The Book Drop: Thousands use Creston library each month

Web Lead

Aaron Francis is the chief librarian at the Creston and District Public Library.

Aaron Francis is the chief librarian at the Creston and District Public Library.

I’m a bit late for the year in review type of story, but here are a few statistics I thought you might find interesting:

•In a typical month, about 6,500 people come into the library.

•From September to December, 1,035 people attended children and youth programs at the library.

•Approximately 10,000 items are signed out or renewed each month.

•An average of 62 groups use our meeting room each month.

•Our public computers have over 1,000 bookings a month.

•Our Facebook page is up to 276 likes and counting.

•In 2012, 4,039 unique patrons signed out items from the library.

Stats tell just a part of the story. A couple of weeks ago, I received this by email: “Firstly, thank you for being our most wonderful and amazing library.  Tonight, there were three family members reading books (brought home today) in the living room, one watching a DVD on the computer (brought home today) in the nook, and me knitting whilst listening to an audiobook (downloaded today) on the sofa. You are a big part of our lives. We are so grateful!”

The public library is one of the few places in society that guarantees the same level of service to everyone, old and young, rich and poor. We support local communities and an informed, democratic society. Membership is free, and we greet you with a smile. Come down and see what’s new!

I had been saving a special announcement for our Family Literacy Day celebrations on Jan. 26, but, as anyone who knows me knows, I can’t keep a secret for long, so here it is.

We will no longer charge overdue fines on children’s cards (age 12 and under), and fines on youth cards are halved, effective immediately.

We recognize that overdue fines can represent a significant barrier to using the library for many in the community, not only children. We are committed to ensuring equitable access for all to this public resource.

If you are unable to access the library due to overdue fines or any other reason, we want to hear from you! Give me a call at 428-4141 or come in and see me.

Incidentally, you may have seen me out on the street handing out cookies lately. Our strategic planning committee, made up of staff, volunteers, board members and the general public, is engaged in community consultations for our current strategic planning. We’re exchanging cookies for ideas.

We want you to tell us what your library should look like in the future. Larger facilities? More quiet spaces? Coffee and snack bar? Maker spaces? Living library? Big ideas or small, we want to hear them!

If you missed us out on the street, come to the library, or provide your ideas and comments via the link on our website ( and Facebook page (we’ll even give you a digital “cookie”!).

Other news from the library:

We have transformed our children’s area! New custom-made, locally produced shelves have been installed, making the area more welcoming and browsable for all ages. Come by and have a look!

All public Internet computers have been replaced with newer, faster, more powerful computers. The computers and accessories were purchased locally — which was an easy decision, as Pro-To-Call beat out even the lowest Internet deals. All computers are equipped with Microsoft Office 2010, courtesy of Techsoup.

Last but not least, check out these upcoming events at your library:

On Jan. 26, celebrate Family Literacy Day with music and stories at the library. Chief Jason Louie from the Lower Kootenay Band will be telling Ktunaxa stories from noon-1 p.m., and Peter Bodley and Elena Yeung will be providing musical entertainment. We will have snacks and refreshments, special guests, and more.

Get an ebook reader for Christmas? Or planning to get one for your trip abroad this summer? We will be offering a workshop on how to download ebooks on Feb. 2 from 2-3 p.m. in the library meeting room (free, no registration required).

On March 1 at 6 p.m., we will be offering a workshop on setting up a Facebook page. Shed your worries and join the masses; Facebook is a great way to get in touch with old acquaintances and keep up with family and friends.

Sorry, no space to highlight new books this time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any! Click on “new arrivals” on our homepage to access our new search function for new items.

Aaron Francis is the chief librarian at the Creston and District Public Library.