October is National Library Month, and to celebrate the Calgary Public Library (CPL) is holding it’s second annual Love Your Library event at all 21 locations across the city.
The goal, said Steven Dohlman, Events and Program Partnerships Lead for CPL, is to invite Calgarians back into their local library to rediscover and reconnect with what makes libraries great.
“It’s an opportunity to invite people back to libraries if they’re regular visitors, or to invite people who have never come, to come and check us out for the first time and at ideally a location that’s in their neighbourhood or one that they’ve always wanted to check out,” he said.
“This might be a good time to take a field trip and check out a new location as well, because they are all so unique. Fish Creek is a perfect example of one that’s really interesting architecturally. Central, of course, is a big draw unto itself. But I think some of our smaller locations like Giuffre or Southwood are also so unique, and the staff there are so amazing.”
Love Your Library Day kicks off at 11 a.m. on Oct. 14, at all locations across the city, although said Dohlman, patrons are invited to visit earlier before the festivities begin.
The day begins with an all-locations story time reading by staff, who have selected children’s books that are reflective of the interests of the diverse communities that individual locations serve.
“What we found for days like Love Your Library Day is coordinating it so they happen at the same time at all locations, is a great way to really put story times and literacy at the forefront of what we do. And it’s also an opportunity for us to gather as a community, even if we are in separate locations,” Dohlman said.
“Don’t be surprised if locations add a little bit of pizzazz on their ends as well. That’s one thing that makes our system so unique, is each location, each catchment area has its own unique demographics and staff, and they really try and lean into that on these special days.”
Lots of activities at each community library
Patrons will also be treated to light refreshments, crafts, special activities, and live music from dozens of local Calgary musicians through CPL’s partnership with Stagehand.
“Last year, we had partnered with Stagehand to book a musician at all 21 locations. Because it was so popular, we wanted to do it again,” said Dohlman.
“What we find is there’s such a diverse selection of musicians in Calgary, and that they’re really excited to not only be part of Love Your Library Day, but in some cases actually go to the location that used to be their local library. And so they have an opportunity to give back to a location that meant so much to them.”
Love Your Library Day is also a milestone celebration date for a number of libraries in the city.
Village Square is celebrating its 40th anniversary, Nose Hill Library its 35th, Signal Hill its 25th, Rocky Ridge its 5th, and the Calgary Central Library is also marking its 5th anniversary—although CPL will be holding a separate central library anniversary on a later date.
“These libraries have evolved as the communities have evolved, and they have done so to meet the increasingly diverse needs of those communities. To do that, they have be at the forefront of what libraries are about and what communities are about,” Dohlman said.
For more details on Love Your Library Day, and for location-specific activities, see www.calgarylibrary.ca/love-your-library.