For the fourth year in a row, a donation of $1000 was made by the Chestermere Bottle Depot to the Chestermere Public Library. Owners Karamjeet Khamba (Karen) and her husband Kam continue to support the local community since opening their bottle depot in 2006. Karen who operates the Chestermere location said,”We wanted to support the local library and help the kids.” While Khamba’s children are now in university she hopes the money can be used for the enjoyment and enrichment of the children from the larger community.
The Khamba’s came to Chestermere to both live and work in town and established the much needed bottle depot saving residents the time and hastle of a commute to the city. The bottle depot currently supports the local cadets, scouts and Prince of Peace in their bottle drives and offers an additional percentage to any groups if the bottles and cans come in counted.
Meanwhile life at the library continues to buzz with their summer programs attracting lots of attendees. Debbi Weber, Library Director, said, “We were kept on our toes, it was a wonderful, busy summer.”
The Storytime reading program last week had children sitting with rapt attention, a positive break from the screens and sometimes boredom and isolation of summer. The summer reading program rapped up last Friday, and was a huge success with over 500 people registered and prizes awarded to the lucky winners. Throughout the summer different programs offered movies, crafts and video conferences. Weber said the video conference gave local children a chance to interact live with children from other libraries in the province through a brain busters trivia game.
Weber showed off the new acquisitions from the New Horizon Grant which the library received from the Federal Government in 2012. This one time grant, aimed at accommodating senior’s needs in the community, has resulted a new lounge area designed with their comfort in mind including new books, reference material applicable for their age group, and the Univox hearing loop which enhances hearing aid power. In the near future one of these power booster boxes will be available for borrowing and is especially helpful for enhancing hearing in situations where there is a lot of background noise or many voices. “We have created a place for seniors to mix in their own community,”said Weber of their drive to make the library a “place for everyone”
The library continues to serve as home to local archives and history through the recent acquisitions featured in the new display case. This area also features a section on local interest with books on Southern Alberta and Alberta Magazines. With the growing interest in genealogy the library has brought in references books to aid the search.
A growing collection of books are available in other languages for both children and adults. “What’s neat is the dual language children books that can be used not only for children but for “Big people” learning English as well”, said Weber.
The library is a happening place in the fall with the upcoming elections and their annual Loop around the Lake Fundraiser. Weber said Elections Alberta will be coming in to demonstrate their new system for voting and the library will be promoting participation by advertising the event on their bookmarks. The library also will be inviting interested candidates and counselors to participate in an informal question period sometime before the upcoming election.
A goal for 2014 is to become the Community Information Portal where new residents can come to find connections to local associations, groups and services and find general information about the community.
The success of the library continues to be evident through the increased traffic coming through the doors and growing membership. Weber said,”It creates a space for members of your own tribe. While the recreation center centers around sports activities, not everyone is drawn there. It doesn’t matter if you have little or no money, or don’t speak English or you are not fit. It is a vital and important resource for the community.”
The Loop Around the Lake Fundraiser, which gives 100% of its money to the library, will be taking place on Sunday September 15. It’s still not too late to become a sponsor or a participant. Sponsors names will be added to the T-shirt that all participants receive. Check out their website at www.looparoundthelake.ca for more information. Upcoming events at the library can be found on their website at www.chestermerepubliclibrary.com.
The seed that was planted many years ago by a group of dedicated individuals has grown into a hugely successful and welcoming cultural and information center for our town. Thanks to their efforts as well as the many supporters who continue to make it what it is today such as the Khamba family.