Q. Why do we need a new library?

Orillia’s Public Library needs a new home in order to meet the growing demands for its services - a fully accessible building that will provide those services to the entire community for many years to come.

In our downtown market square location, more than 640 people will come through our doors every day to check out books and materials, get reference help, and use our children’s services as well as attend our adult programs including our award-winning Lifescapes program.

Q. With new technology are Public Libraries still relevant?

Yes, more than ever. Even in the temporary location, Library membership has increased more than 22%. Our circulation, interlibrary loans and program memberships have climbed as well.

Q. So, people still check out books from the Library?

Yes, even in this age of digital media, books have never been more popular. Best-selling fiction, teen series, children’s picture and story books are just some of the most popular materials that are in high demand. Traditional books are still our most popular items.  But, we are embracing new media with access to e-books, audiobooks and online databases, available 24/7 through our website.

Q. Why is the new building 47,000 sq. ft?

The Library’s overall size needs were determined through a number of studies, and involved several factors:

  • Orillia’s present and future population.
  • The increasing range of material, services and programs provided.
  • Community programming needs such as the Farmer’s Market, Information Orillia and a community meeting space.
  • New building codes and new accessibility laws for public buildings.

Q. What does it mean that Libraries are about more than “just books.”

Modern libraries do much more than lend books. They keep on top of trends and adopt new approaches to traditional library services including lifelong learning and literacy services, book clubs, genealogy programs, computer training and reference services, available nowhere else in the community.

Q. What about parking and accessibility for patrons?

There are three fully-accessible public entrances, steps away from Orillia transit.
There are 81 parking spaces in the municipal lot next to the Library and more than 862 spaces available within 250 metres.

Q. What about children’s services?

From Babytime Stories to Teen Scene Book Clubs, our children’s services are enjoyed by thousands of kids in our community. Last year 480 programs had more than 12,514 children in attendance. Our Summer Reading Club had more than 500 members and our Teen summer reading programs had over 150 participants.

Early learning skills, a love of literacy, homework help and community partnerships such as Paws To Read with Therapeutic Dogs of Canada and Circle of Readers with Lakehead University are all important aspects of our Library.

Q. How much does this all cost?

The Library market square project was approved at $18.7 million for construction costs and $24.1 million for total project costs, including parking and landscaping for both the Library and Opera House, with funding from the City of Orillia and the Government of Canada. Many of the added value items in the Library such as local history collections, children’s services, new assistive technology and the preservation of the extensive art collection will require support from individuals in the community.

Support for the fundraising campaign will make our wonderful Library even better and provide services in an age where literacy, global awareness and community spirit are more important than ever.

Q. Will there be computer training?

Yes, our plan is to offer a variety of computer-related training programs, both formal and informal.

Q. Will staff still have time to help Library customers?

Of course! New technologies, like self check-out, will help to make our services more efficient, and will free up staff to allow them to work with our customers.