The Trail Riverfront Centre opened to the public on April 2. Since that time the facility, which houses the city’s museum and archives as well as the public library, has been a big attraction for all age groups. (Guy Bertrand photo)

The Trail Riverfront Centre opened to the public on April 2. Since that time the facility, which houses the city’s museum and archives as well as the public library, has been a big attraction for all age groups. (Guy Bertrand photo)

Riverfront Centre a popular place, one month in

Public library and Trail museum drawing in a lot of foot traffic

The City of Trail’s newest riverfront attraction is proving to be a popular draw for all ages.

“We still enjoy seeing the faces of ‘first timers’ into the facility.” says Sarah Benson-Lord, museum manager.

“We know exactly who they are, as their expression changes to one of awe,” she shared.

“It’s quite heartwarming to watch.”

Benson-Lord was speaking about the Riverfront Centre’s first month of housing the city’s museum and archives as well as the public library.

“Based on my daily statistics, we averaged about 340 people daily into the facility in April,” she said. “As for the museum, we’ve received amazing feedback from our visitors.”

Since settling in, the Trail Historical Society has begun accepting donations to the collections again.

“So we’ve seen a slight surge there as well,” Benson-Lord noted.

The centre will begin welcoming a whole new set of readers and museum-guests on Monday, when classes from Glenmerry, St. Michael’s and Webster elementary schools pay a first-time group visit.

“We offered Trail-area elementary schools two opportunities per week until the end of June to visit the Riverfront Centre for an orientation tour of both the library and the museum,” Benson-Lord added.

“And we know we’ll see a lot more foot traffic come Silver City Days, which should be an exciting week.”

Library Director Kathryn Foley echoes Benson-Lord’s observations about the new build since its doors opened April 2.

“Everyone loves the brightness,” Foley told the Times. “The numbers are definitely up.

“We have seen days of over three times the number we usually saw at the memorial arena location,” she said.

“There were 82 new memberships the first week and 174 by the end of the month.”

With more foot traffic the month has presented a learning curve for Riverfront Centre staff.

“It takes about 15 minutes to enter (new-member) details,” Foley explained. “So our circulation clerks have been very busy, with the rest of us helping out when necessary.”

In all three library spaces – children’s, young adults, and the main collection upstairs – visitors are usually at the keyboards of the new public computers or accessing free wifi on their own devices.

“In-library use of materials is up as groups of adults with children are finding this a welcome spot to come when it rains, and I bet the heat of summer will bring them in too,” Foley added.

“The Teck Commons is often a hang-out place with a cross of generations enjoying the comfortable space.”

Summer students are now on site to help staff the Visitor Information Centre and museum in the evenings and on Saturdays, as well as to give a hand with facility visitors.

Library hours are Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and closed on Sundays, statutory holidays and holiday weekends.