A municipality that continues to grow will require larger libraries, and in some cases that may mean relocating existing branches and opening new ones.
But on Nov. 5, Langley Township council decided that before it settles on one option, it wants the cost of all three suggestions proposed by a consultant.
The options are:
1: Expand or renew libraries in existing neighbourhoods to meet the 10-year projected population growth, and possibly provide a new library in Willoughby within 10 years;
2: Develop a large (40,000 square foot) library in a Willoughby neighbourhood within 10 years; any expansion of existing libraries would likely occur beyond the 10-year time frame, and
3: Develop a smaller, central library in Willoughby, while making the expansion of existing libraries the highest priority in years six to 10 of the plan.
There was support among council members for this option, which includes the relocation of Aldergrove Library to a new community centre/ice rink/swimming pool on the site of the vacant Aldergrove Elementary School.
Option 3 also suggests relocating the Brookswood branch to a community facility, and expanding Fort Langley library.
A majority of council voted to get costs for all three options before deciding on one.
The plan, council was told, would cost $11.4 million over 15 years. This does not include increased costs associated with enlarging libraries.
A report included data on an analysis of library space and the population.
Today, there are 106,276 people in Langley, and 25,350 square feet of library.
The analysis showed that the estimated population of 127,560 in 2021 would require more than 76,000 square feet of library space, almost 50,000 square feet more than exists at the present time.