Use of local libraries on the rise

The Ponoka Library Board held their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 21

The Ponoka Library Board held their regular monthly meeting on Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. at the Ponoka Jubilee Library. The meeting focused on the need to improve library services for the community of Ponoka. Funding for libraries comes from the municipality, the county and the province and while the Town and County have slightly increased their library funding this year, the province has not increased the per capita operating grant since 1992.

In the fall of 2008 the province established a three-member MLA committee to work with libraries to review and make recommendations on how to keep libraries strong as they look into the future. The committee members are Jeff Johnson, MLA for Athabasca-Red Water, Teresa Woo-Paw, MLA for Calgary-MacKay and Fred Horne, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford. The committee has been holding consultations sessions to figure out how to better support libraries current and future needs ultimately supporting the Albertans who use them.

MLA Ray Prins attended Ponoka’s latest meeting for discussion.

“I am keenly interested in libraries. With the economy in its current state, library use has increased province wide. I’ve been to all the libraries in my constituency and they all currently face the same challenges. With usage at a high, we need to develop these resources in our communities to meet people’s needs. We will see a report of the province’s review soon.”

Library memberships are $20, which is equivalent to the price of two paper back books, and entitles one to use all of the services the Ponoka Jubilee Library offers. Aside from story time for tots, an after school program and seasonal programs a member has access to on-line databases, public computer access, free Internet access, books in other languages, audio books, video and audio cassettes, magazines and newspapers, telephone and business directories, University and College calendars, encyclopedias and government information plus plenty more.

The library is open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m to 5:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday form 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed on Sunday, Statutory Holidays and Saturday’s preceding Monday holidays.

The Ponoka Library is a supporter of Family Literacy Day (FLD) and in celebration of FLD 2009 Canada went for a world record. Canadians were encouraged to participate on Jan. 23 and/or 24 in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “Most Children Reading With an Adult, Multiple Locations.” All Canadians participating had to read “Munschworks 2”, by Robert Munsch. The current record is 78,791 set by the U.S. in 2006. More information will be available at a later date.

For more information on library services and upcoming events such as Library Lovers’ Month, phone the library at (403) 783-3843, e-mail or visit the library’s website at