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Our Library branches have served us well for the past 100 years, but there is an urgent need to revitalize and rethink what a modern library system looks like in Thunder Bay. Our buildings are not currently meeting community needs. The physical infrastructure in three out of four branches is in need of substantial investment. The décor and layout in most of our branches are poor and not meeting community expectations. The locations and sizes of our four current Library branches met the needs of Thunder Bay’s past, but they don’t serve the future of our city well.
The work on a new Master Facilities Plan began with Board level discussions during the 2018-2022 Board term. Extensive first round consultation began in 2021, with second round discussions in 2023. These consultations included community organizations, City management, elected officials, and Library staff. The Library is now ready to engage the public in a new vision for how your Libraries serve Thunder Bay.
Our new vision involves developing a main Central Library branch in the Intercity Shopping Centre. The Library will also operate neighbourhood-sized branches, which will be tailored to the specific needs of the community.
This new vision will allow for maximum efficiency and cost-effective delivery of high quality library services to the community.  Small, neighbourhood-sized Library branches will cater to the unique needs of our diverse neighbourhoods. They are walkable, local and intimate Library settings where the community gathers to learn, share and build connections.
The large Central Library will be the main hub for dynamic, fun and interactive activities.  Plugging in to the heart of our Intercity shopping district will let us capitalize on the energy and vitality that true mixed-use space provides. Combining shopping, food and community services in one location has the potential to create an entirely new attraction for Thunder Bay residents and tourists to our community.