Central Library is closed for the day (June 22) due to a facility issue.

Central Library celebrates five years of knowledge, community, and innovation

Calgary Public Library is excited to announce Central Library’s fifth birthday event, taking place on Saturday, November 4, 2023. The downtown location has welcomed over 4.5 million community members through its doors since opening on November 1, 2018, and everyone is invited to help celebrate with music, games, crafts, treats, and more.

"As we mark this milestone, we're proud to be a central part of our city's fabric as a place of connection, learning, and inspiration for all members of our community,” says Sarah Meilleur, CEO, Calgary Public Library. “Central Library is a hub for our downtown community, a neighbourhood location for some, and a destination for many others. We’re proud to celebrate everything we have accomplished in five years at Central Library — together."

In the five years since its opening, Central Library has become a landmark and popular attraction for Calgary, as well as an inspiring international example of the evolution of library service and space design.

Central Library’s Fifth Birthday Party is on Saturday, November 4 and will run from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at Central Library (800 3 Street SE), featuring:

  • opening ceremonies with Indigenous drumming, dancing, and Puppet Storytime
  • a joint performance from the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus’ Tenors and the Calgary Boys’ Choir
  • circus shows and hula-hooping workshops
  • self-guided Indigenous Placemaking tours
  • crafts, giveaways, and much more

In addition to the full day of free, family-fun activities, the Library is proud to present an evening event the same day with special guest Anthony Morgan, the new co-host of CBC’s The Nature of Things. In his keynote Pursuing Passions: The Road to The Nature of Things, Morgan will reflect on his career as a TV host, researcher, and video game designer, and how he combined these passions to connect with audiences. Tickets are free and can be reserved by visiting calgarylibrary.ca/morgan starting at 10:00 am on Wednesday, October 25.

For visitors looking to start the celebrations early, Central Library will feature several drop-in birthday activities on November 1 and themed Family Storytimes with special guests every day of the week (October 31 to November 3) leading up to the November 4 celebrations.

“As we reflect on an incredible five years of public service, I would like to thank our partners, supporters, volunteers, the Calgary Public Library Foundation, and our amazing staff for all they have done to build an inspiring and welcoming place for everyone — thank you, Calgary,” says Meilleur.

For more information about Calgary Public Library and Central Library’s fifth birthday, please visit calgarylibrary.ca/central-birthday.

Central Library Facts

  • Central Library is one of 21 community libraries in Calgary and the system receives over 7 million visits annually.
  • Central Library provides over 240,000 square feet of public space and special features include the 12,200-square-foot Jocelyn Louise Anderson Children's Library, the Teen Centre, the Indigenous Languages Resource Centre, 33 bookable meeting rooms, 336-seat Patricia A. Whelan Performance Hall, and much more.
  • The new Central Library project was led by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and was delivered on schedule and within a budget of $245 million.
  • Central Library earned a LEED Gold certification and has received global recognition for its design and services, including several awards:
    • 2022 Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize, nomination
    • 2020 Architecture Award from the American Institute of Architects
    • 2019 Library Building Award from the American Institute of Architects and American Library Association
    • 2019 Calgary Award for Accessibility
    • 2019 Mawson Urban Design Award from the Mayor’s Urban Design Awards
    • 2020 Consulting Engineers of Alberta Award of Excellence in Building Engineering — Institutional
  • Architectural features include The Archway main entrance clad in western red cedar, the Oculus skylight, and 465 hexagonal pattern windows that include 2,500 inscriptions from Calgary Public Library Foundation supporters.
  • Since opening, Central Library has hosted 13,853 public programs with an attendance of 275,119 people.
  • Meeting rooms have been used by community members over 76,000 times over the course of five years.
  • Computers (including Chromebooks) have been used at Central Library over 731,000 times.
  • Central Library features nine pieces of Indigenous Placemaking art and the Children’s Lodge, where the Elders’ Guidance Circle meets.
  • Calgary’s previous Central Library opened in 1963 and was located at 616 Macleod Trail South.

About Calgary Public Library   

Calgary Public Library, with over 750,000 members and 21 locations, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for 111 years. It is one of North America’s largest municipal library systems, with over 7 million in-person visits in a typical year and more than 16.3 million physical and digital items borrowed in 2022. To learn more, visit calgarylibrary.ca. 

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