COLUMN: Nuts to you!

October is Library Month

There are two notable things that happen in October: the chestnut trees drop their lovely mahogany conkers, and Canadian Library Month happens.

Libraries were, at one time, places where books were stored. Like squirrels, librarians of yesteryear stockpiled books to ensure there’d be enough to read through the long winter months.

Now, libraries are much more than a pile of literary nuts to crack.

They are year-round meeting places, computer labs, young-mind-cultivators, research centres, e-book providers, and community cornerstones. Canadian Library Month celebrates all of that.

So naturally, we’re celebrating at the Nelson Public Library in myriad, occasionally nutty ways.

You can save money by paying your library fines in October in our Meet-Us-Halfway initiative, our gift to you.

It works like this: you have $10 in overdue fines, you give us $5, and you’re fine-free!

In a perfect world, you’ll clear your fines in October during out half-price-fine-sale, and then you’ll rack up more to pay off in early December when we hold our fines-for-food day, which is when all fines collected go to the Nelson Food Cupboard. It’s always a good idea to stockpile at food banks.

There’s method to our nuttiness. Besides creating goodwill, we’re hoping you’ll spend your savings on our fall fundraising items, which include Pairings, our cookbook featuring the favourite recipes and books of Nelson chefs (with recipes featured monthly in the Star), our book bags illustrated by Nelson’s Nichola Lytle, and bookmarks sporting artwork by four of Nelson’s finest artists. We do like to celebrate our own.

Each year, Nelson’s Chocofellar provides the bars, and we provide titles-with-a-twist. This year, look for The Wizard of Almonds, A Tale of Two Coconuts, The Catcher in the Raisin, and Gulliver’s Hazelnuts from Saturday until Christmas. Feel free to stockpile, like a good squirrel should.

There are happy book hoarders amongst us, and the Nelson Friends of the Library supports both purgers and collectors by collecting your nearly new books and selling you different ones supporting the Library in the process.

This year the Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale runs Oct. 28 and 29 at the Old Church Hall on the corner of Kootenay and Victoria Streets.

The Friends have been fundraising for decades, raising money for special projects from early literacy labs to new furniture. They’re a great group of people, squirrelling themselves away in the “Friends’ Den” on our lower level to sort incoming donations so that they can hold a kid-sized book sale each spring and a mega-sale in the fall.

There are a lot of reasons to celebrate libraries. We know that libraries have the power to change lives, from the first baby steps into board books to a safe hang-out space for teenagers to large print books for seniors.

You could say we collect readers and we’ll never have too many of those.

Anne DeGrace is the Adult Services Co-ordinator at the Nelson Public Library. For more information go to nelsonlibrary.ca.

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