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Village Libraries Get Creative

Three Cities Library Tree Project. Photo Submitted

Like so many other community services, Public Libraries have had to make some adjustments over the past year in how they operate. Many offer curbside pick up and drop off of materials, and all libraries have had to change how they provide programming to their communities. Some of the Village libraries in our area have come up with creative ways to stay connected with their patrons.

Last November in an effort to keep Paradise Valley residents connected through the winter COVID shut down, the Three Cities Library sent over 200 wooden pieces home with school kids and community members. Each piece is unique, no two are the same and they were meant to be used to build a community tree on display at the library. The tree began growing in February when decorated pieces were returned in all different colours and patterns. The project had the goal to let the community “represent themselves” on their piece as a family or an individual says librarian Xander Adams. So far 150 pieces have come back, to create an amazing display in the library. The library would like to say that not only present Paradise Valley area residents are welcome to participate in the project, former residents who called the PV area home are invited to contact the library and make arrangements to get a piece to decorate.

Since things like group story times cannot be offered, the library has created a Village story walk. This outside activity can be done on your own time, and not only provides the chance for reading a good story, but lets people see the uniqueness of Paradise Valley at the same time. This activity will run through until the end of the school year and families can enjoy the story “Don’t You Dare Brush My Hair” by Rosie Greening. If you would like to partake in this activity, contact the library during school hours and you can arrange for an activity to do at home after!

Marwayne Library Manager Carmen Smart commented that her library has a community that utilizes the curbside pickup they offer. Carmen often texts pictures of books to patrons who then message which ones they would like to take out. The library has also been promoting the online apps that the Northern Lights Library System offers to patrons, allowing them to access material digitally.

Marwayne is hoping to participate in an online gaming competition that Northern Lights is organizing. Library patrons will participate in playing online games and competing against other libraries.They are also hoping to offer outdoor story times, as well as a socially distant kite flying event this summer. They are also presently creating an outside reading space for the summer months in the atrium attached to the library.

Kitscoty library has continued with their monthly book club, despite COVID preventing meeting in person, now they do it through messenger. They also offer monthly craft kits for families to pick up (curbside of course) and take home to create. Colleen Tannish, Library Manager stated that Kitscoty’s summer activities will be determined closer to July. Watch for announcements from all three libraries in the near future!


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