Millennium Library resuming services Monday with interim security measures

Released: January 18, 2023 at 2:15 p.m.

Winnipeg, MB – The Millennium Library will fully resume services on Monday, January 23, 2023 with interim security measures in place while we await the recommendations stemming from a comprehensive risk and security audit of the facility.

Resumption of services & interim security measures
The Millennium Library is Winnipeg’s largest library branch and a critical downtown hub. To help facilitate the resumption of services, interim measures are being implemented.

Effective Monday, there will be a controlled entrance into the library, with stanchions, a walk-through metal detector, and an increased security presence.

The walk-through metal detector will be in place for all visitors entering the branch. If a detector alarm activates after a visitor has removed all metal objects, metal detector wands will be used. Verifying that no weapons are entering the facility is critical to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff and visitors in the Millennium Library.

In addition, two Winnipeg Police Service officers will be present on site during the library’s operating hours, and four additional security guards will be stationed inside the facility to help staff the metal detector and to patrol the facility. An additional Community Safety Host, trained in people-centered safety strategies and trauma-informed approaches, will be added as well for a total of two in the facility.

The Downtown Community Safety Partnership’s frontline teams will also conduct extra patrols around the library, including the lobby, and park. They will temporarily use the former gift shop space in the lobby area as a base to work from.

Community Connections, a space located in the lobby of the Millennium Library, will remain closed until further notice. The Library’s Community Crisis Workers, staff who can connect individuals with community agencies and organizations that provide social services, will still be present at the facility. Residents can connect with the Community Crisis Workers at their offices on the second floor of the Millennium Library in the interim. 

“Millennium Library is an important community facility that draws people downtown to discover, learn, create, and connect,” said Mayor Scott Gillingham. “It’s important we reopen the library now and reestablish the services that are valued by so many visitors. These interim measures will help ensure staff and patrons feel safe and supported while work continues on the comprehensive security audit.”

The interim measures will be evaluated as part of the comprehensive risk and security audit.

Comprehensive risk and security audit
Earlier this week, work got underway on a comprehensive risk assessment and security audit of the Millennium Library with the help of a third-party consultant. The consultant, GardaWorld, was tasked with determining areas of risk, recommending security measures to mitigate risk, and determining whether security or other related measures should be upgraded or considered, including exploring changes to the layout of the facility.

The consultant is employing a balanced, people-first, and layered approach to physical security which will consider the site’s functionality and the library’s mandate to provide essential services to the public. The recommendations will attempt to strike a balance between safety and security while ensuring that the library remains an accessible, welcoming environment for all users.

Once we receive the consultant’s recommendations, we will carefully evaluate them and put forward a comprehensive implementation plan, including any potential budget implications, for Council’s consideration. The implementation plan is anticipated to address short-term initiatives to increase safety at the facility with a second phase review and report to address longer-term initiatives.

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