Calgary's New Central Library

New Central Library is An Iconic Must-See Experience in Calgary
New Central Library is An Iconic Must-See Experience in Calgary
Everything You Need to Know

Calgary's New Central Library

Visit an iconic landmark recognized by Architectural Digest – right in the heart of Calgary’s East Village
Visit the New Central Library in East Village, Calgary

New Central Library in East Village (Photo credit: Michael Grimm)

Winding staircase at the new Central Library in Calgary

Onwards and upwards (Photo credit: Michael Grimm)

What is the new Central Library and why is it a big deal?

No doubt that the first thing to catch your eye when you arrive at the new Central Library is the impressive exterior – the sweeping, breathtaking architecture, the western red wood cedar archway and an expansive mosaic of windows. You’ll also marvel at the fascinating view of the active LRT line running beneath the archway of the library! Don’t forget to look up: within steps of the main entrance, visitors are treated to a visual spectacle of wall murals, winding staircases, vaulted ceilings and a gorgeous giant Oculus skylight beaming with natural light.

This four-story landmark is stunning and incredibly functional, too. With nearly half a million items spanning its collection, more than 30 community meeting areas, a 12,000 sq. ft. Children’s Library and a 400-seat Performance Hall, the new Central Library is truly a place to celebrate a lifelong love of learning and to gather with fellow creators, dreamers, innovators and thinkers.

Cozy nooks everywhere at the new Central Library

Cozy nooks everywhere at the new Central Library (Photo credit: Neil Zeller)

What can I do at the new Central Library?

There is no shortage of things to do, see, explore and of course, read at the new Central Library.

Art lover? Gaze at FISH – the vivid bookshelf-turned-wall-art by artist Christian Moeller. Don’t miss the works of art by six Indigenous artists – all from or with a connection to Treaty 7 – featured throughout the library as part of the Indigenous Placemaking Initiative.

FISH - curated art installation by Christian Moeller

FISH - curated art installation by Christian Moeller (Photo credit: Neil Zeller)

Have kids in tow? The Children’s Library is chock-full of activities for families, with an early learning centre, toddler nook, nursing room and Questionarium with plenty of space to create and play.

Games fanatic? Grab a seat and enjoy a little friendly competition with your crew. Kick it analog with a popular boardgame from the collection or go digital with video games on the big screen.

The 12,000 sq. ft. Children’s Library at the new Central Library in Calgary

The 12,000 sq. ft. Children's Library (Photo credit: Michael Grimm)

Teen Centre at the new Central Library

Teen Centre at the new Central Library (Photo credit: Neil Zeller)

History buff? Browse the volumes of historical collections for in-library use, visit the Vintage Media Lab (with microfilm readers, 16mm film reels and more) or the modern digital storytelling kiosk, and pop by the Historian in Residence’s Studio. You’ll get a fresh perspective on Calgary’s Story – past, present and future. Budding podcaster or YouTube host? Check out the recording studios onsite, fully decked out with green screens, video cameras, mics and the like (and yes, the studios are available to book for free).

Avid writer? You’ll find plenty of places to put your creative inspiration to paper or digital if you wish. Pull up a chair to one of the vintage typewriters, borrow a Chromebook for in-library use, or simply curl up in a cozy nook with your notebook and pen.

Foodie or coffee lover? Be sure to pop by two new locally-owned eateries onsite – LUKES café and LUKES restaurant. You’ll be surprised and delighted to know that you can drink your coffee (with a tightly-secured lid, of course) in many designated areas throughout the library.

TD Great Reading Room at the new Central Library

TD Great Reading Room at the new Central Library (Photo credit: Michael Grimm)

How long should I spend at the new Central Library?

On average, visitors spend up to two hours at the new Central Library. Though, if the book you’re reading is a real page-turner or the creative juices are flowing, it wouldn’t be surprising if you lingered a bit longer. This isn’t your typical library, after all!

The Prow Community Living Room at the new Central Library

The Prow Community Living Room at the new Central Library (Photo credit: Neil Zeller)

How can I get to the new Central Library?

Your best options are to take Calgary Transit, ride your bike, or walk to the new Central Library. There is also street parking and pay lots are available in the area.

Be one of the millions of visitors to experience the new Central Library! And the best thing is – it’s free!

Follow along on social media and share your experience at @calgarylibrary and #calgarylibrary.