Another year has passed with the Chestermere Public Library doing a balancing act to please every card holder.
“Space is our main challenge,” said Chestermere Public Library Assistant Director Cathy Burness.
“Along with space comes the constant challenge of trying to balance the need for vital, joyful space for families, with the need for people who want a quiet space to read or to study,” said Burness.
She added, “We get so many positive comments about positive things we do, but the negative comments are about noise.”
Using the back room as a quiet study space is not always an option as it is regularly occupied, Burness said.
As a result, Burness is constantly trying to find alternatives that would give every member what they want, such as moving a table behind a shelf to buffer noise.
“We’re trying to make ourselves vital and user friendly,” Burness said.
She added, a needs assessment was conducted which proved the space is too small for the 10,000 members.
“We know we’re too small, the city knows we need more space. We’re working together with the city to see what we can find, what we can do, how can we operate more efficiently, and how can we accommodate a greater collection with the same amount of space,” Burness said.
She added, “We’re doing the best with what we have.
“We got through another year doing that balancing act, trying to accommodate people who want quiet, trying to accommodate people who want programming. We’re constantly looking for new programs.”
The Chestermere Public Library has conducted many events throughout the year, such as Harry Potter Night, community theatre, Locked Rooms, and the tenth annual Loop Around the Lake.
“A highlight would be the Loop Around the Lake bringing in $6,000, which brought it very close to the $100,000 goal that Bernie Maillet had initially.
“He’s been instrumental, to me that’s amazing,” Burness said.
“The highlights for me are the things that make people smile, when people’s holds arrive, or we get a new movie they’ve been waiting for,” Burness said.
She added, going into the new year the goal of the Chestermere Public Library is to better accommodate even more people than card holding members, engaging the community, being more of what people want, and always being a safe space.
“We want to be what Chestermere wants, we know we want to be a safe space, we want to be your over living room, we want to have the collection of books, the movies, music, and the audio books,” Burness said.
She added, “Thank you to all of the partners, sponsors, the customers for having faith in us, we’re here for you.”