Surrey City Centre Public Library

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City Centre Library, Surrey Libraries
Country Canada
Type Public
Established 2011
Location Surrey, British Columbia
Coordinates 49°11′26″N 122°50′58″W / 49.19057°N 122.84936°W / 49.19057; -122.84936Coordinates: 49°11′26″N 122°50′58″W / 49.19057°N 122.84936°W / 49.19057; -122.84936
Branch of Surrey Libraries
Size 100,000 items
Access and use
Circulation 341,094
Other information
Director Melanie Houlden, Chief Librarian[1]

The Surrey City Centre Library is the main branch of Surrey, British Columbia's public library system. It was opened in September 2011 and replaced the Whalley Public Library. Part of a re-vitalization project for the City Centre area, the building was designed by Bing Thom Architects.[2] The library is located northwest of Surrey Central station in Whalley/City Centre neighbourhood.

Planning and construction[edit]

Main atrium

Part of a long-term re-vitalization effort by the City of Surrey, dubbed "Build Surrey", the City Centre branch library project was launched in 2009. It replaced the Whalley Public Library. The library is part of a new complex of buildings still under construction, including the City Centre shopping and education complex, a performing arts centre, and a new City Hall.[3] The design was awarded to Bing Thom Architects, who had designed the nearby City Centre complex as well as Vancouver-area buildings such as the University of British Columbia's Chan Centre. The total budget was set at $36 million; the provincial and federal governments each contributed $10 million with the remainder supplied by the city.[4] It is LEED Gold certified.

Faced with a short public consultation period, the architects used social media to gain input from the community. Through Facebook, Twitter, and a blog, respondents compiled an "ideasbook" of desired elements.[2] Construction finished in the summer of 2011, and the branch was opened to the public in September of that year.


The library has 7,200 square metres (78,000 sq ft) of usable space spread over four floors.[3] Its 100,000-item collection of print materials is modest for a large urban library; the library is focused on community services such as language programs for Surrey's large immigrant population, youth and adult programs, and computer access.[3] The library features non-traditional facilities like a cafe, an iPad station for children, a meditation room (which also serves as a prayer room), and bookable study room spaces.[4][5]

Appearance in media[edit]

Surrey Central Library appears in the following media:

  • City-building computer game Cities: Skylines as a "Grand Library"
  • TV series Continuum: Season 4, Episode 5 as a "Piron Labs"
  • Supergirl: Season 2, Episode 6 as "National City Art Gallery"
  • TV series Travelers: Season 1, Episode 1


  1. ^ Reid, Amy (15 Feb 2012). "Surrey's new top librarian focuses on future". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Tischler, Linda (8 August 2011). "How Twitter And Facebook Helped Bing Thom Design A Public Library". Fast Company. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Reid, Marelle (17 November 2010). "City Centre Library: not just books" (PDF). Surrey/North Delta Leader. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Diakiw, Kevin (17 August 2011). "Surrey's new iconic library set to open". Surrey/North Delta Leader. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Surrey Libraries Website". 

External links[edit]