Borrow a book at Windsor Public Library's new downtown location

For two years the Windsor Public Library has been making its transition to a new location, and on Monday the downtown central branch opened its doors.

"You don't move a hundred-thousand square feet building, 175,000 volumes, 40 plus staff overnight," said library CEO Kitty Pope. "It's been a huge undertaking."

That undertaking took about two weeks, said Pope, adding that the move was extremely smooth.

The central branch opened in the Paul Martin Building at 185 Ouellette Avenue. It's a temporary location for the next five to seven years, said Pope.

It took a long time to settle on the location itself, said Pope, partly due to the library's unique requirements such as floors that can carry the weight of the books. 

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"We looked at over 22 sites before the board finally decide and the opportunity for Paul Martin {building} rose," said Pope. 

So how do you 'move' a library? Listen here:

But not everyone is happy about the library's new location.

Cyrus Chase, 22, has been visiting the library regularly since he was three years old.

"I'm not really OK with it mainly for the fact that it holds up a historical legacy in the city," he said. "But just because it's about to change, that doesn't mean we should necessarily be closed off to it."

Mohammad Alkhateb, 13, visits the library on the weekends. He said he's sad about the move, especially since the new location is further away from his home, but it won't discourage him from visiting.

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Lokesh Joon is an international student at St. Clair College studying general business. He says he visits the library every day to learn more about Canadian culture and for social gatherings.

He's happy with the move.

"It's convenient for me because I live downtown," he said. "It's just behind my school so I can directly go to [the] library from my school. It's way better."

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Joon said he plans to visit the library between lectures.

Chris Woodrow, director of corporate services for the library, said it's understandable that some people are upset with the change.

"It's both sad and happy. We're sad to be leaving 850 Ouellette because it's been a wonderful building. It has a lot of positive memories, but moving to 185 Ouellette, into this heritage building, is a wonderful opportunity," he said, adding that he's looking forward to the opening day.

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He thinks the new location is "wonderful."

"It's right in the middle of downtown. We have St. Clair College and the University of Windsor down here ... We're thinking we're going to be attracting a whole new brand of customers that we haven't seen before."

"Some people can be upset. Sometimes change is difficult to adapt to," he said.

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The Downtown Mission is set to move into the old central branch location.

The same staff working at the 850 Ouellette Avenue location will be working at the 185 Ouellette Avenue site. The library board will begin searching for a permanent location for its central downtown branch soon.

Hours of operation for the library will remain the same.