Each room opened up like a page in a book, inviting visitors to explore further and wonder at the world opened up before them.
The new county library in Hillsburgh qualifies as magnificent, in our book anyway.
The hopes and aspirations of politicians past was that the county library system would reinvent itself into a beacon of culture and learning for residents old and new, rather than simply serving as a repository for books.
To achieve that and accommodate the future, new facilities were needed.
Those beliefs have been embraced by councils since and Hillsburgh stands as possibly the last such project, capping off a generation of hope and effort to build libraries that will breathe life into the communities they serve.
There remain naysayers, a point of discussion at the soft opening a week ago Tuesday. Just as Rome was not built in a day, the merits of rejuvenating institutions are not understood in a day. History, however, will look after that.
County residents, specifically Erin residents, have access to a library experience like few others with the Hillsburgh branch now on stream.
A well thought out children’s area nestled in a corner of the old farmhouse that graced the grounds 115 years ago provides a view from each window. Mature trees and a millpond make the perfect backdrop for pioneer day stories. An imagination easily runs wild.
The Ventin Group has managed to meld old and new to great advantage, capturing heritage elements and incorporating new building materials that enhance and celebrate the architectural flavour of the site.
Downstairs a good-sized meeting room leads off to a patio where book clubs or organizations can hold off-site meetings in a bucolic setting.
A full commercial kitchen will eventually offer cooking classes or be available to cater to events. This new facility is full of opportunity for people wanting to embrace and celebrate local culture.
It is our hope that Hillsburgh makes the most of the county’s newest library branch and that it adds to the success of other branches in bringing community and residents together.