Do you Meet Up With Friends at the Library?

Pamela Chan, M.Ed/Editorial

When you think about sitting in a local public library, what type of space do you imagine? Recently, the Coquitlam Library Poirier branch opened a new lounge for library patrons of all ages that features tables and lounge chairs, artwork of local artists, puzzles and board games. It’s a beautifully appointed and flexible space that is ideal for meeting friends, doing puzzles together, playing board games, doing homework or other possible usages.

At the other Coquitlam Central library branch, there is a gazebo like structure attached to a table for four. It creates a cozy, micro space within a larger space. You can often see teenagers studying together there.  Coquitlam’s population is notable for being multicultural.  Despite the language barriers that many new immigrants face, many of the library patrons are people who are newer to Canada. The branches’ ability to innovate and provide services and spaces that can be used by all is commendable.   During the worst of the early Covid pandemic months, when the libraries were closed, just being able to pick up books or (later on) go into the library while maintaining Covid protocols was a welcome opportunity to hold on to doing something “normal”. Even with those social distancing requirements in place, the library held on to its role as a meeting space for all.

If you know Tricities youth, do let them know about this new lounge.  It’s a space they can use when they are visiting the Poirier community centre. There are 6 drop in sports places across the Port Coquitlam/Coquitlam/Port Moody TriCities where youth show up.   They are resource savvy and are on the move looking for affordable, safe and accessible options where they can meet and interact with other youth from across the TriCities. This lounge definitely ticks off those needs boxes. Check it out if you are heading down Como Lake or Austin avenues.

Does your local library branch have cozy and functional meeting corners?  Do share your thoughts here on the BCFamily Facebook page.

First image: You can see artwork by local artist Kathleen Tennant.