For the Observer
Happy New Year everyone!
Those of you who know me, or have been into the library this past month, understand that I consider September the beginning of my year. The sky clears up and looks bluer, and usually the children are back in school and normal days and bedtimes return, and there is a sense of starting something. While I know it is hard this September for teachers and parents to embrace the ‘beginningness’, there is still the blue sky and we can all enjoy the corn and peach harvest. I just feel invigorated and am ready to start things after the lazy hazy days of summer.
As I leap arms wide open into the “new year”, I do not leave summer uninspired. Agassiz Library had some great activities these past couple months. With the AquaVan visit (thank you Agassiz Library Friends group!), Summer Reading Club entertainment like magicians and taiko drummers, the Carnival and our new annual event, the Agassiz Boot & Book Sale.
We hope you enjoyed some time at your library as we did our best to offer you some ‘play’ which is part of FVRL’s underlying direction of “Read. Learn. Play”.
Over the summer we saw kids drag their grandparents in, and Crackle the library crow is pointed out, Queen Terrill is addressed as are the staff/princesses. On the flip side, it is so exciting to see the grandparents or aunts and uncles bring young family members from other places to their big little library and watch them children’s section with its comfy couch and the kids collection of books both classic and hot off the press. They get to experience some Agassiz Library summer traditions such as the Candy Count contest, (congratulations winner Lyla!) this year’s ‘Find the Slime’ and enter a joke for the local joke book.
I, like many others, had the joy of having my grandkids visit. Four of them from six to 14 years, two girls, two boys. Aside from the fact they are completely fabulous young people, (it’s true!) we make a point to explore some new territory or sharing favourite things. They are just like their Nana and leave the library with stacks and bags of books. We had books on Greek myths thanks to my oldest grandson, I loved those as a child so it was fabulous to share that with the next generation; I learned about the books “Pretty Little Liars” from my teenage granddaughter and the crazy TV series that followed the books … crazy, creepy mysterious!; my youngest grandson is a master at picking out great bedtime books of which there are many and like potato chips, it is never just one; and we experienced “The Outsiders” compliments of my younger granddaughter. And the crafts! I learned that elastic loom thingy, which they taught me, but for which we found lots of books with different patterns. We did some kitchen science, and yes there are kitchen science recipe books … just for the fun and mess of it. Plus we all picked our favourite magazines to take with us up to Hicks Lake to enjoy between picnicking and playing FVRL plastic Frisbee toss. And that is the glory of September. Those books are all still in the library, the sun is still out and we can carry on the fun of summer a little longer.
With so much handy work going on in my house this summer, I am reminded how much I love those kinds of activities. Crafting, creating, exploring. With all the elastic looming, science-ing and duct-taping, I decided I need to keep this up and dig more into my ‘artsy’ side. I am usually a very appreciative audience of anything artistic. I am pleased to be a watcher or a listener of others’ art, and am so glad that those who can, share.
Myself, I cannot draw a stick person to save my soul, but spending time making things with my grandchildren pointed me towards believing I have may have some skills. I am thinking its time to let my inner artist out! I have ordered a bunch of books that I think will be fascinating and hopefully point me in different direction. I felt a sense of wholeness after making these little trinkets with the kids, and while it seems small, I am coming to believe that creating is as necessary to us as food and shelter. I think if we neglect that portion of our brain, we are selling ourselves short and not being a complete person. How is that for a judgment!
I discovered that doing these ‘crafts’ gave me something I tend to miss in a busy day full of work and domesticity. I got out of my brain and into my heart and body. We have to sing or dance or draw or make elastic loom bracelets or baking soda volcanoes or write stories, because it makes us feel good and, as any neurologist will tell you, builds new neural pathways. I invite you to take a look at these books that I am bringing in, and I will put them on display after I use them for my own edification (25 cent word of the day, feel free to use it). Try it, you may just like being creative, too.
Hooked on Books
At this point, I am going to do what is called shameless promotion as I tell you of my latest read, because our drop in book club, Hooked on Books is responsible for this title at the top of my bookstack. This month’s selection is a new title by an experienced writer, Sarah Jio, called ‘Goodnight June’. It has everything I love in a story … correspondence between a regular book store owner and a famous author, Margaret Wise Brown (ring a bell?), some mystery that drives the main character relentlessly to find answers, and even that slight romantic thing happening with the handsome Italian restaurant owner next door to the book store that was left to the main character, June.
As a successful banker from New York, you can imagine the angst that ensues when June has to head to Seattle to deal with this little, old children’s book shop left to her by her spinster aunt. What a delicious little read! Feel free to come and join our drop in group and get a copy. You get the benefit of a delightful read and the chance to talk about it with some fine folk who aren’t shy with their literary thoughts! Ask us about the club, it is casual and no strings attached, just there when you need a read.
I am thinking that by now you all know that our new Fall program guide is out with a selection of programs we hope you will enjoy over the next few months. Grab one in the library or find it online at fvrl.bc.ca. Coming soon, returning due to popular demand is a seminar on the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and important things you need to know about planning your retirement. We have a specialist from Service Canada to share this info and it is worth the time. Mark your calendar for Wed. Oct. 8 at 5 p.m., free of charge, of course. For those of you not quite ready for the retirement scene, the wonderful preschool storytime is starting on Friday Sept. 19 at 10:15 a.m. Crackle, the library crow has his friends all lined up to offer some stories, songs and lots of fun. All ages of children, babies and onward are welcome as long as they bring their grownups! This is a great way to spend a Friday morning, meet some new grownups over a coffee, and the kids can find new friends as well as new books. Always free, no registration needed.
See you in the stacks!