Award speaks ‘volumes’ about this community

In hockey, the “way to go” symbol is that great leg-lunging fist pump. For American Idols it is the covering of the face and leaping and excessive gasping. For the Armed forces it is that harmonic holler “HUA” (heard, understood, acknowledged). Here in the library, when something noteworthy happens, we clap our hands together and say “yay!”

There have been a few “yay’s” this past week. The first biggy is that your library was voted the People’s Choice for the 2011 Annual Business Excellence awards. While that is an accolade for the local staff, what really makes it most excellent, is it means we are doing our job and giving really good library service. It means we are meeting your needs admirably. It means that you believe your library is  important to our daily life. The timing for this is perfect, too, as this year Agassiz Library is recognizing its 10th year in the building that this community voted to build. A birthday!

All in all, this award speaks volumes about a community that voted to build a library and to use it every which way they can.

This next “yay” is more of a “yay me,” but here goes. For the first time I am reading a graphic novel. When I was young we called them comic books. But I assure you, this format has moved past the comic book. Please don’t confuse this type of book with “graphic” in a negative sense, it is called graphic only because it has pictures to go with the story. Edgy, cool, expressive pictures. My foray into this is the book Essex County. This was one of the choices of the 2011 Canada Reads. It was not the winner, but my goodness, I hereby confess that this book was one to be reckoned with among its contenders.

The pictures do not detract from ones own literary visions of the story, and … it has hockey in it! It is serious, has some mystery and atmosphere, is well written and I am liking it! I am not finished, (it’s a fat one, this graphic novel) But if you want “to be down” with the latest in books, I suggest this title.

Another “yay” is for courage. That of the many and myself to bring ourselves into the reading future. I confess, I bought a Kobo. This, honourable reader is an electronic device that has (gasp) books on it. No binding, no cloth or leather cover, no paper. Why has it come to this? Well, a person travels. A person hates to leave their reading material. A person hates to pay over-weight luggage fees, so a person gets an e-reader. Or, a person wants to maximize their reading material options! While you do have to purchase the reader, the library, as always, is ever ready to lend you your reading material. From our Library to Go portion of the FVRL website, there are a great variety of ebooks you take out, free like all other library services. I have downloaded the latest Elmore Leonard novel, Djibouti. I’m diggin’ it! My advice? It’s great to be able to make choices on what kind of book you like to hold in your hands, what kind you don’t mind listening too – there are great narrators out there (my other fav format being audiobooks) and now, which books you can hold in the palm of your hand and push a wee button to turn the pages. It is handy, and I invite you to the library to see how mine works.

The last “yay” I will mention is not about me (yay!) but about an opportunity for you all out there. On Saturday, March 12, Agassiz Library is over-the-moon excited to have best-selling author, hometown son, Robert Wiersema doing a writers workshop. For 3 hours we will get tips and techniques from one of the best. Robert has recently released his second full length novel, Bedtime Story, and it is absorbing reading and something completely different from his first novel, Before I Wake. This is a partnered project with the Kent-Harrison Arts Council, and there is no charge, but we ask that you contact the library to register.

So, “yay”, it is the beginning of March. We have a travel program that will take us to those mysterious and awe inspiring Easter Island stones on March 17. On the March 18, Pro D Day, we have a very special program for school age kids in which they can write and publish their own book.

Spring Break is only around the corner, with a magic show in co-operation with District of Kent on March 23. And Crackle and I are always at the library for preschool storytimes on Fridays at 10:15 a.m. Know that the slush will soon be gone and we will soon have a birthday to celebrate. See you in the stacks.

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