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Central Revitalization News

We are hard at work finalizing the construction schedule for the first phase of the Central Library Revitalization Project.  We believe that project construction will likely begin in May and will continue for approximately 12 months. We expect that there will be some changes to programs, hours and use of space at Central Library over the course of construction and as the project progresses we will keep you up-to-date here on our website.  You are also welcome to call us before you visit at 519-661-4600 for up-to-date information. Our goal through this project is to ensure that our collections and resources are available to you as much as is possible and we will work hard to ensure that you are able to use the Central Library as much as is possible during the project.

As with any renovation project, there may be times when temporary changes are required, short closures of the building are required, and an increase in noise levels or other construction-related issues affect your use of the space.

Please check the Central Renew section of the website regularly for notice of any changes or interruptions to services, programs, spaces or access to Central Library (including the Children’s Library) during construction. Once construction has begun, an alert with detailed information will appear at the top of the Central Renew section. You can also choose to call us at 519-661-4600 before you visit for up-to-date news about Central Library services during construction.

We look forward to sharing a new and improved Central Library with you and apologize for any inconvenience you may experience as we embark on this much-needed revitalization project.


Removing escalators a step backward for senior access

The decision to replace the existing escalators with stairs will make it more difficult for those with physical limitations to access the areas of the library that actually have books available. Considering how Canada's and London's senior population is expected to grow in fothcoming years this decision can only be judged shortsighted and highly questionable. If the escalator machinery is dated and difficult to repair, replace it. Every airport of any decent size has escalators in abundance, if they can update and maintain their escalators, why can't  London Public Library do the same? A real change would be to move the DVD collection, and media players, coffee shops and other splashy items designed to appeal to youth to the upper floors where a few flights of stairs would hardly be a barrier and move the book collection to the ground floor where serious users (including people who actually want something to read) can easily access them. Considering the current space actually devoted to physical volumes, the ground floor should easily accommodate them. 

Re: Removing escalators a step backward for senior access

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how you feel about the new stairs! The decision to remove the escalators was not an easy one. Our business case was based on a number of factors. To name a few, we explored lifecycle, accessibility, acoustics, public response and funding.

The escalators are original to the Hudson’s Bay Department Store (approx. 26 years old); they are nearing the end of their lifecycle. The escalators are continually down for repairs and the parts needed to keep them going are older and harder to come by. As well, LPL is experiencing increasing operating costs for repairs, preventative maintenance and electricity. After the initial outlay required for the fabrication of stairs we will see significant cost savings.

The building has 2 public elevators for those members of the public who are not able or do not want to take the stairs. There has been overwhelming support from public and staff for the removal of the escalators and replacement with stairs. As part of the revitalization, we have done precisely what you have suggested – we will be creating a “branch-type” feel on the first floor by changing what services and collections are currently offered there. Our friendly and helpful staff will gladly help! Thanks again for providing LPL with your feedback!

Chairs at computer stations

Yes, we realize you just spent a zillion dollars on new chairs, but as many many many have complained, they SUCK SUCK SUCK.

We are practically sitting on the floor!!  with keyboard in lap in order to type.

How unbelievabley & extremely unergonomic.  This would never fly at a place of work.

Ergonomic nightmare!!!  Why don't you pay a qualified ergonomist $400.00/hr to assess?? They'll tell you the same thing.

Re: Chairs at computer stations

Thank you very much for your feedback regarding the chairs in the computer area. We are sorry you don’t find the chairs to your satisfaction; many users have had the opposite experience. Due to extensive use, our public computer chairs needed to be replaced. A team of staff members carefully reviewed our seating options for this area and tested several models. We also put sample chairs out for members of the public to try and asked for their feedback. Our options were limited as due to the high volume of users who utilize the public computers we had to select chairs that were hygienic, easily cleaned, durable, safe and comfortable for a period of 2 hours. The chairs are adjustable (up and down) utilizing the arm underneath. A staff member at the 2nd floor help desk would be happy to show this function to you. Alternatively, there are other chairs available within the library that have foam seats that may better suit your individual ergonomic needs.

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