The Castlegar and District Public Library was much busier than usual last weekend. In recognition of Family Literacy Week the library hosted several family literacy events. In a partnership with Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) the library provided a place for young and old alike to increase their literacy awareness.
The “Living Library” was an event that is new to the library this year. Patrons were allowed to “check out” a local professional for a half hour consultation. Volunteers from Castlegar Hospice Society, Family Historians Society, Castlegar Parks and Trails Society, Dementia and Alzheimer support, and a Notary Public were on hand to answer questions.
Librarian Arlee Venier was pleased with the response as most of the slots were filled up before the event even started.
She explained, “It’s something different for the area. We would like to see more people come in, and enjoy the conversation with the different professionals that are here. Hopefully it will become a yearly event.”
A book sale was also held as a fundraiser for the library. Along with Friends of the Library volunteers, about 30 Stanley Humphries students helped with the sale. The student volunteers were either Grade 12 students or members of the leadership class.
Morgan Ahlefeld shared why she volunteered, “It is good to get out in the community. It is always nice to help out.”
Rachel Wilson summed up the attitude of a lot of the students, “Grads want to give back to the community and show our appreciation for the support, now that we are finished with high school.”
The children who attended the event had a great time participating in the many activities offered. Story time, face painting, craft time and singing were all popular activities.
Kootenay Family Place provided the face painting and a photo booth. CBAL provided handouts for families with tips for increasing family literacy in the home.
A gift of early literacy was given to each child in the form of a book of their own to take home. CBAL Community Literacy Coordinator Alana Murdoch explained the focus for the day, “The whole thing about family literacy is just what about families are doing in the home. They’re cooking together, singing, spending time outside, and going on adventures, looking at different kinds of leaves. Family literacy happens naturally all the time. This week we are celebrating across the province.”