Zoey Visits the Calgary Public Library

A recent trip to my nearest Calgary Public Library branch, by the numbers.

5.25 minutes to walk from my home in East Village to the under-construction New Central Library (NCL).

240,000 square feet. The size of the future NCL, including a 1,500-square-foot café, 340-seat theatre, nearly an entire floor dedicated to emerging technologies and teenagers, a smart “library express” area where books are set up more like a bookstore than you’d expect in a library and more features that will rewrite the book on what it means to be a local library.

10 minutes between webcam photos snapped of the NCL’s construction progress, which you can check out here.

0 seconds I want to wait until the NCL opens.

88,538,000 seconds, approximately, until the NCL actually opens (its opening is currently scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018).

1.2 million. The approximate number of jealous Calgarians now that I’ve got my brand new special edition East Village library card. Other EV residents can pick up their own East Village library cards at the East Village Experience Centre.

1 number of whistling construction workers I walked past on the way to the library.

8.5 minutes to walk to the current Central branch of the Calgary Public Library from my home in the East Village. I haven’t been there since they remodeled the main floor to be full of open spaces, including room for gallery installations or events, a “teen hub” area and a giant chess board in addition to books, DVDs, reading areas and computers. It all looks great and refreshed.

3. The number of magazines I checked out from the magazine collection on the first floor. How did I forget the library has magazines? The most-recent issue of any given title is for in-library reading only, but you can take home back issues.

143 pages in a graphic novelization of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, adapted by Seymour Chwast that I checked out. That’s 143 pages more than I read when I checked out The Canterbury Tales (not illustrated nearly enough) back in university.

132,000. The number of new library memberships added in 2015, the first year that membership were free for all Calgarians. More than a half million locals now hold library cards.

2,195,354 items are in the Calgary Public Library’s collection.

7 books and magazines in total, of those two million or so that I checked out on this visit.

50 cents I owe the library in late fees. Oops!