Local children rock out with Tony Prophet

Summer wraps with well wishes from librarian

"There is such weight and immeasurable value in sharing words and putting them together."

I don’t think we can help ourselves, we are always wishing. We wish for summer to get here. We get hot and sweaty and we wish for coolness — must be a trait of human beings, all this wishing.

At the library, we wished for a fun summer and we got one! The Summer Reading Club was great. We saw friends all summer long which means my other wish came true; that our children would keep reading even though they weren’t in school.

There were contests and there was entertainment. There was recipe sharing. There was the weekly ‘find-a-veg’ hunt. All this meant Agassiz Library staff were busy keeping summer more than cool, but fun. What was the ‘find-a-veg’ activity, you ask? Simple, every week we hid a real live vegetable in the library, all children had the chance to find it amongst the children’s books and would receive an instant reward when whispering its location to the librarian. Not your average library activity, but then, this is not your average library! And why? To make Library Soup, of course. We know everyone will be coming by for their copy of the recipe!

Many of you will also have noticed our Reader of the Week spots in the local paper, sponsored by our Agassiz-Harrison-Hope Observer. Young readers became book reporters, sharing their fave books of the moment. And did you catch some of the shows? Mike and his Critters (yes, I read to the snake), the magically-funny Purple Pirate and our musical wind-up party with Tony Prophet. He had everyone rocking to his great music, even Mayor Fisher, Mayor Becotte, Councillors Van Laerhoven and Perry and the Royal Bank rep Anita Mclean were tapping their toes before they congratulated and shared their pride in our library gang for a summer of reading.

As well, the party saw the final awarding of the Great Big Jar of Candy. We are looking after it for Reece Thomson until he comes to get it! Reece guessed 350 candies, which was very close to the actual 354. It’s going to be a sweet time at Reece’s house! Another prize we love to give out could have been given to so many families who made librarying part of their summer. There were several families who could have won the ‘Family Who Libraried the Most’ — the Victors, the Neufelds, the Wheelers, the Spaetis, the Klops — but the ones we saw the most of was the Mason family. All of you were crazy readers this year. Way to go!

So, even though hazy, lazy days of summer vacation are coming to the end, we are looking forward to a fabulous fall, seeing friends again, and your library will have some great things on the go for you. How can you possibly remember those things? How can you NOT miss a fun event at your library. Easy, you will just look in your program guide that was delivered to every home in the Agassiz-Harrison area with the Observer a few weeks ago. Agassiz library events are easy to find in the guide, right at the back of the book in the Upper Fraser Valley section. This guide might not get on the best seller list, but you will be glad to have it at your fingertips. One of the events you’ll find coming very soon, is International Literacy Day.

I feel so lucky that there are libraries in large and small communities in Canada, that we have books, libraries and schools available to us so we can do that most important of things, reading.  Reading is learning, learning is power and so, reading can power a better world. We will have postcards at our library on September 8, addressed and ready to go to libraries all over the world. It is a celebration of the unifying power that libraries have, and it will be a chance to support those countries that are growing their commitment to reading and learning. We hope you want to come in, support this idea by signing a postcard to send away. We have the cards and the postage, we know you will want to sign your name to this world wish.

And more on the topic of wishes, I want to tell you of a wish that was made many years ago by someone I knew. The wish was to have at their fingertips, not just a dictionary, but THE dictionary. By this I don’t mean a big, fat Merriam Webster volume. When I owned my own bookstore back in the ‘90s a friend, Emil, wished to have for his own, the 20 volume print set of the Oxford English Dictionary. Definitely not the concise version, this was the real deal. As a bookseller, I got to enable one of his dreams of owning the authority on the English language and I got to see and feel in a new way, the power of the words. There is such weight and immeasurable value in sharing words and putting them together so they become something much more than the printed page between covers. It was something that Emil knew well, and to have had that experience through him, was and still is a gift in my mind.

Emil passed away recently, but he did some wonderful things in and for our community. He shared his time in several organizations, he welcomed with his wife Mary, people from all over the world of all ages onto his farm and into his lifestyle. In my youth, I was fortunate to have enjoyed either intriguing discussions or some some good, hard work on Emil and Mary’s home, Cedar Isle farm.

Those discussions could have been about respect for good agricultural practises or world politics or astronomy. I can’t help but take a moment to reflect on those memories, of Emil and Mary on Cedar Isle Farm, as they played a great part in the person I am now … your noisy, creative, outspoken librarian. I thank them for being part of that, and giving me much more to share with you all.

So, dear friends, whether you want to read a dictionary at home, or take your eReader around the world, I hope we all ponder now and again, that words unite us when shared. When our words are offerings and not weapons, great things happen. See you in the stacks, where it’s all good, and there is always a little noise.

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