Ellie Reynolds sings and dances with babies and grown-ups during Baby Goose. (Photo credit Creston Valley Public Library)

YEAR IN REVIEW: Community connects at Creston Library in 2018

Submitted by Pat Tomasic & Saara Itkonen, Creston Public Library

Changes in the faces you see behind the circulation desk were among the adjustments at the Creston Valley Public Library in 2018. Many staff went on to other ventures in employment and education, including, after six years at the helm, former Chief Librarian Aaron Francis who headed west in August with his family. A get together was held for the community to wish them well on their new adventure. In October current Chief Librarian Saara Itkonen and her family arrived in Creston to a warm welcome from the library staff, volunteers, board and community. As well as her position at the helm, Saara and her trusty ukulele have been embraced by the Storytime crowd.

In other children’s programming, Ellie Reynolds hosted Baby Goose at the library but also out at Swan Valley Lodge and Crestview Village. She also teams up with the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy to sing songs and tell stories for families at Mormon Hills. Margaret Basaraba hosts a monthly program for Yaqan Nukiy students who have a delightful time with stories, crafts, and songs. The Summer Reading Club theme this year was Motion Commotion and was aimed at three different age groups; a special presentation by magician Leif David was one of the highlights. The return of the special autumn programme of French Storytime with Lauriane Mehrer introduced pre-school children to a second (or third) language through stories and songs and crafts.

The after-school SCRATCH coding programme for ages 7 to 12 was very popular. Participants made their own computer games and art, and school break programmes featured squishy circuits, snap circuits, littleBits, and Dash and Dot robots. A similar grant now supports the STEAM programme with Jennifer Yun which will continue into 2019. Be sure to keep an eye out for dates and times.

Teen programmes involved hands-on workshops with many community partners, spread throughout the year, including soap making with Yellow Rose Soap, Cupcake Wars (cupcakes decorated in literary themes), ski movies, best of 2018 on Youtube and Vimeo, pottery workshop with the Valley Mudders, truffle making with Sweet Turtle Chocolates, Race for the Crown with the Creston Valley Youth Network, The Riddle of the Bedlam Imp – a series of skill-testing riddles hidden in the library – LED wearable cuffs and a Trivia and Games night with the Creston Valley Youth Network and Make Do. If you’re between 13 and 18 years old and you haven’t already checked out Melissa Flint’s amazing programs, make sure to check them out in the New Year!

Programs for adults were numerous and varied thanks to Adult Programmer, Cassandra Viers. The library hosted twelve documentary films, had a variety of popular hands-on workshops, interesting speakers, and hosted book launches for local authors, including Luanne Armstrong and Chris Luke. TAPS book club with Pat Tomasic continued to meet on Tuesdays in the library meeting room; this lively discussion club centres on what individual members are reading rather than focusing on one title, as is the format for the other fifteen book clubs for whom we supply titles!

Developments in library technology include a new self-serve meeting room booking system. All you need is an email address and a library card to reserve a room and manage your bookings for free! And, of course, Saturday’s User-Friendly free one-on-one tech support continues to be popular. If you need tech help, pop into the library on Saturdays from 10-4.

In addition to tech help, staff continue to process interlibrary loans; order, catalogue, and process new and donated items; attend to patrons’ needs at the service desk, public internet stations, and photocopier/printer; answer reference questions in person and on the phone; organise programming; and provide readers’ advisories, but we can’t do it all on our own. We rely on volunteers to help us with shelving returns, shelf reading and tidying, and plant/garden maintenance, with the total number of hours surpassing 1700 hours!

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