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Library inspires curiosity while empowering

By Don Fennell

Published 4:49 PDT, Fri October 8, 2021

Drawing anyone with a thirst for knowledge or seeking a journey through imagination, shelves upon shelves of books make up an impressive collection throughout the Richmond public library system. 

But while the printed word will always enjoy a special and indelible place in our hearts, today’s libraries—ever evolving—also increasingly act as information hubs where learning is an encouraged and shared experience.

During Canadian Library Month, the Richmond Public Library’s updated mission statement to “inspire curiosity, transform lives, and empower everyone” speaks to the ever-emerging face of the institution.

Throughout October, libraries across the nation will be raising awareness of the important role libraries play. As Ping He, head of content, collections and discovery services at the Brighouse branch puts it, “libraries promote cultural awareness, engage in the community, provide educational programs, and so much more.”

Reflecting this year’s theme One Card, One Million Possibilities, Richmond library staff is extending an invitation to the community to visit the Brighouse branch (7700 Minoru Gate) and to also tune in to its social media channels. 

Richmond recently introduced new technology designed to improve the customer experience that staff can’t wait to share. Patrons are encouraged to try out the new self check-in machine or bring in their old slides or photos and learn how to convert them into digital files at the digitization station located in the Launchpad area. Families with young readers at home may want to pop by to learn about BookFlix, a new resource that supports young readers in their journey to learning how to read.

And did you know that the library now offers Birdwatching ExplorePACKS? “Stop by the Brighouse branch for a chance to see the kits up close,” says Stephanie Vokey, the library’s public relations co-ordinator. “And, be sure to check out the digital fair Oct. 13 and 14 for a chance to play Bingo or spin the wheel and win some cool prizes. There’s so much to explore at your library.” 

Vokey says one of the primary goals of celebrating library month is to connect with residents who may be unaware of library services they could use.

“We want to bring awareness about the value of libraries in lifelong learning, and let the community know that there is something for everyone at the library,” she says. “For some, this might be a space to gather. For others, it’s the collection of books available to borrow; the opportunity to try new technology; a space to study; and for others the opportunity to meet with other community members and library staff who share similar interests.” 

By demonstrating how to use digital children’s reading resources like BookFlix, Vokey says the library will connect with families looking for new ways to inspire a love of reading in their children. 

“We hope that community members of all ages will come and learn a bit about what the library offers and see something that inspires them to learn, to create, to read, and to feel like they belong,” Vokey says. “Come and connect with library staff, and let us show you how we can help support you in your literacy journey and increase your connectivity to the community.”

“Canadian Library Month is a great opportunity to learn how (the library) promotes literacy and lifelong learning with locally focused services to support the unique needs of Richmond residents.” adds Shaneena Rahman, manager of customer experience at Richmond Public Library. 

Follow the library on Facebook to stay connected to all of the Canadian Library Month activities and enjoy fun videos and sneak peeks. 

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