Replace the wallpaper, or just get rid of it altogether.

Is there a way to create more quiet space for researching?

A reference desk that looks into the library, with a lower desk to sit at with clients.

Could we try a new configuration of computer work spaces?

For the CCLA staff, the CCLA library and barristers lounge renovations project has been in the works for what feels like quite a long time.  For over a year, we’ve been discussing what we would like to fix, to change, to build, or to remove in order to create a refreshed, professional, and highly useful space for Ottawa lawyers.  Now that the CCLA has entered into a partnership with the local design firm inTempo, however, the fun (and hard work) can truly begin.

Renovating our space will be no small feat.  Not only are there a multitude of opinions, ideas, and suggestions for what we can and should do, but there’s also the matter of fundraising for this project, and for coordinating the work with the owners and managers of the Courthouse.  A renovation for a library is an incredibly fun and exciting time, though certainly not without a great deal of thought needing to be given to the overarching challenges and opportunities facing all libraries in the 21st century.  How many of these books will we keep?  How much more room for computers do we need?  What does the law library of the future look like?

Here in the library, part of our participation in this project will be to blog the renovation project from start (this post you’re reading) to finish (hopefully in 2013, in time for the CCLA’s 125th anniversary).  We hope to keep an ongoing journal on the renovation, providing both an inside look into the process, as well as a glance into the planning and rationale for some of the design decisions.  Your feedback and ideas will always be welcome, and we look forward to creating and sharing a new space for our legal community.

4 thoughts on “Renovations: The Beginning

  1. Any chance of getting some client meeting rooms? I was in Cornwall and they have a dozen or so meeting rooms to discuss matters in private with our clients. Why is there nothing like that in Ottawa?

  2. You’re certainly not alone in that thinking – the need for space to meet with clients is a suggestion we’ve heard from others, and highlights a need felt by lawyers in Ottawa, and area in which the Courthouse could be improved. I don’t know that we will have room for any spaces of that nature through this reno, but we’re certainly not done the design process yet. It would be a wonderful change that the Courthouse could make – to create space in a “neutral” area where lawyers and clients can meet, but regretfully, I don’t know of any plans in the works for that.

  3. When the courthouse opened there were two interview/meeting rooms outside each courtroom.On the 1st floor 26 of them, on the 2nd floor 7 and on the 3rd floor 14 for a total of 47.
    Almost all of them have been converted to offices over the last few years. The few left are often kept locked.

  4. Gary, thanks for your comment. That’s incredible. As I’ve only been here since 2007, I had no idea that this space was formerly available. In light of your comment, David’s comment above, and the others that we’ve received in person from lawyers, this is something our Executive Director is going to be bringing more attention to at the Courthouse Building Users Committee meetings. He has mentioned that this issue has been talked about at these meetings in the past, but having more feedback from our community on the matter perhaps will strengthen the argument that these spaces need to be made available again.

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