By Kenyon Stronski
Westwind Weekly News
While libraries serve an important part of any community, subsequently, their community is also very important to a library.
“Being part of this community is incredible. A lot of people have this opinion that libraries are going out of date because nobody reads books anymore and that’s, like, so far from the truth. A successful library is dependent on a community that is getting what they want, so the more that we’re able to provide for our community whether it’s books — and we have actually board games and video games and toys. Just listening to the community and having a community that’s willing to say ‘hey we’re looking for this, is there any way you can get that?’ helps keep relevance and keep everybody coming in and getting excited about what we have in our collection.
Reimer then commented on their large-print section, and how the library is looking into beefing up their collection. A large-print book is a book that’s printed in a font size that’s two or three sizes bigger than standard, and it makes it easier for seniors or those that are visually impaired to read books. The books are all the same you’d read in a standard font, just bigger, thus making it more expensive.
“We have about 100 or 130 large prints and we’re looking to double that collection as well but we’re looking at some avenues in the community for financing. The big project we’re looking forward to is our children section, we’re hoping to do a massive renovation and hopefully get some books in that process as well. Right now we’re in the midst of getting quotes and getting grant work done. We have some pretty intense plans for it, all I’ll say is we’ve got lots of plans and renovations. Our building is quite old and historic so we’re looking to capitalize on that and just make it a lot more inviting and kid-friendly.”
The Raymond Public Library currently hosts around 20,000 to 25,000 items for the community to consume. Through Chinook Arch, they get a book allotment that Reimer believes is around $2 per person within Raymond — however also states that donations are a large reason of their success, and they appreciate each and every one.
“We do get a lot of donations — every week we get someone bringing books, we’ll see if there’s any we’d like to add to our collection and we’re almost at the point where we’re busting at the seam. We’re able to keep up with getting a lot of new books because our patrons are helping us to fill those gaps.”
“We accept donations of all kinds, books, board games, video games. We do a lot of programming for kids so we tell people if they have craft supplies they aren’t interested in to bring them down and we’ll go through them. Anything we don’t keep goes on a free shelf and our community members can take what they’re interested in and take things for others as well.”
Books are also transferring to a more digital age as well, leading to the library also increasing the amount of online resources they offer as well.
“That’s been nice with libraries being open and closed for the past couple years, they have that accessibility at home. Our stats are going up and up and our in-house use is going up as well so it’s really encouraging.”