Although the doors of the Airdrie Public Library (APL) are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, there is no shortage of new programs in the works for 2021.
“Though the virus dictates when we are able to have our doors open to the public, the Airdrie Public Library will always be here for the community and will adapt to whatever protocols are in place in 2021,” says Eric Pottie, programming and customer engagement manager at APL.
“Even when the library is closed to the public, we offer curbside pick-up, placement of holds on material at other libraries, have a large collection of electronic resources, and databases that are all free to card holders.”
Pottie adds that all of the programs available at the library will be presented via Zoom (with the exception of a few pre-recorded videos).
“These programs are great if people are looking to discover something new, learn more, and/or stay connected to other members of the community,” says Pottie.
“In such a strange and difficult year, I want people to know that the library is here for them. If it’s through programs that distract or teach, materials that can help develop new skills or allow escape into a good book, and when the library is open to the public, a place where there are no expectations and everyone is welcome.”
Preschoolers have access to a great slate of programs in the Babytime, Toddlertime, and Sing, Read, and Rhyme programs, which all work on early child literacy through songs, stories, and games.
“We’re continuing our partnership with Community Links and Rocky View Schools Adult Learning for Traveling Tales and Tunes where parents can learn parenting tips while engaging with their toddler,” says Pottie.
“We also have our monthly Wiggle Wednesday with Ambition Performing Arts that works on physical literacy through dance and movement.”
For school-aged kids, the library is continuing programs like the science-filled Full STEAM Ahead, creative outlet Crafternoon and Tween Zone that changes things up from games to DIY projects.
“We’re bringing in animal experts with Paws, Feathers, and Scales,” says Pottie.
“This program for kids ages six to 13 will feature a different presenter each week talking about the animals they work with. Participants will learn more and be able to ask questions. Featured animals include wolves, bearded dragons, and one of Canada’s first female K-9 officers will talk about police dogs.”
Running from Feb. 5 to 28, the library will have a digital escape room for teens and tweens.
“They’ll be able to solve puzzles and answer questions and once their task is completed be entered into a draw to win either a gift card to London Drugs or to The Source,” says Pottie.
Teens can also sign up for the new Take and Make program where each week there will be a different take-home activity for participants to do on their own schedule and then the library will host an informal meeting where people can share their experiences, ask questions, and just chat with their peers. The program may be a craft, a puzzle, or an experiment.
Airdrie youth can join the APL Teen Advisory Council and have a say in library programs, promote teen reading, and talk about what they would like to see in the library. These meetings are volunteering hours and look great on a resume.
The library has a number of programs set up for adults including informative talks on searching for work, cover letters, social media, and LinkedIn from Rocky View and Wheatland County Employment Services.
Avro Creative will also be leading a workshop on getting “unstuck” in your career.
Alexis Kienlen will be doing a reading from her recent novel Mad Cow and Simon Rose will be leading a workshop on writing historical fiction.
“Plus, the book club, genealogy club, and writers’ clubs are all continuing and always looking for new members,” says Pottie.
Family Literacy Day
APL will be celebrating this year’s Family Literacy Day a bit differently. On the morning of Jan. 27, APL will release recorded videos of different activities families can do together.
“In the afternoon of the 27th, we will also be having a special story time for families with preschoolers,” says Pottie.
On Jan. 30, the library will have an Art Saturday activity facilitated by local artist Jaye Benoit. There will be two art sessions for those with younger children aged six to 14 and another for families with kids that are 15 years old or older.
“Everything we’re doing are for families of any kind,” says Pottie.
“We want people to know that family does not just mean the nuclear family but for everyone and can be enjoyed even if you’re alone.”
Pottie adds that the programs and events for the new year are based off feedback that APL has received from the public.
“If people have ideas for things that they would like to see the library do they can contact APL through phone, email, or online chat and let us know,” he says.
“We’re always looking for new and exciting things to offer the people of Airdrie.”
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