Above: Library Supervisor Ashley Cain and Assistant Manager Cheryl Pasechnik pose with library cards, free to Morinville residents in 2017.

by Jennifer Lavallee
Morinville News Correspondent

2017 is shaping up to be a big year for the Morinville Public Library (MPL).

“There are so many programs, for babies to seniors, at the library and in 2017 there is sure to be some new, exciting, programming added as well,” said Amy Guenette, Chair of the MPL Board, in an interview on December 15. “There always seems to be something fun going on at the library every month.”

Guenette said though the library staff is continuously developing new programming—which patrons often enjoy for free with a library membership—old favourites, like the popular summer reading program, are sure to return again next year. Also continuing in 2017 is one of MPL’s well-used services that provides customized literary options to patrons who are print disabled and for those who have mobility issues.

Birthday parties and exam supervision for people who are taking online courses are also well-used services keeping the library staff busy into the new year and beyond.

MPL will continue to be open seven-days-a-week in 2017, something the library manager, Isabelle Cramp, calls, “absolutely fantastic.” Cramp said in an interview, “we have received full support from Morinville Council and an increase of support from Sturgeon County Council; we say, ‘thank you, so much’ to both Councils.”

The Library Manager indicated some of the new library programs patrons can expect in 2017 include new book clubs, after-school parent and children workshops, technology learning workshops, and more.

2017 will also mark the 50th anniversary of Morinville’s library; an event MPL plans on celebrating in different ways throughout the year. One of its first initiatives will be free library memberships to all residents of the Town of Morinville in 2017.

Community library’s across the province have started a trend of offering free membership cards to patrons, and Guenette said MPL’s Board was looking to be proactive when it came to that shift. “Being part of a small community, we feel that the library can act as a central point to bring people together. With free memberships we can enable a sense of community and, of course, bring lifelong literacy to the whole town.”

Guenette continued by pointing out there is more to the library than just books; “we want everyone to have access to those resources whether it be a comic book, audiobook, movie, program or using the internet, for example for those looking for jobs in a weak economy. If there is a family in town that wants to get together and play a board game or borrow a movie one night, we want to be the place to go and guess what, it’s free.”

According to Cramp, offering free library cards will also help remove barriers for some who have not been able to access the library, especially in a time when money is tight. “I hope that everyone chooses to take advantage of this,” remarked Cramp, “some may feel that the library may not fit in with the services, resources, or entertainment they are seeking in their lives. I especially beg those who feel this way to come and visit us and take this opportunity to try us out…this is your library.”

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