You might be old enough to remember the days when visiting your local Public Library meant quietly slipping in the doors and tiptoeing around shelves and shelves of books, while people around you were engrossed in their own research and reading.
Not much else was happening. If you had young children with you, it was a rather stressful place to visit — shushing them and hoping they were not creating a disturbance to warrant a stern glance from the head librarian at the front desk.
Over the years, libraries have evolved to become a place where everyone is welcome no matter your age, your size, your fashion sense, your income or even your ability to read. A library is an amazing structure that beautifully supports and connects community members and outlying areas.
They provide a welcoming atmosphere and encourage and motivate ALL who attend to increase their knowledge, which increases their accountability — and accountability makes us better citizens.
As an instructor, I have especially appreciated being able to hold my classes at the Taber Public Library. This venue has been a big part of the reason that attendance at classes has been beyond my expectations.
Of course I am passionate about the program I am offering, but I believe that my students feel comfortable signing up to try a class simply because it is held at the library. They know where it is. They know the layout. They know they will be greeted and welcomed. This type of atmosphere encourages people to step out and be ok with trying something new.
Partnering with the library has allowed me to keep class costs low and interest and retention high. My students receive the benefits my class offers alongside the benefits of all our beautiful library has to offer.
A few years ago I, myself, took full advantage when the library received a “Physical Literacy” grant and a yoga teacher was brought in for the public to experience six weeks of classes at no cost.
This was a ‘no excuses’ opportunity for me to take the time to experience something I had always wanted to try, but never made time for. First class saw 30+ people who felt much the same as I did.
The library searches far and wide to offer activities to enhance and enrich our lives. Reading a book is not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ and being an avid reader is not the only activity that will enrich our lives.
Audio books, lego clubs, visiting authors, tie-tying classes, crafting, adult nerf gun wars, tax help, computer instruction, meditation, fitness, music events….the list goes on.
We are so fortunate to have a library in our small town with staff who work tirelessly to make sure everyone’s needs are considered. (I have even noticed a few ‘snack baskets’ of healthy food for anyone to access should they find themselves needing nourishment).
Everyone has access and everyone can benefit in some way from this well-run, organized and uplifting space.
Thank you Taber Public Library, staff and board for all your do for our wonderful little community.