The library has added some exciting new board games to its collection. Photo: Submitted

The library has added some exciting new board games to its collection. Photo: Submitted

CHECK THIS OUT: New board games, a best-of-2020 book list at Nelson library

Our library columnist looks optimistically ahead to 2021

by Avi Silberstein

My least favourite thing about winter is the driving. Having not grown up in Canada, driving in snow and ice has never come easy to me. One thing I do know: if you want to stay safe in difficult road conditions, make sure to keep your eyes on the road ahead, and remember to check your rear-view mirror.

And so, in the spirit of winter driving, let’s take a look in the rear-view mirror and look back at the year that we’re (thankfully) leaving behind soon.

Let’s face it – you’d be hard-pressed to find someone out there who thinks 2020 was a wonderful year. But despite all the challenges that were presented by a worldwide pandemic, some aspects of life continued on.

Our library’s Centennial Celebration was a success despite the challenges. We held a community showcase at the Capitol Theatre, a fantastic exhibit at Touchstones, a library open house and re-enactment, and a talk from CBC’s Nora Young.

All of which was crowned by a series of beautiful illustrations that we commissioned from Nelson artist Douglas Jones. These are the images you’ll have seen on our tote bags and posters – as well as the banners that we put up on the exterior of our building earlier this month.

2020 was also the year that we submitted a grant to have a new library built (still keeping our fingers crossed on that one!). And as much as COVID-19 tried to squash our way of life, it didn’t manage to stop the publishing industry from continuing to roll out fabulous books.

So many books!

And, having been written before all of this began, almost none of them talk about face masks or physical distance or hand sanitizer. Library staff have put together a Best of 2020 list (, and it’s full of books for whatever your reading tastes might be.

Like a holiday fruitcake that is (unfortunately) filled with every imaginable type of dried fruit, our Best of 2020 list is chock-full of novels, non-fiction, mystery, sci-fi, graphic novels, audiobooks, ebooks, and everything in between.

Although 2020 was a year to be forgotten, 2021 holds promise as a year to be remembered. Here at the library we’re looking through the windshield at the road ahead, and working on all sorts of exciting projects, including unveiling our much-anticipated tech hub (a place for digitization, recording, editing, and more).

We’ll also be adding several items to our Library of Things, for children, teens and adults to borrow at any time: board games (Throwing Burritos! Exploding Kittens!), tech (GoPros! The “Dato Duo” Parent/Child Digital Synthesizers!), and lots more.

And as for winter driving, I’ve finally figured out a way to stay safe on the roads when the snow starts falling: I take the bus instead.

Avi Silberstein is the Children’s Librarian at the Nelson Public Library. Check This Out runs every other week. If you’re interested in learning more about library programs and services, sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website or by giving us a call.