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

Just Posted

Voices for the Salish Sea: catchy rhythms and a little confusion

The show was brought to us by the amalgamation of two bands: Tiller’s Folly and The Wilds.

‘Cram the Cruiser’ fundraiser returns to Port McNeill

Cram The Cruiser has traditionally been the single largest fundraiser for the local food bank.

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

North Island Rising: Carbon pricing

“I’ve been fortunate enough to hear from and talk with all sides of the climate discussion”

Port McNeill council wants to see a plan on how to protect and invest tax dollars

“if we can make $40,000 or $50,000 in interest, why not, as it could reduce taxes”

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservatives urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were women

Most Read