By Saara Itkonen, library director at the Creston Valley Public Library
Instead of starting off the New Year with resolutions, I’d like to share a little gratitude for the year gone by. Despite all the hardships we’ve been experiencing privately and collectively, there is always something to be thankful for. Here’s our 2021 library gratitude list:
• Thank you to our patrons. Throughout the year we received your notes of encouragement surreptitiously slipped through our book drop, your baked pies and boxes of chocolate, potted plants and whispered words of encouragement at the front desk. Thank you for showing up for us. We couldn’t do our work without you.
• Thank you to the Regional District of Central Kootenay. Thank you for continuing to provide us with the majority of our operating costs and for extending a helping hand and listening ear when things have gotten sticky during this pandemic (looking at you, Joe Chirico). We’re happy to be part of your team.
• Thank you to the Library Board of Trustees. Thank you for always putting our staff and patrons first. You supported us to keep the library running but also gave us extra rest during this hard year. We’re so grateful you have our back.
• Thank you Creston Valley mountains. Holy smokes have you ever done some heavy lifting this year! Through heat and smoke and cold winter shivers, you still look spectacular and lift us up every time we look out the window.
• Thank you to everyone who left a note of encouragement on our wall during Library Month. We read them all and revisit them on hard days. We so appreciate you taking the time to share your love with us.
• Thank you library work for giving us something to do when we feel out of control or powerless about the world. Providing the community with books and movies to escape into during this pandemic makes us feel warm and fuzzy and happy to come to work.
• Thank you Friends of the Library for arranging outdoor pop-up book sales, for pioneering vaccine passports at our first return to indoor book sales, for delivering library materials to housebound patrons and for showing up and giving your time to the library. Not even a pandemic can stop you!
• Thank you Interior Health for arranging months of pop-up vaccination clinics at the library. We appreciate your persistence and determination to protect our community during this pandemic and we are happy to work in partnership with you.
• Thank you White & Clean janitorial. You’ve added cleaning days and worked tirelessly to help us keep the library safe and clean during this time. We see you and appreciate all that you do for the library.
• Thank you library staff. Cassandra Viers, Pat Tomasic, Eric An, Lisa Benschop, Carmen Marquis, Lauriane Merher, Kelly Bodley, Kenzie Winters, and Mat Blanchette. This is from me, personally. I truly work with the most tremendous people who have such a heart for their community and take the extra time to make everyone feel cared for. You even help people that can be awful at showing gratitude to you. You inspire me and motivate me to be better at my job. I’m so lucky to get to work with you.
Thank you for reading my column. And for supporting your public library. We look forward to seeing you in 2022. Happy New Year, all.
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