Strathmore Municipal Library stays put; Marigold awaits move to new building

The southwest corner of the Marigold Library System and Western Irrigation District Headquarters facility. The Marigold wing is located in this area.

As the construction of the Marigold Library System and Western Irrigation District Headquarters building is in full swing, there’s a growing misconception among library patrons that the Strathmore Municipal Library is packing up its books and resources and moving across the highway.

The new facility, which is located on a 6-acre parcel on Orchard and Pine near the No Frills grocery store, will house the headquarters of the Western Irrigation District (WID) and Marigold Library System- a not-for-profit collective servicing libraries in 43 municipalities, including the Town of Strathmore and the Strathmore Municipal Library at the Lambert Centre.

Marigold is not a public library, nor does it overlap services with public libraries. Local libraries provide the location (building), service (staff) and community connection. Marigold provides the product, such as collection materials, IT infrastructure, consultation and behind-the-scenes support. Marigold also supports a province-wide network of sharing print, AV and electronic resources and mail service – a cost too great for most libraries to take on themselves.

Marigold has outgrown its current space in downtown Strathmore and has been planning to move to a new headquarters facility for over ten years. Public library services rely heavily on technology, which requires updated infrastructure. To meet their needs, Marigold and the WID collaborated to build a new joint facility which will serve as an operational headquarters for both, as well as support their vision to invest in and contribute to the local community and economy. A large gathering space for use by community groups is a major component of the larger project that the WID and Marigold will jointly manage and use to bring community members together.

Marigold serves a population of nearly 340,000 people in the 43 municipalities that surround Calgary; this service population has tripled in 15 years. Municipalities and library users understand that public library resources support access to affordable information and recreation, digital inclusion, skills and employment, early childhood and literacy development, services for new Canadians, and much more, which in turn leads to community sustainability and cohesion.

In recognition of the important role public libraries play in building communities and supporting its residents, the Town of Strathmore partnered with the Strathmore Municipal Library Board to co-fund an extensive renovation and expansion project in 2017. This project provided enhanced spaces for children’s activities, programs, meetings, studying, and all kinds of community events within the Lambert Centre. In the years since the project was completed, library usage has increased substantially with over 70,000 visits to the library in 2019. The expansion has also allowed the Strathmore Municipal Library to host and facilitate the Strathmore and Area Adult Inclusive Literacy program which began serving the community in 2020.

With the Strathmore Municipal Library enjoying their renovated space at the Lambert Centre, Marigold is eagerly awaiting the opening of their new headquarters. The building construction is well underway and the WID and Marigold expect to move into the facility in fall of 2021.

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