Wapiti - September 2020

Sep. 15, 2020






Wapiti Regional Library




Wapiti Regional Libraries Are Open And It's Time To Return Materials


In March 2020, when public libraries closed province-wide due to COVID-19, patrons were asked to keep items they had checked out, rather than return them. On June 15, following provincial government guidelines, Wapiti initiated reopening of branch libraries. Now all 44 branches are open and it is time to return those materials.


If you have received a bill for overdue items, don't panic. The items can be returned to your nearest Wapiti Regional Library branch. Returning the items will help clear charges off of your account.


Wapiti's 44 libraries have reopened according to a three-tier system. The largest libraries are open during regular hours with a cap on how many patrons can be inside the library at one time. Medium-sized libraries are on a "by appointment" basis, allowing single patrons inside the library for 15 minutes to browse and check out material. The smallest branches, the size of which make social distancing virtually impossible, offer curbside pickup service.


"After three months of closure to the public, we were very excited to be able to once again open our branches and physical collections to our communities," said Wapiti Community Services Librarian Lindsay Baker. "In creating our re-opening policies and procedures, our main concern was how to offer as many services as possible, while ensuring that our staff and patrons remain safe and healthy. Although our current service levels may look different than before COVID-19, all of our staff are happy to once again be able to get physical items into the hands of our patrons."


For details on your local library's current services, visit Wapiti Regional Library's branch directory.





Grant Funds Help Redecorate Library



Earlier this year, Leoville Public Library Branch Librarian Debby Alberts saw an advertisement inviting grant applications from Canada's Farmers Grow Communities. The ad particularly caught her eye because the program allowed farmers to register to win $2500 for their favorite farming community's charitable or not-for-profit organization.


Aware that local library board member Jennifer Soucy was a farmer, Alberts put the proposal to the board and Soucy applied for the grant on behalf of the Leoville Public Library, which was, of course, her favorite not-for-profit organization.


Thrilled when the library won the grant, Alberts and the board set to work, planning improvements they could make to the library's space. All agreed that interior decorating was needed, so Alberts and Soucy set to work, planning, and then carrying out their upgrades. Along with reorganizing to fit new shelves, chairs, and storage cubes, decals were applied to the walls. The result is an inviting, cozy, inspirational atmosphere for patrons to enjoy.


"Since we had a disruption in 'normal', we thought this was a perfect time to do a few things at the library," said Alberts, referring to library closures due to COVID-19. "It was fun to organize, refresh, and decorate."


Our congratulations to the library staff and local board for their enthusiastic dedication to patrons and community.




Exciting Finish to Wapiti's Online Summer Programming



Shifting plans online due to COVID-related library closures, Wapiti Regional Library offered a full slate of summer programming for patrons.


From June 15 to August 31, 2020, children signed up via Wapiti's website to join the Summer Reading Challenge. For every 5 books read, kids completed an online form to track their reading and enter for the opportunity to win prizes at summer's end.


Interactive fun was provided by a Weekly Mystery Challenge. Participants of all ages were provided instructions on how to complete the challenge then report results. For example, one week's challenge was to find something old to recycle into something new and usable. Before and after photos were required as proof of participation, earning an entry for the final prize draw.


Thanks to Federal Young Canada Works grant funding, Wapiti Regional Library was able to hire a student Summer Programming Assistant. She oversaw Wapiti's online programming, which was posted to the region's YouTube channel and Facebook page throughout the summer. This included regular children's storytimes, weekly "Are You Smarter than a Librarian" quizzes, craft instruction videos, and the Weekly Mystery Challenges.


The exciting finish to summer programming happened when all entries were finalized on August 31 and draws were made. Wapiti congratulates Weekly Mystery Challenge winners Jordan R., Ethan G., and Ella P. Congratulations also go to the Summer Reading Challenge grand prize recipient Jordan R. and fellow winners Aubrielle, Milo B., Eli, Tyson S., Grant, Amaya, Sarah R, Julie B., and Odelie.


Wapiti thanks CVS Midwest Tape for its $250 sponsorship that helped purchase prizes consisting of a Nintendo Switch Lite grand prize, backpacks, books, and various science and art kits.






Small Library's Online Content Serves Patrons



While Vonda Public Library's small physical space currently requires curbside pickup service, Branch Librarian Rebecca Fehr is engaging patrons by creating vibrant online content. Every Monday morning, she posts a video recommending reading material for various age groups. Then she gets busy producing Friday's post: a poetry reading video by either one of the library staff or a local board member.


Visit the library's Facebook page to enjoy its posts and videos.





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