Submitted by Carolyn Brown
October is Canadian Library Month! Across the country, people are celebrating information and library services – which might just be a bigger umbrella than you would think. The Spirit River Municipal Library offers a lot more than just books, and you can get it all for the small cost of a library card. The following are some examples of what your library can do for you.
The book club, open to all, meets the first Tuesday of the month at the library. Each month a member chooses a book for everyone to read: often one that expands our knowledge and imaginations. Tracy, our librarian, takes care of ordering copies for the 22 members, and no amount of cajoling can break her silence about the title. We must wait until the meeting to find out. For August, the club read The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Everyone enjoyed it. By September, everyone who put in a request had received season one of the TV series through interlibrary loan. We get a month or more to watch the episodes, while drinking cups of bush tea.
Ladies’ Afternoon Out is a fun annual event where women can come and browse products available locally, learn how to make something, and catch some live entertainment. The silent auction is liberally supplied with donations from local businesses and library board members, and the door prizes are great too. Not to mention the food prepared by, once again, the volunteer library board members.
Recently, the Seniors’ Library had a grand opening at Pleasant View Lodge. This branch of the library, specially tailored and available to the seniors in our community, has been open for over a year already following a joint effort by the library board, FCSS and the Lodge to earn grants. But now the new cabinet that houses the books at the lodge is in place. A ribbon was cut in front of it, and afterwards lodge residents were welcome to try out the Victor Readers and eReaders that are also available to seniors and people with visual impairments, along with thousands of audio books and stories to go with the devices.
Patrons of the regular library have access to modern forms of information, entertainment and communication as well. Computers, scanners, printers, audio books, dvds, a projector, language courses: if you have a library card, you are welcome to use them. Another handy service is TRAC, an online catalogue of nearly 3 million books and other materials available through interlibrary loan. You can search for a book, find out if it’s in the system and available, read or leave reviews, order it yourself, and pick it up at the library in a few days. Books come from 170 libraries across Canada. If you prefer audio books, check out Freading, a new service that gives you access to 12,000 audio books that you can borrow, not purchase.
Hallowe’en is creeping closer, and that means that the library board and volunteers are plotting another Safe Hallowe’en event with games and a haunted house at Centennial Hall. Whether kids are looking for fun or fear, Spirit River Municipal Library can provide a night of enjoyment. Board members supply treats and prizes and other volunteers join them to spend days transforming the hall into something like a carnival. A witch will serve you something brewed, a fortuneteller can read you like a book, and, if you are brave enough, you can enter the darkened passageways and eerie chambers of the haunted maze. When the fun is done, there are the volunteers to wipe up the mess and restore the sanity.
There is always something up at the Spirit River Municipal Library! Canadian Library Month is the perfect time to find out what you can get out of your library.