By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Although it may be some time before Slave Lake residents have access to a public library again, the Morinville Public Library has decided to begin helping the devastated community rebuild its collection now.
Board Chair Noreen Radford said an emergency board meeting was called for Tuesday night to discuss what the library and its board could do to aid the cause.
“As a board we discussed many different options, but the final consensus was we need to help Slave Lake rebuild,” she said. “The best way is to have at least some books. They could start with that.”
Beginning Wednesday, the Morinville Public Library will begin accepting donations to purchase books for Slave Lake; something Radford said will be a good start towards restoring Slave Lake’s collection.
“We’re also going to put out a challenge to other libraries,” Radford said. “We have to keep in mind that we are a collective family when it comes to libraries and we greatly depend on them.”
That dependence is well known to Morinville Public Library Manager Isabelle Cramp.
“Anyone who uses the library and has put books on hold will understand right away why Slave Lake [library] is such an important piece of our puzzle,” Cramp said. “There are over 150 libraries connected in our system catalogue. When you’re looking at books in the catalogue, some of them will be Slave Lake’s.”
Cramp went on to say now that the Slave Lake Library has been destroyed, so too has its extensive collection of books. “Losing slave Lake Library, we’ve just lost access to a huge collection,” she said.
The library manager explained the interlibrary loan system allows Morinville patrons to access far more than Morinville’s collection. A donation towards rebuilding Slave Lake is a donation that also stays in the community because of Morinville’s access to the collection when it becomes available again.
The library is hoping patrons and residents will consider a financial donation to help buy the destroyed library a book, but are welcoming financial donations of any amount. Cramp said a display will be made explaining the cost of books for different age groups.
Cramp said the library will not be accepting books for Slave Lake as there is no location to store them inside or outside the Morinville Library. Anyone wishing to assist the Morinville Public Library in their efforts to rebuild a sister library can do so by dropping into the 100 Avenue location or calling the library at 780-939-3292.