COLUMN: More-ishness rules in this library diet

At the library we’ve always been a little bit more-ish. We want more people reading more books, more kinds of books, and in more formats.

Students who live in rural areas including Blewett

Students who live in rural areas including Blewett

Here at the library we’ve always been a little bit more-ish. We want more people reading more books, more kinds of books, and in more formats. We want doors and worlds to open. There is no limit to how much more we want. Greedy? No. Because we want more for everybody.

We had fun with Book Bingo in March, which asked people to get more-ish about the kinds of reading they do. Introduced to our library by circulation services coordinator Heather Goldik, Book Bingo asked participants to fill a line or even a whole card on their bingo sheets, where the next square you fill in could be “a book set in the future,” “from your childhood” or “published the year you were born.”

One participant had never heard of graphic novels before playing Book Bingo; now she loves them. Another told us: “I read books I would not have normally looked at, and enjoyed them. I read some that I had planned to read,but hadn’t. And I re-read an old favourite. Thanks!” It was such a success, safe to say we’re feeling more-ish about it; look for Book Bingo next year. Meanwhile, check out the Book Bingo reading (and readers’) lists on our Bibliocommons website.

Teen services coordinator Melodie Rae Storey’s “Your Next Five Books” initiative asks teens to tell her what books they love (and don’t love) and why, and she then offers a personalized reading list. Now, Heather is looking at ways to do this for adult members. All librarians love to be asked for recommendations, of course, so ask away. We want you more happy reading more books.

The Kootenay Connect interlibrary loan service allows you to request a book we don’t have simply by choosing“search titles at other Kootenay libraries” on our website and placing a hold on the title you’d like, which is then mailed to our library. Excepted are new items (less than one year old). Until recently, DVDs were not part of this arrangement; now they are! More-ish indeed.

While it would be a stretch to say the sky’s the limit, limits are indeed disappearing, and along with it your BookDiet. We have increased the borrowing limit from 20 to yes! 60 books for regular members, the better to enjoy more items more often. Exceptions are Area E residents who purchase the five-item non-transferable card at $45 per year, and the Area E students eligible for the new, free five-item student access card.

A little background is in order, here. At a 2010 referendum on library service, the majority of Area E residents voted in favour of subscription-based library access rather than universal access supported by taxation. Because there is no absolutely free lunch (you pay through taxation or through subscription), Area E residents can purchase a library card for $90 per year (which allows every family member to have a now 60-item! library card), or that single-user $45 card mentioned above.

This subscription-based plan put students of Blewett and Redfish schools, as well as students of Trafalgar andL.V. Rogers schools who reside in Area E, at a disadvantage however. Recognizing this, Area E has contributed funding through a community development grant to allow Area E students from K-12 access to the library in a one-year pilot project.

Enter the student access card for student use only, five items per visit, with full access to the library’s (more and more all the time!) online resources. It’s a step in a more-ish direction, and perhaps one day everyone in our region will simply walk in, show proof of address, and receive a library card.

The library is a place where a healthy reader appetite is something to celebrate, feeling more-ish is a happy thing, and nobody says no when you reach for a second helping.

Anne DeGrace is the adult services co-ordinator at the Nelson Public Library. Check This Out runs every other week. For more information go to nelsonlibrary.ca.

 

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