EDITORIAL: Page needs to be opened on library project

We say: New library holds the key to town centre development.

If the District of Sooke really wants to move forward on town centre development, the biggest leap will come from building a new library.

The district, Vancouver Island Regional Library board and the Capital Regional District have all agreed Sooke’s current library is past its best before date.

Yet, any move to a physical building is moving at a glacial pace.

Last summer the district asked for a request for proposal and had six replies. None met the criteria. (Although one developer said, he met all the criteria except proper zoning; that problem has since been rectified).

The CRD approved up to $6 million in funding last October, but VIRL can’t seem to get dust off the project’s plan and take it to the next level.

Municipal and library officials say everyone needs to be onside. Fair enough, but they also need to be rowing in the same direction, too.

The back and forth discussions on the library project has been going on for years. This Saturday, VIRL board will discuss the library again, but there appears little, if any, hope of it getting out of the bureaucratic quagmire.

Now as the district is headstrong in developing the town centre, with the completion of the roundabout, it is time to get this project off the ground.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that libraries have helped revitalize struggling or depressed communities.

Like a major department store in a mall, libraries attract large numbers of people, creating economic opportunities for a myriad of businesses and organizations in the surrounding area. Large cities, medium-sized ones and even small towns have successfully transformed their libraries into the hubs of vibrant neighborhoods.

In the words of Robert Putnam, “People may go to the library looking mainly for information, but they find each other there.”

•••

We want to hear from you. Send you comments to editor@sookenewsmirror.com. Letters must include daytime phone number and your name.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Writers Collective releases new anthology

Lucky Number Seven features work from local writers

Rare comet dazzles night sky over Saanich Peninsula

Comet NEOWISE is passing Earth for the first time in 7,000 years

Victoria council looks to address systematic racism

Motion put forward calling on police to end street checks

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep Saanich drainage pipe

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Saanich warns of ongoing night work at the Shelbourne, McKenzie intersection

Construction expected to take three weeks to complete

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

Port Alberni will have a salmon derby on Labour Day after all

Alberni Valley Tyee Club reveals ‘socially distanced’ derby only for Labour Day 2020

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Suspicious fire quenched before reaching gunpowder in Nanaimo’s historic Bastion

Probe underway in basement blaze that erupted near where powder stored to fire signature cannons

Duncan model makes quarter finals in ‘Maxim’ magazine contest

Brandee Peart among top one per cent left in competition

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Most Read