How does a library bring cultures together in Canada?

A multi-purpose Library

The South Fletcher’s library and recreational center in Brampton, Ontario is a multi building complex designed to provide the local community with recreational activities and a place for academic resources. When a careful observation of the human activities was studies on Nov 13th, 2015, it was found that the library served a very different purpose than that of a typical library. Besides serving it’s primary purpose of being a place for conducting academic activities, the South Fletcher’s library also serves another purpose of being a place for socialization for the multi-cultural communities of the area. As a result of socialization the community has becomes more educated and aware of the diversity in their own neighborhood. This is evident when observing the architectural features, the social activities/events available to the community and via auditory observation of different languages being spoken inside the library.

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When first entering the library, visitors are greeted with a “welcome” sign written in numerous languages, targeting the diverse range of individuals that come through the doors. In big letters the sign “welcome” is written in multiple languages and is located in the center of the library. Complimenting the sign is the modern design in furniture and other architectural features such as high ceilings, along with wall paint consisting of light colors. These features send a subconscious message to the visitors that the library a safe, open, and inviting environment. The library also consists of different areas for kids, students, parents, talk groups, and places for socializing. For those of different cultural backgrounds, the library provides literature and illustrations on walls of different cultural groups with the intent of bringing an “at home” feeling to the visitors. Along with local advertisements for library hosted events available around the area and help desk employee and librarians that speak in diverse number of languages all contribute such that visitors don’t feel like a minority. Once inside, visitors can look through literature from their cultural background or language and even read texts of different cultures and become more educated on the diversity around them. Visitors also have chance to socialize with others in the socialization part of the library, which consists of large group tables for group related activities. Visitor can now interact with other individuals of different nationalities and self educate themselves on different cultures along with increasing the chance of harboring new friendships.

Besides the architectural features and literature bringing people and cultures together, the library also offers events and activities catered for everyone. Such an example is “settlement worker for libraries” and “English conversation circle”. The “settlement worker for libraries” is a talk group for new immigrant arrivals to the community. The group consists of different individual from around the worlds who share their experiences and bring forth any difficulty that they may be experiencing. The talk group is not only conducted in English but also in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and other languages. This brings the community together where people look after each other in times of hardship, and share the their joy in times of happiness. The talk group also allows the new comers to gain new perspective and ideas from people of different ideologies. Through these talk groups, new comers will realize the diversification in Canada and learn to live in a new environment consisting of different ideologies than they are probably accustom to in their home country. Another example of social activities at the library is the “English conversation circle”. This is where the locals come together and discuss topics that are either effecting Canada as a whole or the local community such as depression, health and nutrition, diabetes, and preventing slip/trip and fall. The diverse talk group allows different perspective on how to tackle problems that Canadians or the community may be facing which further bring people together.

The fulfillment of the libraries’ purpose produced via the combination of social activities and architectural features that the library embraces can be realized through auditory observations. These observations of a community of diverse individuals can be heard in the socialization part of the library. Sounds of languages such as Hindi, Punjabi, English, and other uninterruptable languages can be heard. Not only sounds of conversations but also sounds of laughter. The auditory observation concludes that the library’s effort via its architectural features and social activities for brining the diverse community together is working flawlessly. Aside from observations done around the social part of the library, the study sections were also closely studied. Beside some few chats here and there in English, most sounds consisted of typing on keyboards and other study related sounds. Meaning not only was the library successful at brining the community together but also fulfilling it’s primary purpose of being a place for conduct academic related activities.

The Brampton library, also formally known as South Fletcher’s Brampton library and recreational center was closely studied for its physical attributes and the influence it has on its local communities. Through observations of human activities inside the library, which were conducted on Nov 13th, 2015, it was concluded that the library served multiple purposes. Aside from the primary purpose of being an academic resource, it was also a major contributor for social interactions between its diverse communities. As a result of this phenomenon, the community has become more educated and aware of its diverse neighborhoods. This conclusion was based on an analysis of the libraries’ architectural features, the social events and activities it hosts, and through the auditory observations made in different areas of the library.

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