Library reopens Wednesday

The Whitehorse Public Library will reopen next Wednesday, November 23. The new space, attached to the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, is far more bright and spacious than the old haunt by the legislature.

The Whitehorse Public Library will reopen next Wednesday, November 23.

The new space, attached to the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre, is far more bright and spacious than the old haunt by the legislature.

Light pours in from six circular skylights in the centre of the second-storey space, while big windows overlook the Yukon River, offering a much-vaunted view.

But not much can be said for the neighbourhood, unless you consider the bus depot or liquor store to be attractions. Across from an expanse of empty lots, you’ll find a hollowed-out strip mall with a shuttered grocery store.

For now, at least, the area exists as a no-man’s land between diversified Main Street and its surroundings and Big-Box Land farther down the way.

It’s hoped that the new library and cultural centre will help change this and encourage further development along the riverfront. But, for now, there’s no place to grab a coffee near the library.

Especially with the recent nippy weather, it’s hard to imagine the new spot attracting as much foot traffic as the old location.

The new library is a sweet deal for the Kwanlin Dun, anyhow. It provides them with an anchor tenant to prop up their latest business venture: providing swish facilities to host conferences.

The library’s walls are bare for now. In coming months, they’ll be decorated with art from the government’s permanent collection, and eventually, the Friends of the Library plan to commission art for the building.

New computer desks are still on the way. Rather than cram computers into a single room, they’ll be scattered in clusters around the building.

A grand-opening celebration will be held on Saturday, December 3, starting at 10 a.m. It will include tours, games for kids, and the culmination of a contest that will see winners receive ebook readers.

The library also has slightly different hours. It’ll now be open from Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from Friday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Previously, it was open on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The new drop box doesn’t yet work. But it will soon.

Readers with overdue books have been given amnesty during the month-long switch. But books are due back when the library reopens.

“But you might be lucky,” said Julie Ourom, the territory’s director of libraries.

December is usually the month when the library waives fines, so “you might have until the new year.”

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read