CALGARY—Bill Ptacek, CEO, Calgary Public Library, and Shelley Youngblut, General Director, Wordfest, today announced a creative collaboration that sees Wordfest move its operations to the top floor of the Memorial Park Library and share its extensive arts and culture expertise with Calgary Public Library.
It’s been more than a century since the construction of Memorial Park Library as a “first rate building to underline the importance of education and culture in the West” (Alexander Calhoun, Calgary’s first librarian). It’s now time for Calgary Public Library—with 18, soon to be 21, community libraries—to work with community and arts groups, as well as the Calgary Foundation, to reimagine Memorial Park Library as a community hub and a centre of Calgary’s creative and cultural events and programming.
“This creative collaboration makes official the great work we’ve been doing together for some time,” says Ptacek of the longstanding relationship between the two partners. “With Wordfest’s incredible relationship with artists and authors, the Library can maximize on Wordfest’s creativity and cultural expertise as we reimagine the Memorial Park Library.”
“Wordfest is delighted to have worked with the Library to create this opportunity to together build a city of readers,” says Youngblut. “Wordfest has always connected Calgarians with literary superstars; now we can unite our collective arts and culture knowledge, expertise, and resources to better serve the members of the Beltline community and all Calgarians!”
Today’s announcement is part of a larger strategy to reinvigorate Calgary’s first public library—the #1 amenity* in the Beltline community, home to residents—the majority of which are between the ages of 25-44 who are tech savvy, urban, interested in current affairs, public discourse, the arts, and wellbeing. As always, Memorial Park Library will continue to offer Library members access to its collection and services as it becomes Calgary’s Arts and Culture Library.
*Avenue Magazine, Calgary’s Top 12 Neighbourhoods 2016
Senior Manager Marketing & Communications
Calgary Public Library