The Book Drop: Volunteers important to Creston library

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.

In the next couple of columns, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight some of the amazing work that volunteers do for our library and our community.

When I worked at the Vancouver Public Library, people would often approach me about volunteer opportunities at the library. Unfortunately, at VPL — as at many urban and regional library systems — there is no role for volunteers, and we had to turn those good people away.

One of the things I love about my new job here is the opportunity to work with such a diverse and active group of volunteers. We have high school students advising me on what books to buy for the teen section, another team of dedicated souls delivering library books to homebound patrons, and a grey-haired army of former teachers, librarians and folks from all walks of life helping to shelve books, clean shelves and keep the library and staff in order. Thank you to all of you!

I’d also like to tell about a special group of volunteers who are giving their time to assist elementary school aged children learn to read. The program is called Readers are Leaders. Students meet weekly with a trained reading buddy and gain confidence in reading cognition, comprehension and speed. The library arranges tutor training, tutor-student matching and program oversight.

If you know a student who might benefit from this program, or if you would like to volunteer, please contact Gail Southall, our volunteer co-ordinator, at 250-428-4141 or

Now, if you are a regular patron at the library, you probably know that our staff members Pat and Narelle are the ones to talk to if you are looking for a good read. For my part, with a toddler at home, I rarely read anything more involved than Llama Llama Red Pajama (a great book, by the way!). Nevertheless, here are few from the hotlist, just arrived on the processing cart.

James Patterson, the richest author in the world according to Forbes, has a number of new titles out in 2012. Among them is NYPD Red, a thrilling detective tale combining larger-than-life action, relentless speed and white knuckle twists. Better put yourself on the reserve list for this one if you want it before next summer.

The Imposter Bride, by Nancy Richler, was shortlisted for the 2012 Giller Prize for the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English. The story follows a young immigrant to Montreal who quickly marries, gives birth and disappears, leaving behind a host of questions and intrigues, such as: Who is Lily, really? Why did she leave? Will Ruth ever find her? And what’s up with the rocks?

Finally, 2001 Nobel Prize in economics winner Joseph Stiglitz has come out with The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future. Stiglitz argues that our faith in fundamentalist capitalism (i.e. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”) is detrimental both to society as a whole and to the one per cent who appear to benefit the most. He proposes an alternative approach to capitalist economics that is both more efficient and, importantly, more fair and equitable. Personally, I’m more interested in how Llama Llama’s shopping trip turned out, but to each his or her own!

Please come by and check out our new new book display area, and if you’re looking for something to read with your little one, come talk to me — otherwise, talk to Pat or Narelle!

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