The meeting room a the Community Hall was full of laughter and chatter on May 11th, as the Newcomers met for the last “official” meeting before summer. The introduction question was, “What is your favourite walk or view on Pender”? Brooks Point and Oaks Bluff were popular choices, but the library, the hardware store, and “my deck” were also mentioned more than once!
Our guest speaker was Carmen Oleskevich, the library manager for our amazing Pender Library. She gave us a brief history of the library: how it began in 1973 as the “Pender Lender”, moved to its current spot in 1976, was housed in a brand new building in 1991, and now has been through a complete renovation in 2012. Projects are ongoing; the current goal is to replace the shelving in the Adult section. Carmen spoke about the role of the library in today’s world: a public place that is a resource for information, education, and entertainment, that embraces the local community and is a welcoming place supporting life-long learning and literacy.
We also learned that many of the services offered at the library, including the collection of 18,000 books, DVDs, and resources; the availability of e-books, digital magazines and movies; online language learning; public computers and printer; Sunday Afternoon guest speakers; the Lego Club and Summer Reading Program for kids; access to inter-library loans; and a new service that caused great interest – we can now check out family passes to cultural venues (The Royal BC Museum and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria are currently available). What a great opportunity, especially if you are entertaining guests this summer!
Carmen also spoke to us about how our library is almost entirely manned by volunteers. In fact, several members of Newcomers are already among the 50 to 55 volunteers who are committed to working 2-3 hour shifts per month. There are many different tasks, so it is easy to find your niche and become part of the the team. There was a lot of interest in our group so perhaps the volunteer roster will expand soon!