Renovation Updates

The Main Branch of the New Westminster Public Library is currently undergoing a renovation project which is expected to be completed by April 1, 2019.

The renovation is 2 months ahead of schedule!

For more details, please read our press release: NWPL_final_closure_for_renovations_final_release.pdf

Initial projections by the construction company (Stuart Olson) were for completion by June 2019. This plan used a phased approach to allow the library to stay open throughout the renovation.  Short closures at the start and end of each phase allowed the library to move critical services into an area of the building that would allow us to continue to provide library services during the next phase of construction.

Through the hard work and careful planning of library staff and Stuart Olson we were able to shorten the timelines at each phase. Now, as we approach the end of the renovation, we are able to have final completion and reopen to the public 2 months earlier than originally anticipated.

We will provide updates for the public on this page as well as on social media. Please follow @NWPLibrary on Twitter and watch the hashtag #NWPLreno for the latest time-sensitive news.

The main library is closed February 25th – March 31st, and will re-open April 1st. By closing the library, we will be able to complete the renovation and reopen both floors with full library service.

This final closure will allow us to:

1. Complete construction on the renovation in those areas of work that could not be done while the library was open. This includes:

a. removing hoarding walls erected to protect public spaces from construction work during the first 3 phases, and

b. finishing the construction work in those areas near, above, and below the hoarding walls.

2. Complete the last phase of the renovation. This is the  main entrance way and by closing the library this and the above work can happen much more quickly and allow us to open earlier than we anticipated. 

3. Move collections, shelves, furniture, and equipment back to the main floor.

4. Install new shelving and furniture on the main floor.

5. Install and test new equipment and technology throughout the library.

6. Install and test new technology and equipment in the new digital learning areas on the second floor.

7. Create orientation and training documentation and learning pathways for staff and the public.

What to expect during this closure:

  1. The main library will close from Monday, Feb. 25th through until Mar. 31st. Our first day open will be Monday, April 1.
  1. The Queensborough branch library will remain open and with continued expanded hours. Customers will find an excellent collection with many of our most popular books, DVDs, music, and children’s materials.  There are 8 internet stations and we will temporarily relocate our chromebooks to be used in the branch.
  1. The library’s e-collections and resources will remain available 24/7. We increased our collection of ebooks for the renovation, and updated our collection of eReades (Kobos) that may be borrowed. Anyone new to using ebooks and who would like an introduction are encouraged to contact the library for help on getting started. 
  1. All materials checked out will be on loan for 10 weeks. This includes bestsellers, movies, and music. Everyone is encouraged to borrow and keep items for the duration of the closure.
  1. Anyone experiencing difficulty using the library’s digital collections and resources can email or call the library during the closure.  We will strive for a response within 24 hours, Monday – Friday.
  1. The library will provide a list of alternate places within the area for library-related services. These will be available at the library and on the library’s website.



Current Stage Duration Completion Date
Construction Phase  18-24 months

APRIL 1, 2019



  • The current uptown library is comprised of the original 1958 building and the 1978 west side extension. The only significant improvement to the building interior was a $400,000 design change to the public areas on the second floor in 2005. Use of the building has increased significantly since 1978, both in the volume and type of use. As a result, interior infrastructure unchanged since that time is now clearly in need of replacement or upgrading.

    • Community Survey identifies the outdated Uptown Library as a source of dissatisfaction for many library users
    • NWPL Board highlights the need to improve the Uptown Library in their 2015-2018 Strategic Plan
    • Library staff identify critical areas of improvement and renewal
    • Mayor Cote and City Council approve the Library Renovation Project as one of their Strategic Priorities in November of 2015
    • Pre-Design work and costing are finished in February of 2016
    • New Westminster City Council approves budget for Renovation Project in October of 2016
  • Enhancements

    Infrastructure Changes

    Main Floor

    • Dedicated Teen Space
    • More efficient public service desks
    • Workspace changes that will enhance workflow and improve service
    • New ends on shelving

    Second Floor

    • Additional Study Room
    • Technology Learning Centre

    Meeting Rooms

    • Built-in technology in Plaskett Room
    • Built-in technology and kitchen upgrade in Auditorium

    All Floors

    • Accessibility upgrades and refurbished public washrooms
    • Upgrades to older public area lighting
    • New lighting on the exterior of the building
    • Increased building efficiency through improved lighting and replacement of windows
    • Replacement of most ceilings and HVAC ducting
    • Improved electrical configuration and new electrical transformer
    • Painting throughout the  building




    Renewal Costs


    Enhancement Costs


    Exterior Landscape Work


    Total Project Cost



  • Stage



    Need to Know Information

    1.Design Stage

    Jan 9 – Jun 30



    6 Months*


    Successful applicants for Design Phase of project:

    Architectural Services

    David Norman Architect Inc.

