Hanna’s Highlight: Libraries are the future

Hanna’s Highlight: Libraries are the future

I am now passionate about libraries and what they can do for communities.

Last week I finally checked out the Vancouver Island Regional Library location in Port Hardy and signed up for a library card.

I’ve always loved books but had no real appreciation for libraries.

They are just buildings that store books right?

My perspective was forever changed when I first stepped foot into the Halifax Central Library when it opened its doors in 2015.

I am now passionate about libraries and what they can do for communities.

Halifax may be a bigger place and may be farther away from the North Island than Japan, but visiting the Halifax Central Library was like glimpsing the future of what libraries can offer communities in an increasingly digital age.

Yes, the building may have cost upwards of $57.6 million dollars, doubled its book collection, housed two coffee shops, an out door rooftop patio and garden, a recording studio, an amphitheater and more – but it’s the idea behind it that is important.

Libraries are changing.

There were study rooms where patrons can access peace and quiet, but the rest of the library was noisy and busy with people chatting, kids playing, teenagers hanging out, and even people simply stopping by to grab a coffee and read a magazine before carrying on with their day.

Literally, every time I went to that library, I ran into someone I knew who was also spending their afternoon at the library or just passing through on their way to somewhere else.

That’s because it wasn’t just a room full of books where you must be quiet.

It was a space that people were allowed to be in without having to pay for access. A friend of mine once called it “Halifax’s living room.”

What’s valuable about libraries is they’re not only places that offer access to knowledge, but they are also community spaces that offer an extensive amount of services where no one can be shooed away for not being a paying customer.

While it’s not realistic for every community to get a brand new shiny library full of all the latest and greatest trendy things, it’s important for people to reframe the idea they have in their mind about what libraries are for and what they can be.

Just look at the Regional Libraries in the North Island. Every month the North Island Gazette’s Hot Spots are filled with an ample amount of activities from VIRL from tech help, book clubs, and tons of activities for kids and teens.

Even someone who isn’t inclined to take advantage of those services can hopefully recognize the importance of community spaces like the library.

It impresses me how much they do for the communities in the North Island and it’s obvious that, even in smaller communities, libraries are for so much more than just borrowing books.

– Editorial by Hanna Petersen

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
Port Hardy RCMP catch shoplifting suspect who allegedly stole over $500 worth of clothing from local store

The suspect was eventually released with multiple conditions and to attend court in February of 2021

Quatsino First Nation is heading back to the polls. (Quatsino image)
Quatsino First Nation electing new Chief and Council

The ballot count will be broadcast over Zoom after polls close

For over a year Loaves and Fishes Food Bank has been giving 5,000-7,000 pounds of food every week to help address the massive need in the North Island. This year, they have partnered with the North Island Gazette Hamper Fund by providing $15,000 in gift cards to help with their Christmas Hamper Program. “Loaves and Fishes believes that everyone deserves access to a reliable abundance of food barrier free, it’s a real privilege to further serve the amazing people in Port Hardy and Port McNeill by assisting the Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund,” explains Peter Sinclair, Loaves and Fishes Executive Director. Loaves and Fishes bi-weekly depot is at Saint Columba’s Anglican-United Church and bi-weekly deliveries to other organizations in Port McNeill will continue through next year. (Natasha Griffiths photo)
It’s been a unique 41st year for the Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund

‘This year has been very different than previous years due to the pandemic’

Christmas decorations at Gus' Pub. (Opal Tesch photo)
Gus’ Bar and Grill gets into the holiday spirit

Gus’ Bar and Grill has been a fixture in Port McNeill since… Continue reading

Mike Aldersey, the Port McNeill base manager for West Coast Helicopters has been awarded the prestigious Agar/Stringer Award by the Helicopter Association of Canada. (Submitted photo)
Vancouver Island pilot receives coveted helicopter industry award

Port McNeill based Mike Aldersey is the recipient of the 2o2o Agar/Stringer Award given out to select few Canadians

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

Most Read