The Quesnel Library is looking forward to involving the community in more programming this year and also to improving its interior space with help from the Friends of the Library, who are hosting their annual fundraising book sale next week.
Librarian Heather Lee says the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) library system recently conducted a survey of its centres in Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and of community libraries to get a sense of what the community wants going forward. She says they are still working through that information and creating their strategic plan based on the information they collected, but there are a few points that stand out from the survey.
“One of the things people were asking for across the board was an increase in library programming,” said Lee. “One of the ways we are going forward with this is we are looking toward our community to find people who are willing to lead workshops or programs. It could be anything from beekeeping to bicycle repair. We are open to any ideas from the community.”
Lee says they are also looking within their library staff members to see what talents they would like to share. Some of their ideas include showing movies, craft time, story time and paint nights.
“We’re looking in the library and out in the community for volunteers and ideas,” said Lee.
Improving the consistency of the customer service experience within the region was another item that came out of the CRD’s survey.
“We’re looking at ways of bringing our policies in line,” said Lee. “Customer service is definitely something we are looking at focusing on, and we’re looking at increasing consistency across the CRD.”
Another focus will be to look at ways to increase collaboration with other community agencies, and Lee says the Friends of the Library (FoL) is a great example of this.
The FoL, which was formed in 2007 and incorporated in 2010, is a small volunteer group that raises money through an annual used book sale, memberships and grants, to support the library. Right now, the FoL is helping update the Quesnel Library’s interior.
“They will help us purchase new shelving to make the interior spaces more comfortable and a little more welcoming,” said Lee. “The most significant way the community can assist with this is supporting the Friends of the Library book sale.”
All the money raised at the book sale directly supports FoL initiatives at the Quesnel Library. Over the years, the book sale has helped the FoL provide the library with two-wheeled carts for patrons’ use, a large projection screen on the meeting room wall, a mural in the children’s area painted by Leigh Cassidy, Lego kits and base pads for the Lego Club, padded stacking chairs, tables, two multi-game wooden boards, a laminating machine with film, a metal button-making machine with supplies and a treasure chest and prizes for summer programs.
This year’s FoL book sale takes place Sept. 24-28 at the Quesnel Library in the back meeting room. The sale will be held Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Entrance is through the east side door of the library building.
All books are by donation, and the sale will include books previously donated by community members and books that have recently been purged by the library, and FoL members say there really is something for everyone, with a children’s section, a non-fiction section and books about everything from travelling to gardening, many of which look brand-new. Two storage rooms have been filled with boxes of books that will be carefully set out for this year’s sale.
The book sale usually raises about $2,000 each year, and after the sale, books that didn’t sell get taken to Seasons House, Maeford Place and local First Nations band offices.
This year, the FoL are not asking for book donations, as their storage is already full.
The book sale started about 10 years ago, and along with raising much-needed funds, it is also a chance for community members to learn about the Friends of the Library and find out how to join. There will be FoL application forms at the book sale, and forms are also available at the library. During the book sale, if someone donates $10, they can have a one-year membership, or if a senior donates $5, they can have a one-year senior membership. Members are added to the FoL contact list and receive information about events such as presentations and the book sale.
The FoL is a non-profit group that meets quarterly to discuss and prepare programming ideas for the library. The FoL regularly brings in a number of speakers and presenters to talk about a wide variety of subjects, and they work with Literacy Quesnel and the Quesnel and District Community Arts Council to hold an annual writing contest.
At the library, programming will start in October, and people are encouraged to visit the library’s Facebook page to find out about new books, special events and ongoing programs.
Lee says they will definitely have a Halloween program and a Christmas craft night, and they have a few more fun ideas up their sleeves.
To learn more about the Quesnel Library, call 250-992-7912, stop in at 101-410 Kinchant St. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.