Picture of library week logo

By Alison McCorkle

October is Canadian Library Month. This is an opportunity for libraries and their partners nationwide to raise awareness of the important and valuable role that libraries play in the lives of people in Canada.

In Ontario we kick off the month with First Nations Public Library Week (Oct 2 – 6), and then the third week (Oct 16 – 22) it is Ontario Public Library Week. This year the theme for Ontario Public Library Week is “Libraries For Life”.

Reading is a skill that most of us learn as young children and continue to use throughout our lives. I’m very near my senior years and now I much prefer to read books that are in large print (less strain on older eyes), and my mother, who is in her late 80s now, enjoys her books in audio format due to vision loss but still enjoys her stories every day. My daughter, who is intellectually challenged, loves to listen to stories as much as she enjoys listening to music or watching her movies! Many patrons enjoy their books on their digital devices of choice through the Libby app. Stories add so much to our lives regardless of the formats that we enjoy them in. I can’t imagine going through a whole day without reading something for pleasure! For the truly passionate readers that have the time and inclination the Temiskaming Shores Public Library has two book clubs for adults (one in English and one in French) that meet every six weeks.

Libraries aren’t just about books any more. Other items that you can borrow from the Temiskaming Shores Public Library are snow shoes for the whole family, backpacks for your next hike that include guidebooks etc., walking poles, Radon Detectors, Ontario Provincial Park Day Passes, Pool & Fitness Centre Pool Passes, Board Games, Jigsaw Puzzles and much more.

Libraries also offer a multitude of programs within their walls that they host or collaborate with partners on. This October on our Calendar we’re offering From Soup to Tomatoes a Senior’s Exercise Class twice weekly which is in collaboration with the Timiskaming Health Unit, Preschool Storytime Wednesday mornings from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m., Scrabble Night 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. every other Wednesday, Gadget Helper on Thursdays just call for an appointment, Pay As You Please Book Sale Fridays and Saturdays, we’ve had a Junior and Senior Children’s Thanksgiving Craft Program, we’re having a literacy trivia quiz with prizes to be won during Ontario Public Library week for children, there will be a Puzzle Swap on the 17th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Family Storytime on the morning of the 21st, and an Intergenerational Puzzle Contest that same afternoon. We’ll be finishing off the month handing out a few treats to the trick-or-treaters who stop by on Halloween.

Some other activities that take place on a regular basis in the library are people booking and using the study room to study, work, have exams proctored, hold a small meeting, or to do research on our microfilm reader. People renting out our Programming Room for large formal meetings, we have a group of young people who meet weekly for a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons and some other students who come for tutoring or to use our Virtual Reality equipment. Every day we have residents and visitors coming in to use our public access computers, have documents copied, faxed or scanned or to purchase pet tags, bus passes or bus tickets. We also have families come and read stories aloud to their little ones, colour some colouring pages and play with the simple puzzles we have in our children’s library. For grown-ups we always have a challenging jigsaw puzzle set up downstairs that anyone who stops by can work on. Doesn’t that sound inviting?

I like to think of our public library as the hub of the community. It is a place enjoyed by many residents of our lovely community for many different reasons and we hope that every visit is a pleasant experience and that you always look forward to coming to see us again soon. We always look forward to seeing you!