Iqaluit’s library to reopen in the new year

Building closed for several months due to staffing issues, maintenance

The Iqaluit Centennial Library, located inside the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre pictured here, will reopen Jan. 9. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

By Nunatsiaq News

Book lovers in Iqaluit will be getting a late Christmas present when the city’s library reopens Jan. 9.

Iqaluit Centennial Library closed in September due to “operational issues” and maintenance, according to a news release from the Department of Heritage and Culture at the time.

It indicated the library was expected to reopen Oct. 12. However, on Oct. 18 the department announced another closure at the library, this time due to unexpected staffing issues.

Several programs have continued despite the building closure, including Friends of the Library Storytime, the young offenders’ library visits, and women’s correctional centre visits.

Members of the Iqaluit community and local leaders have been vocal about the importance of the library and keeping its doors open to the community, said Lewis Falkiner MacKay, a spokesperson for the Department of Culture and Heritage, in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

“The department is working to ensure redundancies are in place to prevent any future extended closures,” he said.

Although the library itself will remain closed until January, free Wi-Fi continues to be made available to patrons using the network “ICL_Patron” and password “iclpatron.”


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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Mikki on

    The library is such an under appreciated resource in our community. So many people really depend on it. Internet access is important for families. I personally really appreciate having a warm safe space to relax and learn new things. My kids really like the programs also. The staff there have a hard job sometimes, but they are still friendly and helpful even when they are stressed. Thank you for opening the doors again. I hope it can stay that way. Aakuluk

  2. Posted by Northern Guy on

    The Library had become such a hang out for the less desirable elements of the community that safety concerns for staff and volunteers made working there very undesirable and hiring new staff impossible. Hopefully the GN can come up with a plan that protects staff and allows everyone to enjoy the library safely and comfortably.

  3. Posted by S on

    Much of the discomfort for clients and for staff was created by the library management who imposed a restrictive and nanny atmosphere onto the place

  4. Posted by Im sorry on

    This library is an institution; it’s small, it doesn’t have a lot of books and it’s completely outdated. However, this is a great space, it has provided consistent space and services for decade and it provides semi-good/crappy (depending on the day) internet. I understand that some people might feel unsafe and at times there are unsafe situations. I acknowledge this.

    In saying that, what does this say about the GN and running this and shutting down another essential low key services? Yes the Library is not as essential as a health centre.

    Why is a low level representative from the GN-CH informing the public; why isn’t the Director, ADM, DM or Minister speaking about this? How dysfunctional is this department?

    Why are we Nunavummiut allowing the GN-CH to get away with such dysfunctional inability a library? If the GN can’t keep a library open, then how can it run a government.

    • Posted by Former Insider on

      “If the GN can’t keep a library open, then how can it run a government.”
      It can’t. It just pretends to run a government.

    • Posted by regular patron on

      Yes the library is small and outdated. But I enjoy this about the Iqaluit library. They do strive to buy new books as they have a “new books” section. I find the library a gem, almost always able to find out of print books.. I sorely miss the library because of the books. I do wish the magazine section is a little more current in terms of the subs though.

  5. Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

    Gosh wish we had a library like the big Hamlet has.

    Didn’t know some residents are, and described, as part of the “Undesirables”. What a snotty -assed thing to suggest.

  6. Posted by Uvanga on

    What? Iqaluit library is a gn run program with gn employees. We dont even have a library in our hamlet. Why does Iqaluit get a library with gn employed staff?

  7. Posted by Will I Am on

    Who is in charge of hiring at the Iqaluit library? How can a public institution as essential as the city library be closed… FOR MONTHS?!? Somebody dropped the ball on this big time and I’ll bet my bottom dollar it was intentional. Typical of the bureaucracy, middle management and HR to poop the bed and give no reason for doing so. I’m surprised no one in the media has requested an access to information.

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