With a small but well-attended ceremony Nov. 25, Chestermere’s Public Library kicked off their tenth anniversary celebrations by recognizing the people who helped them get to where they are today.
“It’s really hard to thank everyone because so many people have been involved in this,” said Chestermere Public Library Director Debbi Weber.
The ceremony to mark the anniversary kicks of a year of celebration that will culminate with a gala next year just before the library’s eleventh anniversary.
“It’s going to be very fancy,” she said.
Weber has been director of the Library for the past five years but has been involved with it for much longer than that.
She and her husband moved to Chestermere in 2003.
“The first thing I did was I looked for a library and there was none,” she said.
Weber explained that she did this because she has worked in Library’s her whole life.
Upon discovering there was no library, she met up with Maxine McKellar who was instrumental in the creation of the library and currently is serving as the Vice President of the Chestermere Public Library Foundation.
“I wanted a library in my community,” she said.
She said that the whole process to get the library opened was a huge learning experience and hard work but also a lot of fun.
With the anniversary celebration, Weber said lots of memories and experiences have been coming back but for her one that stands out was opening day.
“Maxine has been the force behind the Library,” said Weber.
“The night before we actually opened the Library we purchased a tiara and a coat that said Library Princess on it and we presented that to her,” she said.
Weber said that McKellar wore both the coat and tiara on opening day.
To see the emotion and delight as McKellar saw the Library open after all the hard work is Weber’s favourite memory.
While her goal in getting the library opened in Chestermere wasn’t to create a job for herself, she decided when the last director left five years ago that with her experience she would apply.
Since then she says she has loved every minute of her job.
As part of the ceremony, No Frills Owner Eric Sinclair donated just over $1100 to the Library.
“We will use it for probably more books,” said Weber.
She said that it meant a lot to her and the library that Sinclair and the community would be so generous.
While the Library celebrates the past, they are also looking to the future.
“We’ve done some really serious thinking about what we need to do next because…we know that it’s too small,” said Weber.
They have hired a firm to do a needs assessment for the library.
Additionally, they are conducting a survey of the community to see what the community wants from the Library.
Once they have the results, Weber said they will sit down and make a plan for the future of the library.
Although they are waiting for the community’s input, Weber said that the future of the library could be a new larger location, satellite branches or a bookmobile.
Once the plan is in place the library will start fundraising for the future.