The partnership between Laurier Brantford and the Brantford Public Library was established in 1999. Since then, the public library has held a total of 10,000 textbooks and catalogues, and offered computers and study space for Laurier Brantford students. In an article published in the Branford Expositor, Leslie Cooper, the acting Vice-Principal of Laurier Brantford said, “We have been delighted with the collaboration [with the public library]. But we’ve outgrown them.”
Laurier Brantford has grown; today there are over 2,700 students who need a sufficient supply of textbooks and research opportunities. The Faculty of Laurier and the students have been asking for their own library for a very long time.
“The Carnegie Building was a library and instead of keeping it they converted it into offices and classrooms. I wasn’t there but I might have made a different decision,” said Max Blouw, President and Vice-Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University.
“We will continue to view the library situation as high priority and we are thinking what does the library of the future look like? The opportunity to borrow textbooks from the public library and to be in a Laurier safe place is very inviting, but the financial times are not easy,” said Blouw.
The decision of the Laurier Library has been in debate for a long time.
A poll conducted on The Sputnik website found that 70 per cent of people stated that the current library is insufficient to their scholarly needs. Another 18 per cent found that the library “could be better.”
The students who are about to graduate this year are disappointed that they might not be able to take advantage of a Laurier owned library.
“In my 4 years of university, I did not feel comfortable to use the public library in the evenings. I think that a Laurier library would allow us to work specifically with textbooks and offer more study rooms at night,” said Pooja Patel, fourth-year Laurier Brantford student.
“University doesn’t only mean education, it can be very distracting to students, therefore a quiet place to study is always needed,” says Aarti Patel, a third-year Leadership student.
The future library looks different than the public library in Brantford. Libraries are starting to need more space for digital media, textbooks, computers and more printers. Many students also wish to be able to contact the librarians at any time, especially during exam time when there is always help needed.
“Sometimes I am sitting on a paper and I need to use books as a source for the paper, [but] the Brantford library is closed at 9 P.M. and that is when I am still in class,” says Patel.
As far as the process of setting opening times for a library, we are still not there.
“There have been only initial studies into whether any of our current campus buildings would serve as a library, at least in part. No concrete plans have been made,” says Kevin Klein, the External Relations Coordinator at Laurier Brantford.
Students are still waiting for the final decision regarding the future library of Laurier Brantford, and may have a significant amount of time to wait.