Library song catches the Fernie community

In music terms it's known as a hook; that riff, rhythm, melody or lyric

Students sing Once Upon a Library.

Students sing Once Upon a Library.

By Steph Fleming


In music terms it’s known as a hook; that riff, rhythm, melody or lyric that catches the listener and has them repeating it in their heads or out loud over and over again until they start to wonder if it will ever stop and know they will never forget it. Well this is exactly what happened when I listened to the library theme song being created in a workshop in December and again on January 27th when I heard it being performed for the first time by the very people that had written it.


And I’m not the only one, in her introductory speech library representative Sandra Summerfield said that since that day in December she has heard the words “Once upon a library” flowing out of mini vans in supermarket car parks and the tune being hummed down Fernie streets. “I think it’s beautifully contagious”, says Sandra who first came up with the idea of developing a library theme song through her work in the literacy program.


This idea was able to come to fruition through the generous bequeath from Elk Valley resident Jim Matejka, the expertise of singer songwriter Lowry Olafson and the input from Isabella Dickens, Fernie Academy and Fernie Secondary School students as well as representatives from Fernie’s seniors. “It’s a metaphor for our Community” said Sandra when commenting on the collaboration and intergenerational creative effort.


It was a privilege to join with enthusiastic community members, council representatives, library staff and the creators themselves to hear the first public performance of the official Fernie Heritage Library Theme song, Once Upon a Library. Each group sang the parts they had themselves composed with the elementary students almost rapping the verse they had written, putting their own personal stamp on the words. Lyrics like “Everyone is always welcome” and “The heart of our community for you and me” really conveyed the message the library wants to send about the openness and importance of the library in the Fernie community.


The song will be used to promote the library and as a learning tool with kids participating in outreach programs across the Elk Valley. It will also be posted on the Fernie Heritage Library website, so if you didn’t get a chance to make it on Friday, you still have a chance to hear the song; but I warn you, you’ll be hooked!