Monday, 15 December 2014

Books are fer learnin'!

On my first full day back in Nova Scotia, I had the pleasure of checking out what some have been referring to as "the Eiffel Tower of Halifax" - that's right, I went to the Halifax Central Library! Unfortunately, I didn't snap any photos of the outside, as there were lots of people hanging around, and it was dark by the time I left. I did manage to snap a few from the inside, though.

Photo credit: CBC
Now, to call this spectacular building "the Eiffel Tower of Halifax" is a pretty big stretch! Don't get me wrong, it's fantastic -'s also a library. I haven't seen the Eiffel Tower in person, mind you, but, I think it's fairly safe to say the two are not comparable. 

I arrived just before 4:00pm. The grand opening had taken place around 10:00am that morning. You'd never know how much time had passed if you weren't aware of it, by the amount of people still flooding in to check it out! Luckily, I had a friend closely connected to the new facility to give me a personal tour, while we caught up.

Just inside the front entrance is a small cafe, that sells a range of hot beverages and a good assortment of treats to accompany them. I was treated to a nice cup of tea to enjoy whilst we walked throughout the building. Our first official stop was the top floor, which is home to an outdoor rooftop patio and the beginnings of a garden. It was a bit cool outside, so a few pictures were snapped before we made our way back in!

Photo credit: Julia!
(ESSTers - don't tell Glyn!)
Photo credit: Julia!
View from the roof
View from the roof
We toured around each floor taking in the swarms of people, book titles, and of course, trying out all of the various types of seating. I will tell you this - there are super comfy computer-esque chairs that have a cushy grey mesh, and some wonderful 'not too hard, not too soft' green sofa/chairs, which I would highly recommend you take a few minutes to test out! 

Other features of the library, everyone should check out, include:
  • The Friendship Circle
  • Puppet theatres anyone? (yep - that's right, I said theatreS; there's two!)
One of the two puppet theatres
  • A massive Lite-Brite wall
Sorry that it's sort of blurry - I had to move fast in an attempt not to snap any
pictures of the many children using this fun feature!
  • A Lego table (sorry no pictures - too many children!)
  • And, a super sweet play kitchen!

My parents failed me by not giving me one of these as a small child...
Two things struck me about the overall feel of the place. For one, it's very open, and bright, and user-friendly. It was kind of like if a mall and a university library had a baby. The stairways and corridors across the floors were as much a part of the artwork, as they were serving a practical purpose. 

The other thing that really amazed me was the large presence of books! Now, I know what you're probably thinking - it's a library, there should be books - but the way this place had been talked about, made it seem like community space was more of the focus than physical books. It was a component of the planning that saddened me a bit. Of all the environmentally conscious decisions I make regarding reducing my consumption, books are one thing I simply cannot give up. There's just something comforting about the feel and smell of a book in your hands - I don't know how else to describe it! Anyway, the fact that there were many books on each level immediately erased all sadness. In fact, there's a good balance between traditional library, and community-oriented space. And, judging by the range of people getting their first glimpse on opening day, I'd say it will be well used.  There were families with small children, older couples, teens, university-aged students and everyone in between. It's a great addition to the Halifax area, and I'd recommend a visit to anyone who hasn't! To learn more about the new facility and/or see more pictures (including some indoor shots!), check out the Library's website at

-the Orange Canadian


  1. I'm itching to get in there to check it out, and so are the kids!

  2. Hope you've made it there! It's a grey spot!