Inside The Library: Guests make past 12 months memorable

The year has flown by at the County of Prince Edward Public Library. When I look back at all of the programs that we conducted it is no wonder that the year passed in a blur. Terry Fallis, Charlotte Gray, Frances Itani, Roch Carrier, Debra Komar – no it is not the lineup for a literary awards gala – it is a list of some of the authors that came to the County of Prince Edward Public Library in 2018.

Fallis returned for the third time to the county and as usual had the capacity crowd in the Picton branch in stitches.

It was thanks to the sponsorship of our conversational French group that meets in the Milford branch that we had the pleasure of meeting and hearing Carrier. As a Christmas gift for the group’s leader Dorothy Speirs-Vincent, the group initiated the first annual Rendez-Vous Series. In April 2019 you can expect another bilingual event courtesy of this active group and in honour of Dorothy.

Komar, the forensic anthropologist, gave a compelling talk in April of this year. Her wide experience all around the world investigating war crimes and her current project reinvestigating historical crimes made for a fascinating evening. We will have Komar back in 2019. She will appear at the Picton branch and speak on her most recent book, The Court of Better Fiction; Three Trials, Two Executions and Arctic Sovereignty. Gray volunteered her time to help with our fundraising effort for the Picton branch. Her discussion on her book The Promise of Canada was truly thought provoking.

Two years ago when the library brought Gwynne Dyer to Picton over 200 attended. The response was everything that we hoped for despite the obstacle of torrential rains and overburdened sump pumps that spring. After that major success we were asked who were we bringing next? In 2018 David Frum filled the Regent Theatre and raised $8,000 for the Picton Time to Renew project.

In 2019 we have already booked Dave Meslin – look him up, he is touted as a Canadian to watch! He will be promoting his new book Teardown; Rebuilding Democracy From the Ground Up.

Another favourite this year was Sarah Hall. Her talk and slide show about her work in stained glass was outstanding. Sarah has promised us another program in 2019, so if you couldn’t make it this year you will have another opportunity.

Our information technology department was also busy with programming. They developed and delivered workshops on 21 new topics, everything from Google apps to common Apple apps to photo management, to iCloud drives. They are also known as the place to go if you have a new phone or tablet or a particularly balky computer.

Our child and youth department was not to be outdone as they expanded their Makerspace offerings with new technologies and devices. They also introduced the popular Tech Train program that steamed through the branches demonstrating design coding and the science behind everyday objects. Regular story times, toddler times and a new baby group this year brought lots of families in to read and play.

All of this activity made it abundantly clear that the library needed more space. The support that the library received in 2018 for its programs and for the Picton fundraising campaign was truly inspiring. Success invigorates and we are poised and excited to bring the residents of Prince Edward County another year packed with programming and innovation in 2019.

Our mission statement states that the library will enrich lives by fostering lifelong learning and ensuring that every member of the community has access to a vast array of ideas, information and resources.

Staff, the library board and our intrepid fundraising committee members are all on board to deliver on that promise to the community. Look forward to 2019 – great things are happening at the County of Prince Edward Public Library!

– Barbara Sweet