Let's say I'm planning a return trip from New Hampshire to Minnesota, through Ontario, and looking for likely places to visit libraries. And let's say I'm looking at the Sudbury library website, and I notice that there is a branch in the town of Lively, Ontario. Can I possibly leave a Lively library off my itinerary? Of course not!
One way in which the Lively Library is truly lively is that it shares the building with other services, including a senior center and a children's recreation center. I was admiring a pleasant "living room" browsing area with easy chairs, a coffee table, a rocker with a friendly quilt spread over it. This pleasant space looks out on an area of grass, trees, and a flower garden. Motion outside caught my eye and I saw perhaps 20 kids run out of the building and spread across the grass. I later learned that they participate in a summer recreation program and had probably just finished lunch.
The library is also lively in the sense of being busy. When I was there, people were in every part of the library, browsing, reading, using computers, playing with toys....
An enclosed area for the picture book crowd centered on a structural post that was wrapped to suggest a tree with science-related mobiles forming "branches" and "leaves." A hexagonal bench goes around the base of the pole. I was told that the current mobiles are related to the science-themed summer reading program, and the theme is changed every few months. A poster invites families to "Join us for tales on trails." The next event involves a 1 km hike, a chance to meet an author, and a "Turtle talk" by a professor.
I'm often too tightly scheduled when I travel to include more than one library in the same system. (I know, I do it to myself!) This is a time when I am very glad I did!
For more about this library, have a look at http://www.sudburylibraries.ca/en/aboutus/livelylibrarycitizenservicecentre.asp.