Everyone is welcome at the library. We are not a luxury, but a piece of community backbone. We belong to everybody and we love it. Working in a library is a bit like being a search engine, an instructor, an IT department, and a social worker all in one bundle of coffee-fuelled human bookworm.
So, when I read the article (Oct. 28 edition) on the proposed 2021 budget cuts and comments made by council member Jack Brewin, I felt compelled to answer his questions. Why “throw money” at the library? “Why are we doing this?”
To give a library money is to give everyone an opportunity and a helping hand when needed. Ask us for help and we use every resource we have to answer. In our walls, money transforms into everything from access to information to a comfortable place to sit. Comfortable to us means no one is judged in our space, we are a safe zone and exist to assist people. All the work done is transparent and recorded in an annual report given to town council. Councillor Brewin is welcome to visit us and experience what we do.
Money gives the library the chance to offer people dozens of programs each year that are low-cost, and most are no cost to those who walk in the door. We’ve offered programs on history, culture, mental/physical health, and technology. You can join a workout class in an inclusive environment. Parents can bring their kids to programs dedicated to their development. Please come experience one of our events before you judge our true value.
Not to be underrated — the books on our shelves are information, equality, and joy in words. Several studies have shown that readers possess increased empathy, social skills, and inter-personal understanding. Books can provide relief for depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions (Oxford University Press, Psychology Today). Books confront all manner of stereotypes, represent all cultures, and challenge all ideas. Without literacy there would be wide- spread disconnect and isolation. Money gives us the opportunity to be accessible and offer items for readers who need materials tailored specifically to them. Large print materials, books with dyslexia friendly fonts, dementia friendly books, audio- books and CELA materials line our shelves.
Please come in to borrow whatever item may interest you and we can even help you find your perfect match. During this challenging year for everyone, our library continued to offer the use of several useful apps. People took courses through GALE and borrowed thousands of eBooks. Items can be downloaded at the click of a button wherever you may be. Feel free to use the library’s public access Wi-Fi.
Finally, money allows us to partner with other community organizations and connect people to their expertise as well. Taber has some great teams that make it stronger. Riders on the handi-bus you mentioned need recreational facilities to travel to. We are proud to partner with and support other local services. Remove a link in that chain of valuable services and we will quickly see fallback on others. I’m doing this as my career, because I am a person who simply wants to put smiles on faces. I strive for the elation in someone’s voice when they hold a great book in their hands, and am energized by the happiness of a kid running into Explore A Story. I work towards promoting all cultures and all types of people. I am proud to work for an organization that is something positive in peoples’ lives. I see the change we make and I welcome any member of town council to come visit and share my joy. Support a library and you support your neighbours as well. You are welcome in the library; please allow us to help keep Taber successful.