Tuesday, May 17, 2016

390 Thunder Bay, ON Mary J. L. Black Branch

This is the newest of the Thunder Bay branch libraries. The building is handsome, with a curved glass wall on one side. At the corner of the sidewalk is a station for making minor bike repairs, and a very nice addition to any site where you want to encourage travel sans car. It appeared that there is a walking/biking trail close to the library property.

A sign at the door says that children nine and under must be accompanied by an adult. There is a sign in the lobby that lays out a 16-point behavior policy. I didn't read it thoroughly, but wondered whether it is a response to problems that have occurred, or an attempt to stop problems before they occur.
A large, attractive mosaic in the lobby represents  a First Nation person.

Entering the library, I saw that a study room is supported by a named individual, and the self-checkout station is supported by another named individual. It appears that many places and "things" within the library have this sort of support, a good sign of community support  in a new library, in my opinion.

A Young Adult area has a good collection of books, but no seating. Perhaps the seating just hasn't arrived? Or needs a "supporter?"

A community program room held a small meeting when I walked by. I saw a bright rug on the floor and a puppet theater on the wall, indicating that this meeting room is used by all ages.
Inside the curved window wall are study tables; a TV with the volume very low is mounted high on the wall nearby.  At the end of this space is a fireplace, a Keurig coffee machine, and a cluster of upholstered seating.

A playroom with glass walls and doors that can be closed holds varied toys. It has looks out on a reading garden, not yet open in the current chilly weather. There are two computers for kids, a collection of books in French, and an assortment of graphic novels, as well as all the types of books one would expect.


Library website: http://www.tbpl.ca/

The handsome window wall

From the parking lot

The entrance


  1. I'd like to add that this branch was moved back in 2011. Prior to that, Mary J.L. Black used to be three blocks away on Brock Street. Here's a video which shows the old branch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_y3zhripRc

  2. Thanks for the response, Shauna, and for the video link. It's great that the old branch was documented--and that you were able to build a new facility. I love to see libraries thriving.


Comments are welcomed, and I will generally respond to them. Please be tasteful; comments that are in poor taste will be deleted.
Sorry about the "verification" step; I added it after a rash of spammish comments.