The Book Drop: Ten fun reasons to visit the Creston library

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Aaron Francis is the chief librarian at the Creston Valley Public Library.

Aaron Francis is the chief librarian at the Creston Valley Public Library.

Just for fun, here is a list of 10 things you may not have known about your own Creston Valley Public Library. If you want to keep score, tally one point for each item you did know about, and compare your score with your friends!

1. Creston Valley Public Library is completely independent. We work together with other Kootenay and provincial libraries, but we are funded locally and governed locally.

2. You can use your Creston library card at every public library in B.C., and can return books from any library at any other library. Not only that, we can bring in books from any public library to Creston at no charge to you. Your library card also provides access to over 70,000 downloadable ebooks and audiobooks, 500 online magazine subscriptions, 7,000 streaming movies, access to B.C. building and electrical codes, and much more. Millions of books and hundreds of libraries at your disposal with one library card!

3. We have a beautiful and well-maintained “reading garden” behind the library, with a covered deck, grassy area with toys for children, grapevines and more. The garden, which was built as a memorial to one of Creston’s finest, Lawrence Lavender, is available for groups and individuals anytime during open hours.

4. Creston Valley Public Library has the highest circulation per active cardholder among mid-sized libraries (service area population of 10,000-100,000) in B.C., with the typical cardholder checking out 43.8 books per year. We are also fourth in program attendance, second in inter-Kootenay interlibrary borrowing and lending, and ninth in public computer sessions. Not bad, considering our funding base is among the lowest in the province.

5. Unlike most libraries in B.C., our children’s programs (Baby Goose and Family Storytime) run all year round, 52 weeks a year, barring statutory holidays. We figure that parents have enough to worry about without wondering if the program is “on” or not.

6. We never keep tabs on what you read or access. All Internet history is wiped every time computers are restarted, and your book borrowing history is wiped clean from our Vancouver-based servers on a daily basis. We take your privacy seriously!

7. Children 12 and under are not charged overdue fines. We like to have our books returned on time, but don’t want fines to get in the way of young people using the library. And there is no minimum age to get a library card — we’ve had members registered as young as five days old!

8. We provide book club support for a number of area book clubs. We can access multiple copies of popular titles, and can even provide a free space for your club to meet. Want to start a book club? Talk to us first!

9. Speaking of free places to meet, our public meeting spaces are used over 100 times in a typical month by a wide range of local clubs and organizations. Our big meeting room is free of charge or by donation to non-profit organizations, and is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We also have smaller meeting spaces available for tutoring, private Skype sessions, small group meetings and so forth.

10. Creston Valley Public Library was incorporated on Sept. 13, 1920, a full four years before the Town of Creston. We’re just planning to gather ideas, but we plan to have a big celebration to commemorate our 100th anniversary. Of course, you are invited!

That’s it! How did you score? What did I miss in my list? As always, I’d love to hear your feedback about this column or any aspect of the library. Drop by and say hello or email me at aaron@crestonlibrary.com. Happy spring!

Aaron Francis is the chief librarian at Creston Valley Public Library. He is currently reading Embers by Sandor Marai.