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Phone: 780-459-1530
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A New Library advocacy tree download from pixabay

The Road to the Branch

A timeline of St. Albert's Library space needs. Click here to read more.

Update July 10

The branch borrowing bylaw was passed (given 2nd and 3rd reading) by City Council.


If you want to check out costs and all the background - read the report produced by planning experts in 2016. You can read it here.

Update June 13

On June 12 City Council received a report from the City’s Chief Legislative Officer that at least 588 of the signatures on the petition were not valid. These excluded entries mean that the petition did not reach the required 6,465 signatures (10% of the St. Albert population). This leaves City Council with some options, and these will be debated at Council July 10. You can read the City's press release here.


Update May 16

Following receipt of a petition of 6,700 signatures seeking a public vote on the Borrowing Bylaw to finance the branch library, Council voted in favour of postponing the Bylaw to a future date. The city has 30 days to determine if the petition is valid, and then a report will be presented to Council. Provided the petition is valid two options are available: to cancel the borrowing bylaw, or to put the borrowing bylaw to a public vote (which would be done to coincide with the election).

Council also voted last night to put questions on the ballot in October about electors’ support for building a branch library, a single sheet ice rink and an aquatics facility.


Update on the Borrowing Bylaw

April 19 - City Council last night approved an amendment to the borrowing bylaw (which will enable City Council to fund the new branch library) so that the amount able to be borrowed is $21.9 million.

A borrowing bylaw is a legal requirement that gives the City power to borrow funds. It does not mean the City is borrowing the funds. Council has approved spending $17,492,150 for the branch project plus an amount for land.

An update: April 2017

Council has approved spending $17,492,150 for the branch project plus an amount for land, which is being negotiated currently. If the project cost were to rise then the Project Team would have to go back to Council for approval of the additional amount.

City Council is currently going through the process required for a Borrowing Bylaw to finance the design and construction of the branch library. A borrowing bylaw is a legal requirement that gives the City power to borrow funds. It does not mean the City is borrowing the funds.

Although the branch library project has been approved at $17,492,150, the proposed Bylaw would allow City Council to borrow $25m. The borrowing bylaw process is complex and time-consuming, so building in a contingency (permission to borrow more than forecast) is not unusual. Just because the Bylaw has a $25m price tag attached to it, this does not reflect the cost of the new branch library.

You can read the branch Functional Program and Concept Design report that was produced and presented to Council last fall. Click here.

Scroll down to see conceptual drawings of the branch.


An Update on your New Library - Nov. 29, 2016

St. Albert City Council today unanimously voted in favour of funding the new branch library by approving borrowing the funds required. Administration will be directed to prepare for Council’s consideration the required borrowing bylaw.

Read more here.


Oct. 2016

Scroll down to see the results of a recent survey on St. Albertans' priorities for the construction of new City facilities: the Library, a lane aquatics facility, and an additional arena.

On October 3, City Council received a report on the Branch Library Conceptual Plan. The Plan was the result of research and focus groups over the summer. You can access the report here.


Here is an idea of how your new Library might look from the outside.

Branch plan external design concept Sept 2016








Here is a conceptual floor plan showing how we might accommodate all the elements that are necessary in your new Branch Library. It shows space for adults, teens and children, with flexible program space that could accommodate up to 200 people. It also helps us be more efficient by providing enough space for library staff who currently work from 2,000 square feet of leased space. The plan shows a cafe, tech centre and space for parking.


Floor plan with words















As well as space for more books, DVDs etc.—all the things you have said you want—there will be a lot more space for people. That means more places to study, space to relax and socialize, and space for programs. This would be a place for families, a place to learn and embrace innovative technologies, a place to gather and cultivate community.

* If you want to see larger scale images click here.



Capital Projects Prioritizing Survey

City Council commissioned a survey in Fall 2016 to gather residents' opinions about three proposed facilities: a branch library, an arena, and an aquatics facility.

41% said a new branch Library was their top priority. This increased to 43% once respondents were informed of the potential tax impact.

35% ranked an aquatic facility as their priority. This reduced to 29% when respondents were informed of the potential tax impact.

23% chose the ice arena. This increased to 25% once respondents were informed of the potential tax impact.

You can read the full report here.


You're getting a new community branch library!

On Thursday, Nov. 26 2015 Council voted unanimously. Work will begin in 2016 to find a site and we can start to imagine what the new library will look like, and with your input we will shape this new addition to St. Albert. Thank you to everyone for the words of support, your letters and emails to councillors made such a difference. We have three years of hard work ahead of us to make this a reality - but with your help we know we can do it. Congratulations St. Albertans!

 Timeline for brochure

 Your Questions Answered

Where will the new branch library be?

City Council approved the acquisition of land for the new library and negotiations are ongoing.

Why a branch rather than expanding the Library in St. Albert Place?

There is not sufficient room in St. Albert Place. Residents love the Library in its current location and we wouldn’t want to leave this great building. A branch library is the best way to resolve urgent space issues yet remain in St. Albert Place.

How big will the new community branch library be?

22,000 square feet is required to meet the needs of this growing city. This was determined in an extensive Feasibility Analysis, Functional Program and Conceptual Plan study. The existing library is approx. 25,000 square feet.

What’s happening now?

The City is negotiating land options. Once a site is acquired, detailed design work will be done. City Council is also working through the process of a borrowing bylaw to fund the library.

What about costs?
$17.5 million was unanimously approved by City Council in November 2016 for the branch design and construction. In addition there will be land costs as the City does not own any suitable land. Operating costs will be $1.227 million.

Why do we need a borrowing bylaw?
It is a legal requirement that gives the City the power to borrow funds. The plan is to have the capacity to borrow up to $21.9 million. This builds in a contingency. It is not unusual to do this as the  borrowing bylaw process is complex and time-consuming. But it does not mean that the new library will cost this much — $17.5 million is the amount Council has approved for the branch library design and construction costs.

When will the new branch library be open?
We are hoping early 2019.

How do I have my say on the branch project?
There will be opportunities for residents to get involved in the visioning for the new branch. We will keep you updated through the Library newsletter and website.



 Some history and background

The Library has outgrown its current home. We were designed for a population of up to 50,000 people and we are currently over 60,000.  We were also designed to house a collection of about 100,000 items - and we currently have over 188,000 items on the shelves.  You may find it difficult to get a spot at one of the study tables, or wonder why we can't offer more programs - our lack of space is the reason why!  We need an additional 23,000 sq. ft.of space.

Read the letter in the St. Albert Gazette (Nov. 25) about still needing your support.

Read the Business Case for a new branch library for St. Albert. This is the document that City Council will be considering as part of their budget deliberations.

Read the Library Board`s press release following the Branching Out event on October 9.

Read the Library's Board's press release on the October 9 event.

 Read this letter from the Chair of the Library Board about needing your support.

Read the press release from March 17 2014 - about the findings of a recent report that outlines a way forward. Click here.

Read the feasibility update report, 2013: A Place to Grow, A Place to Learn, A Place for our Community.  This was presented to City Council March 17, 2014.

Read a brief synopsis of the report here in our brochure.


Impact of the lack of space

Envisioning the Future

New libraries across Alberta

Beautiful Libraries in the USA


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