Lynda M. Bird
In early November, I read an article by Andre Picard, a health reporter and columnist for the Globe and Mail. The article was about health and social benefits of libraries.
It started me thinking about our Fernie Heritage Library which has been in its current location at 492 3rd Avenue, Fernie, since 1999. It is situated in the heritage Post Office building. It is a beautiful two-storey plus basement building. It has high ceilings and large windows that let in wonderful, natural light. There is a garden area outside the building.
Fernie Heritage Library is run with a professional and caring staff of eight people. They can help you find books, order books for you through the provincial interlibary loan system, loan out books, make copies of documents and many other services. As well, there are volunteers who sort and shelve books, look after the garden area, filing, etc. More volunteers are always needed.
The Fernie Heritage Library depends on public funds from the City of Fernie, the Regional District of East Kootenay and the Province of B.C. Funds are also received from donors such as The Columbia Basin Trust, The Fernie Academy Half Marathon, the Friends of the Fernie Library, Adopt a Magazine contributors and personal donations from community members.
The main floor of the library houses the fiction section. Here you can find books of many different genres for all ages of reader. Board books, easy readers, junior fiction, young adult and adult collections can all be found here. As well, there are audio books and DVDs.
The second floor houses the non-fiction section. It offers books on many subject areas including: biography, technology, philosophy, science, health, languages, the arts, graphic arts, sports, literature and history. There are also magazines, computer stations, a research/study room, classical music CDs, opera DVDs and chairs and tables where one can read in a quiet atmosphere.
The basement houses meeting areas, a teen programming space, techological equipment and a preschool programming space.
The Fernie Heritage Library offers many different free programs throughout the year for the entire community, both inside the library and in the garden areas. Many Special Events are offered such as “Booked!” which are interviews with authors; Christmas events, and other events which help to bring the community together.
So why is it that Fernie Heritage Library is good for our social health? The staff sees its job as reaching out and making connections with the community. Through the resources and programs it offers, the library helps to bring people together. It is a safe, welcoming place to be— a place where you can be yourself and be as engaged with others as you want to be; see a smile on a friendly face.
The best thing about all of these resources and services is that it is all free! So come and check out the Fernie Heritage Library at 492 3rd Avenue, Fernie, B.C. Find your special interest!
In the words of Albert Einstein, “The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.”