Whistler's $11.6 million library is closing its doors to the public Friday, Jan. 29 as the facility is transformed into its Games-time incarnation as Whistler Canada Olympic House.
During the Games the library will serve as an accredited hosting facility for the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), Government of Canada, Government of British Columbia and the Resort Municipality of Whistler as they entertain officials, athletes and international dignitaries. Whistler Canada Olympic House will also hold four public events, on Friday, Feb. 5 and the three Saturdays during the Games (Feb. 13, 20 and 27).
But before the Olymipcs begin, library patrons are being encouraged to come in and stock up on reading material. Officials have lifted restrictions and invited people to take out as many books and audio books as they like. The normal three-week borrowing period for books and audio books is also being extended to six weeks, so anyone borrowing materials this week won't have to worry about returning them until after the library reopens. However, all other materials (music CDs, DVDs, VHS, magazines and videogames) must be returned before the library closes at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29.
"The thing that people need to understand is that no magazines, CDs, DVDs or VHS or video games are going out, so if you check one of those out today, it'll be due on Friday," explained Lauren Stara, director of the Whistler Public Library.
Drop boxes will also be locked, so no one will be able to return materials until the library reopens on Monday, March 8.
All staff members are being redeployed into other positions during this time. While some will remain at the library working for Whistler Canada Olympic House, others will work for the RMOW's communications department while others will be working cross country and Village Operations. No one is being laid off.
"Absolutely not. They're begging us to work extra hours," Stara said.
The library is also getting a piece of valuable infrastructure thanks to the temporary transformation. A system for hanging artwork (valued at approximately $3,000) will be installed courtesy of RMOW Olympic funding and will be left in place permanently after the Games, allowing the library to showcase a range of artwork to patrons.
"We're so excited! It's been in my mind since we opened, but we just haven't had the time or the resources to get it together," Stara said.
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James Peters is the man behind How to Get Your Wife in Bed, a book that aims to help men build or rebuild a strong foundation for romantic relationships with their spouses. Peters argues that a man only needs two things to be truly happy - to know and live his purpose and to guard the heart of one woman.
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