Nice.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg
What's cool is that you can look across to the library office!

The Multimedia section is in the basement (kind of like a hangout for teens and young adults as well).
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

The AV materials are free to watch in the library (deposit required to use the player). Payment of S1.50 to borrow (I think it's a cheaper rate in consideration for teens).
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

They have punk and heavy metal music in their collections! Wonder if they carry Joe Satriani (man, if they put a drum/ guitar/ bass kit in the basement...)
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

This is a place I'd definitely want to hang out.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

At the ground floor, the library is connected to an exhibition space.
Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Services and programmes they provide:
  • Reading day in a public space
  • Reading day in schools
  • Introduction to reading and writing
  • Public library week
  • Read & Get Reading (seniors reading to kids - www.lireetfairelire.qc.ca)
  • They have a mascot in their storytelling for kids. Average 34 kids per session. It's so popular they require reservations.
  • Storytimes in pajamas
  • Arts and science workshops
  • Summer reading month (last week of June to end Aug. There are prizes when kids complete 5, 10, or 15 books)
  • Film screenings (to give more reasons for users to visit. The screenings are held at regular times so that there is a routine).
  • They introduced a character Chien De Lisard, aimed at young adults ages 13 to 21 (see www.bibliothequesdequebec.qc.ca/chien). At the site, teens can post on what they read (the presenter mentioned they wanted an "edgy and mildy subservive atmosphere" for the site)
  • For the 8 to 12 year-olds, they have a literary society rather than reading club format. Each activity is independent of the other and has themes.
  • Four times a year, daycare centres receive 65 books for children and daycare workers. Part of encouraging daycare centres to recognise importance of reading to young children.
  • They organise teacher meetings; send information packs to schools
  • A "School bag package" for teachers to hold classroom activities in the library


Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg Visit to Bibliothèque de Charlesbourg

Very, very nice. I'm impressed.

The physical space is well thought-out. It's a huge space yet it's not overbearing. There are clear spaces for Children, Teens and Adults (though I feel the teens section ought to have it's own enclosed area like the Children's section, and with a different feel).

Their services seems quite comprehensive and proactive.

From this visit, what's interesting to me are the consistent trends of:
  • Libraries moving towards an inter-generation theme
  • Children's services remains at the forefront of the public library services
  • Services to Youths is also deemed important. And most libraries in any country face the same challenges in trying to get teens to read
I'm also interested in how they reach out to the adults aged 30 to 49. I was too busy taking pictures and copying notes that I didn't get a chance to ask.

[I realised I've done a better job reporting what this library has done -- in terms of services to Children and Teens -- than what I've blogged about for Singapore's public libraries. Maybe I should invite a Canadian librarian over to give an objective assessment!

Anyway, if you're a Singaporean reading this, we may not have six million Euros to spend per library but otherwise what we have is pretty consistent :)]

Next: Part 12

8 comments:

  1. Lovely photos :)
    I love libraries, especially visiting them whenever I travel. Perhaps it's because it is a physical manifestation of intellectualism + community. As you've mentioned, being a public space, it's also a great space for well thought out interior design.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please pardon my ignorance, Ivan. Which country is this library in?

    Hmm... looks like you are on an official trip there. How nice! I mean both the library and having a sponsored holiday. Heh.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You're pardoned, Victor. It's Quebec City in Canada. Sponsored holiday? I wish!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well done Ivan!
    I dont have much to add. I thought it was interesting that the Charlesbourg library had included all the novels and the nonfiction books from age 12 and up, together with the books for adults (just labeled with a green sticker.) I liked the thought that the teenagers are everywhere in the library, because they are not (always) interested in an announced area. This is the first library I have seen/heard of that includes the young adult in that way. They also did have a place that was appealing/made for youth, but they hadnt named it the youthcorner. That is important. I hope we can develope that in Norway as well.
    Linn

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ingrid Bon2:44 pm

    Hi Ivan and Linn
    Great presentation of the library!
    On the discussion combining adult and young adult material:
    In Westervoort (my village in the Netherlands) they have combined the non-fiction for children, young adults and adults. People working with children do not like it but adults do. It is so much easier for them to find easy material. They should do an inquiry with the children themselves. I will keep you informed!

    ReplyDelete
  6. thank you very much Ivan for your wonderful photos [so many attention you put in a lot of themes] and report. I like to send you a note on young adult and children's arrangement and "chien lizard": having visited Gabrielle-Le Roy public library I've seen same criteria: all children's and kid's book into shelves, teen's collection only about teenagers fiction in a separate floor near adult's fiction and bande dessinees collection;here esposed "Chien lizard" poster and manifeste that's about positive role of reading in the life
    letizia

    ReplyDelete
  7. Soizik11:21 pm

    Hello Ivan

    Your photos and your report are tremedous ! When I visited this library, I liked very much too the "green roof" which covered all the library. It's like a big meadow and I walked on it, I saw flowers and even a butterfly.. It was fine.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This library is located in Quebec City, Croft Pelletier architectes have designed it.

    ReplyDelete

Join the conversation. Leave a comment :)