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PRAIRIE POST- SPECIAL AREAS - June 2013 - 9 Libraries have a lot of activities underway

BY ROSE SANCHEZ — rsanchez

There is no shortage of interesting

work taking place at libraries throughout Special Areas and that work can happen thanks to membership in a larger library system. The expansion and renovation of the

Youngstown Municipal Library was just completed with the new space opened in mid-April. Infrastructure Canada Building Canada Fund provided $153,332 for the project and thanks to Special Areas MSI funding of $100,000 which covered the library’s share, the project could be completed. The Village of Youngstown also contributed a significant amount of money. To help the village celebrate its centennial this year, the library board chair is going to try to make a table out of wood from the old grain elevator. During the expansion, the group

found a teapot from 1914 and an old piece of signage from the former railway which will be hung in the library. “Youngstown believes one of Marigold (Library System’s) greatest benefits to them is the way we connect Youngstown with other areas of Alberta,” says Michelle Toombs, CEO of Marigold Library System in an email interview. “Resources can be tapped into across the province, including resources from universities.” Students and teachers taking distance university courses can get these resources delivered to the library through interlibrary loan and use the library’s public computers for

course work. “The library is the only space in

town that they can have a study space like this,” adds Toombs. Youngstown isn’t the only library

thriving. That’s how Cheryl Johnson, manager of the Hanna Municipal Library describes her space. They are able to offer so much variety in their collections because of the town’s membership in Marigold. “Technology support has been key,”

says Toombs. “People have been using their public computers regularly for job hunting because they do not have high-speed access from home and for people taking Athabasca distance- learning courses.” The videoconferencing equipment is also being used by various local businesses for meetings and the summer reading program is popular. Cereal Municipal Library proved it is the heart of its community when it hosted a Celebration of the Arts and 30th anniversary event Sept. 30- Oct. 1 in 2011. Alberta Culture and Community Spirit chose Cereal to be an Alberta Arts Days Host Celebration Site. The library partnered with the village to host an open house to celebrate Arts Days and the 30th anniversary of Cereal’s membership in Marigold. The two-day art event featured art in

various mediums on display, artists provided demonstrations of their crafts, there were author talks, musicians and a mural painted by Cereal children. “Cereal proved that the library —

even in the smallest municipality in Marigold at 126 people — is an essential heart of this thriving prairie

Photo submitted Berry Creek’s library is an active place and can be successful thanks to regional membership.

community,” says Toombs. A lot of the libraries believe system membership is vital to their success. Professional librarian consultants from Marigold will help libraries, including most recently the Consort Library board, advise on collections and weed them if necessary for libraries working with smaller spaces. “Berry Creek and Empress also

believe that system membership is vital to their success. They would have a very limited collection and wouldn’t be able to offer downloadable e-materials to their patrons,” explains Toombs.

Extra funds from the Special Areas

grant allows the Empress library to remain open. Free public computers

are appreciated by transient workers in the Empress Gas Plant. “These workers will drive 30 minutes to Empress Library to use the public computers; they were shocked and so happy to find out that Internet usage was free.” Berry Creek in the Cessford area has

many school teachers and staff who use their audiobook collection for their commute. They have had Dr. Philip Currie, a Canadian paleontologist, visit the library and help identify fossils brought in by students and their families and library manager Susan Conners has shared her knowledge of local plants with other libraries in southern Alberta through videoconferencing.


  Management

                  

Calgary 

 


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        

        

  Victoria 


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