    Contact Person: Dave Norman

    Electrical Engineering

    Acumen Engineering LTD

    Contact Person: Maciej Lewandowski

    Mechanical Engineering

    Jade West Engineering Co LTD               

    Contact Person: John Makepeace

    The construction tenders will be done when the design phase is complete.

    2.Costing Stage

    July 2017


    1 Month

    Costing came back on budget. 

    3.Construction Tender

    Aug 2017 – Sept 2017 


    2 Months*


    Completed November 2017

    4.Construction Phase

    Dec 2017 – Dec 2019


     18-24 Months*



    Started Dec 5 2017

    * please note that these dates are approximate

  • Julie Spurrell, Chief Librarian

    Phone: 604-527-4675  |  Email:

    Susan Buss, Deputy Chief Librarian

    Phone: 604-527-4669  |  Email:


  • Please contact these organizations for further details about their meeting and event space.


    Anvil Centre

    777 Columbia Street

    Tel: 604-515-3830


    Centennial Lodge

    Queen's Park

    1st Street & 3rd Avenue

    Tel: 604-777-5111


    Centennial Community Centre

    65 East 6th Ave

    Tel: 604-777-5100


    Century House

    620 8th Street

    Tel: 604-519-1066


    Douglas College

    700 Royal Avenue

    Tel: 604-527-5613


    Inn at the Quay

    900 Quayside Drive

    Tel: 604-520-1776

    Toll: 1-800-663-2001


    Queensborough Community Centre

    920 Ewen Avenue

    Tel: 604-525-7388


    River Market

    810 Quayside Drive

    Tel: 604-520-3881


    Waves Coffee table reservation

    599 6th Street

    Tel: 604-553-3953


    Waves Coffee Meeting Room

    715 Columbia Street

    Tel: 604-529-9283


    TMFOX Café

    1190 8th Ave

    Tel: 604-549-8788

  • Internet Services Near NWPL

    Free Internet

    You can use your NWPL card at any public library in the Lower Mainland. Ask the staff there to register your NWPL card with them. The closest public library to NWPL is:

    Burnaby Public Library: Tommy Douglas Branch
    7311 Kingsway, Burnaby, 604-522-3971
    Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
    Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
    Sunday 12:00 – 5:00 pm


    Low-Cost Internet

    Century House Senior’s Centre
    620 8th Street, 604-519-1066
    Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 2:30 pm
    Saturday 9:00 am – 2:30 pm
    Sunday 12:00 – 3:30 pm
    July & August: Weekdays 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
    (not open on weekends)
    Assistance available – please phone
    Annual membership $18.00
    Must be 50 or over and have NWPL card

    Century House Youth Centre
    620 8th Street, 604-515-3801
    Monday - Thursday 3:15 pm - 9:00 pm
    Friday - Saturday 3:15 pm - 11:00 pm
    July & August: Monday - Saturday 1:00–9:00 pm, Annual membership $17
    Must be 13-18 years old and have a NWPL card


    Free Wi-Fi

    Blenz Coffee
    610 6th Street (Royal City Centre Mall)
    Mon-Wed 8 am – 5:30, Th-Fri 8 am - 9 pm
    Sat 9 am – 5:30 pm, Sun 10:30 am – 5 pm

    Freshslice Pizza
    610 6th Street (Royal City Centre Mall)
    Mon – Thurs 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
    Fri 10:00 am – 11:00 pm, Sat 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Sun 10:00 am – 9:00 pm

    515 6th Street, 604-718-1172
    7 days a week 5:00 am – 1:00 am

    River Market
    810 Quayside Drive
    7 days a week & holidays 10 am – 6 pm

    Various Locations

    Tim Hortons
    524 6th Street, 604-519-1294
    7 days a week & holidays 5:00 am – 12:00 am

    Waves Coffee House
    599 6th Street, 604-553-3953
    Mon-Sat 7 am – 8 pm, Sun 8 am – 7 pm
    715 Columbia Street, 604-529-9283
    Mon - Fri 6 am – 10 pm, Sat –Sun 7 am – 10 pm
    Power outlets