Alberta’s libraries are vital for a thriving community

Editorial

Libraries can be taken for granted. You get a library card and the library is basically at your service. You can take out books, CDs, audio books, read magazines and newspapers, use the Internet, etc. The resources are yours to borrow at your leisure.

The staff at the library put on programs, sort and organize books, help you find what you are looking for, etc.

Finding what you need comes with little effort and you can be in and out of a library without a thought.

The libraries in Alberta are a great service to the communities they are in and the staff at each of them work hard to make sure that what you need is available to you.

According to the Alberta Library website there were over 17 million visits to libraries in Alberta in 2007. The 50,000 programs offered by the libraries were participated in by over one million Albertans. There were 33 millions items that were checked out from Alberta libraries and about 40 per cent of the population in the province owned a library card, which is about 1.2 million people.

The reference service was used at these libraries almost 4.5 million times.

The libraries in Alberta are all connected throughout the province which helps give Albertans access to over 30 million items. These items are not just books, but include magazines, journals, various newspapers, etc.

The Ponoka Jubilee Library has been part of Ponoka since 1933. The library has been actively involved in the community and has served the needs of the town for years. Jubilee has had a successful summer reading program, fun and educational after school programs, story time for tots, a book club, writing workshops, etc.

Many students from elementary and high schools utilize its resources for school projects, papers, and studies. Virtually everything anyone wants to know can be found or researched through the libraries.

The Ponoka Jubilee Library began in Ponoka as the “Fort Ostell” library which was initiated by the Fort Ostell Chapter IODE. The library grew and was moved to different places around the town and found a permanent home next to Ponoka’s Town Hall in 1984. The library has been part of the Parkland Regional Library System since 1959 which allows them to connect with libraries around the province.

The Ponoka Jubilee Library has come a long way since 1933 and has about six permanent part-time staff, computer access, an on-line resource database, and boasts of a collection of about 20,000 volumes. The library was also able to build on a 600 foot addition in 2005.

Presently membership is needed at the Jubilee library and anyone interested is invited to contact the library. It is a great service to the parents, children, youth and adults of the community and their efforts should be supported in every way.

The Ponoka library is regulated by a board of volunteer trustees who serve a three year term. Currently there are six members.

There is also a group called Friends of the Library which is made up of community volunteers who strive to provide and encourage special events for the community and help raise funds for resources and items that may be outside or beyond the library budget. The meetings for Friends of the Library are held four times a year and anyone interested can contact the library.

The Ponoka Jubilee Library is not just a library, it is a place to learn and grow, to find peace and quiet, to stretch your mind, and to be involved and connect with people in history, the world, to connect with truths, wisdom, art, etc. It is a never-ending source of education and brings us together with people all over the world.

The library is vital in our community and where support is needed the community should be there to offer their resources so that the library can continue to operate well and thrive in order to benefit us as well as the upcoming generation.