Winnipeg Millennium Library, more than just a library, might close Sundays

The City of Winnipeg says the Millennium library may be shuttered on Sundays.

“We’re looking at the four-year multi-year budget, and we had to make some hard decisions,” said Markus Chambers, city councillor for St. Norbert – Seine River.

He said there are some concerns, though, considering the resources available there.

“We have library staff that can help with resumes, filling out forms, or basic computer help. We have community crisis workers who can help with social assistance, help with rent forms, referrals to other organizations, things like that. And we even have safety hosts who have a variety of training in de-escalation and harm reduction principles,” said Beck Morrell, community connections librarian at the Millennium.

Morrell added that rental listings are also updated there at least weekly, and information on affordable housing, shelters and free food programming is available at the library.

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Chambers said it’s also a warming place.

“How can we replace this in terms of that seventh day of the week where people still need those resources?”

There has already been a public outcry over the potential closures over social media, and an art-laden gathering over the weekend with those in favour of keeping it open.

The city previously announced over $7 million in funding for expanding library hours, increasing security and the construction of a new library in Winnipeg’s northwest.

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It said it would work to increase library hours by 50 per cent on Sundays during the colder months.

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The Millenium is not just a haven for those in need, but also a place for families to go.

Tegan Taylor with the youth services branch at the Millennium said there are sections of the library dedicated to kids 12 and under with colourful interactive play structures, as well as a teen section for grades 7 to 12.

Sophie Firby, administrative co-ordinator of information and virtual services at the Millennium, said the third floor also features an Idea Mill — a space for “making, collaborating and tinkering.”

“It’s the most unusual part of the library because there’s no books here. It’s all technology,” she said.

The Idea Mill features 3D printers, spaces for digital editing, a cricket machine to cut vinyls and make T-shirts, and a recording booth.

“There’s a digital piano there. You can borrow any of the instruments we have and take them in there, and use the recording equipment to record your own music,” Firby said.

Click to play video: 'Security measures proposed at Millennium Library'

Security measures proposed at Millennium Library

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