Harris Learning Library celebrates 10 years
June 25, 2021, marks the 10-year anniversary of the official opening of the Harris Learning Library. The building is the cornerstone of the library system that provides resources and services for students, staff, faculty and alumni from Canadore College and Nipissing University, as well as community members from the North Bay area.
Construction of the new building began in 2009 after years of planning and fundraising, with contributions from provincial and federal governments of the day, as well as hundreds of individual donors. The three-storey, 56,000 square foot structure houses two instruction rooms, an Archives and Special Collections area, as well as plenty of silent and group study spaces. Visitors can access technology, several collections of resources, as well as assistance from library staff. The building also showcases several works from Nipissing University’s permanent art collection. In 2016, a Treaty Learning Centre on the third floor was officially launched, designed for study and discourse on the vast history of treaty relationships in Canada.
The award-winning library is well-used, with an average of over 150,000 visits annually. During the past decade, services and spaces have evolved to support the learning, teaching and research needs of both institutions. Recurring events include visits from therapy dogs, Indigenous Wampum beading sessions, late night snack and study sessions, the occasional scavenger hunt and, most recently, curbside pickup of resources. Over the years the building has also been visited by honoured and famous guests, hosted many special events, and even been used as a set for television shows and movies!
Although the pandemic has caused periodic closures of the building since March 2020, the library staff continue to provide many of the services and resources relied upon by visitors. The post-pandemic environment may necessitate further adaptations, however, the Harris Learning Library will remain a campus hub, supporting the needs of all institutional and community partners.
A Decade of Statistics
- Approximately 1.5 million visitors to the building
- Almost 100,000 visitor interactions with staff; that’s an average of 10,000 questions per year!
- Library staff have provided nearly 2,000 instruction sessions, for close to 50,000 participants
- The Harris Learning Library houses over 190,000 items for borrowing, including books, films, kits, and even board games and puppets
For more details, visit the Harris Learning Library 10th Anniversary guide.