Almost eight months to the day after the horrifying train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec that cost 47 people their lives and destroyed most of the downtown area, including the municipal library and its archives, the new library will officially open its doors today at 1:00 p.m. Re-named the Médiathèque municipale Nelly-Arcan, the library is now located at 3700 rue Lemieux. The new name is in memory of Nelly Arcan (Isabelle Fortier), an internationally known author originally from Lac-Mégantic.
The library, the only one in Lac-Mégantic, had lost a collection of the oldest known photos of the town, family heirlooms, local artwork, and 45,000 books.
According to a January 8, 2014 article in La Tribune, the library received many donations from across Canada, the United States, and Europe. In fact, so many books were donated that two months after the tragedy, the library issued a news release to say how touched they were by everyone’s generosity and to politely ask people to stop sending books.
The new library is a central part of the reconstruction plan of the town of 6,000.
Thanks to Susan Gingras-Calcagni for the tip.