McGill is Burnaby's best library - and it's not even close

Chris Campbell

This blog is likely going to end up with somebody burning my likeness in effigy.

Or, at least, a librarian shushing me.

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People can be that passionate about their go-to library.

But I can’t help it. I’m in love with McGill library – so much so that I can confidently say it’s the best library in Burnaby.

And it’s not even close.

Now, let me start off by saying this commentary has nothing to do with a library’s collection or the quality of the staff – Burnaby public libraries are equally awesome in that regards.

No, I’m talking about the physical facilities themselves and how comfortable they are to spend time in.

On that point, McGill is far superior to Cameron, Tommy Douglas and Bob Prittie Metrotown.

Cameron, of course, is a tiny, dismal dump that was outdate 20 years ago. Thankfully, Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley said back in January that the library and the rec centre at Cameron are going to be replaced because while I'm sure the residents are happy to have anything, they deserve better.

Bob Prittie Metrotown has nice gardens and Tommy Douglas looks cool at night with the coloured glass, but both are downright pedestrian buildings when compared to McGill. I mean who wants to sit next to a window only to be faced with Kingsway traffic in Edmonds or the bustle of Metrotown.

Look, I’m biased because McGill is located in the Heights – my forever ‘hood – and was the library I grew up spending endless hours in reading books, magazines and, of course, newspapers. So I have a natural connection to it.

Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, McGill was tiny, but had windows that opened up to a view of majestic trees. Today, those trees are still there, only now McGill has been rebuilt with massive windows on the north side.

I still spend endless hours there sitting and reading in the comfy chairs next to those massive windows. Aside from the trees, the library overlooks Confederation Park and it’s wonderful to watch the hive of activity taking place each day.

It truly is the best indoor place in Burnaby to relax and read – and full credit to the local library board and city for getting this renovation done right.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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