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One for the books: Regina Public Library celebrates 110 years of service

The Regina Public Library celebrated 110 years of service to the Regina community on Saturday.
The Regina Public Library celebrated 110 years of service to the Regina community on Saturday. Connor O'Donovan / Global News

The invite to the Regina Public Library’s 110th anniversary was a wide-cast net — even those with outstanding late fees were encouraged to attend the Victoria Park event.

The library is as old as the city of Regina itself, making cause for celebration.

“Libraries are hubs of the community [allowing] people to gather, to learn, to have access to resources that they might not otherwise have access to,” said Kevin Saunderson, senior manager of corporate services.

READ MORE: Regina Public Library “Friends” celebrate milestone

“Libraries are extremely important to — especially democratic — societies.”

Libraries have changed over the years. Their shelves used to be mostly filled with books, but now they serve communities with the information and communication supports they need. The Regina Public Library has programs that teach newcomers English, as well as other languages. RPL also has virtual reality games and a digital media studio where people can record music and create video blogs.

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The Regina Public Library was built in 1912. This picture shows the building in 1925.
The Regina Public Library was built in 1912. This picture shows the building in 1925. Provided / RPL Archives

READ MORE: Regina Public Library turns branch into innovative learning space

The first building to be set up in central Regina was built by the Carnegie Foundation but it never reached completion. A tornado devastated the structure in 1912 and builders had to start over.

The current building, which is split into an adult and children’s library, was built in the late ’50s and completed in 1962. It’s the structure many Regina residents now visit every day, along with the eight other branches around the city.

“Every one of those branches is celebrating along with us today,” Saunderson said. “People of Regina love their library. We hear that all the time.”

A library card costs nothing and provides residents with endless material and resources. Saunderson says that’s why their branches are so appreciated.

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A little girl signed the very large pages of a memorandum at the celebration. Connor ODonovan / Global News

“People of Regina really love their library. We’ve had a great turnout today, and we have lots of support online,” he said. “We have lots of support from people coming into our branches. It’s one of the key foundations of the community and people really see that.”

With so much support and no sign of it slowing down, Saunderson said when it comes to celebrations like Saturday’s, the library will continue to look forward to many more birthdays.

“We’re looking forward to at least 110 more.”

taylor.braat@globalnews.ca
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