Need some privacy? The local library can help with that.
Since the fall, the Squamish Public Library has installed three new privacy pods.
Useful for studying, doing a work interview, having a private phone call and more, they offer privacy and quiet in a well-used and loved public space.
Director of library services, Hilary Bloom, explained to The Squamish Chief that they were installed to maximize the use of quiet space and meet a need in the community.
“We got the first two because we have such a large open space concept it's really difficult for us to achieve quiet spaces, so it had been something that had been on our radar for quite a while,” she said.
“They proved to be so popular that we got the opportunity to purchase a third one, which was second hand from a business in town that was moving and offered to sell it to us.”
The booths were purchased thanks to funds from the now-folded Friends of the Library, which made a considerable donation to the library as their last contribution, and grant funding from the province.
“[We’ve had] really positive reviews because of the nature of Squamish—being there are a lot of people who work remotely and are studying and need meeting spaces,” said Bloom.
The pods can be booked through the library website up to 24 hours ahead of time, and users can use them for up to two hours in a day—free of charge.
More than just books, but still devoted to books
The installation of the pods goes well with a number of other initiatives that have clicked into place at the Library recently, including a ‘technology co-ordinator’ who helps ensure the library’s tech infrastructure is up to snuff and serving the public's needs, and also holds one-on-one tech help sessions.
The Library also recently introduced a suite of tablets for in-library use as an expansion of public internet computer access, and in 2023 the library launched their ‘Library of Things’ services, lending out non-traditional library items like a sewing machine, podcast set, robotics kits, binoculars and more.
Bloom said that service was a hit thanks to public input, and those who used the library had another chance to make suggestions.
“We’re launching another survey now asking people to give us more feedback on what else they would like to see.”
Bloom said it was important that the library keep up with public demand and ensure its array of programming hit the spot while keeping true to its mandate.
“Among all these wild and wonderful things we’ve added on, we’re still very good at, and dedicated to delivering our core services that people expect,” she said.
“We are very responsive to patron suggestions and suggestions for purchase. We’re a library, so we want to have a collection that reflects the interests of the community.”