Master of Ceremonies and library board chair Greg Grondin noted that hundreds of people had worked tirelessly to bring the library revitalization to a successful conclusion.
Looking back over the library’s history, it is evident that many people over many years have worked tirelessly to help ensure that the people of St. Thomas have had access to the worlds of reading and information. The “library” has undergone many reincarnations, relocations and changes in administration and outlook since opening as a Mechanics Institute in 1873 (at the spot on Talbot Street where the St. Thomas Elgin Public Art Centre now stands).
During the Thursday morning ceremony, greetings and congratulations were delivered by Karen Vecchio on behalf of M.P. Joe Preston; Lori-Baldwin Sands on behalf of His Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; Whitney McWilliams on behalf of M.P.P. Jeff Yurek; Heather Jackson for City of St. Thomas, and Mayor Jack Couckuyt, Town of Aylmer on behalf of Bill Walters, Warden of Elgin County.
Some of the speakers made mention of their own enjoyment of the library starting from childhood, and of now seeing that same excitement and joy in the next generation.
Mayor Jack Couckuyt joked that he was jealous, referring to the fact that the folks at the Aylmer Library are presently in the process of planning for the future of their own space. He also made note of a recent Globe and Mail article which referred to libraries as the “living room of community”.
I think he was referencing a Friday February 10th article by Lisa Rochon, “The business case for beautiful libraries” (http://bit.ly/zmwJrh). It’s a thought-provoking read.
Rochen ends the article saying: