Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saved from the Fire

Last week we had a truly noteworthy event. We were given the go ahead to return to the inside of our fire damaged library. We had been waiting since the fire to go and salvage and take stock of the damage. Just last Wednesday, it was declared safe enough for us to go in. So here is the damage report and some pictures.

Our work room was a lot better than we expected. We were able to salvage some office supplies as well as some new library stock that had been waiting to be put on the shelves.  

We could view the library from the work room door and from the foyer. There were beams and rubble everywhere. We didn't go into the main library area because it was unsafe, but even if we had been able to get in there appeared to be nothing salvagable. Most of the shelves, and even our circulation desk were totally destroyed. There is one nonfiction bay visible through doors in the back of the library, and some still standing in the fiction section.  However all of these books would be severely fire damaged and/or wet and mouldy from exposure. Some of the items in the work room were mouldy but most were not too damaged as that area still has a roof over it..

We were heartened to see survivors, the big library teddies known as Monty and Blueberry. They were a bit singed but otherwise were ok.

On Friday we had a Christmas Storytime in the park. It was a huge hit, with about 70 kids in attendance. Mrs.Claus (aka Clare Stace) came and delighted children with her humor and storytelling. She illustration one story by using a piece of string, which she streched and folded into different shapes. One little girl shouted, "This is the best day ever." And it was. Even the library staff dressed in Christmas gear and everyone had a fun day. I will post some pictures of this storytime later this week, until then, keep smiling!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back to Basics, Continuing Library Service Without Walls

Things are looking up for us. We are starting to settle into a rhythm of working from the Grove library, who are so generous with their space and their time. Working from this space has allowed us to focus on continuing some of our most needed services.

Books on Wheels is back in business! This is the first time since the fire that we will be able to complete book delivery to the housebound seniors in our community.

Children's programs are running as well. Friday December 10th we have a special treat for the kids. A Christmas Storytime will be held in the Claremont Park starting at 10:30 am.

It feels so great to be able to continue providing these services to the community. We look forward to revitalizing our services more as the weeks progress.

The air has been abuzz this week with excitement over the old station master's house. This building is the one right outside the train station. Many council staff will share an office space there and we will have a customer service point for the library. We are thrilled to be able to move to this central point, and will keep updating on our progress with this.

We have also been busy manning the information desk at Claremont Quarter. If you want to talk to someone about council or library issues, the desk is downstairs between Solstice Sunglasses Boutique and KikiK. The info desk will be staffed every day this week between 9 and 4. You might even catch one of our library staff there.

I have been working on a special project myself. As the end of the year approaches, people begin to think about their New Year's Resolutions. I say, instead of making a resolution, make a commitment. In celebration of the coming "Year of Reading" I am committing to read one book a week, every week next year, and writing a blog about it. I am encouraging others to do the same. Think about the possibilities. Online book club anyone?

With all these fantastic projects, and more to come, we are filled with hope. Hope for a great year next year, in which we will accomplish great things.