January 4, 2021 Mountain Living

Community Spaces: Books & Beyond at the Canmore Public Library

By Kate Barker

Living in the Bow Valley is more than just buying a home.

The Canmore Public Library was established in 1971 and is looking forward to celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. “Our motto is Books and Beyond,” says Library Director Michelle Preston, “And we strive to provide our residents with an excellent in-house collection of library materials.”

The library is an excellent resource for residents of all ages. They house a large and varied collection of books and traditional library materials, and they’re a part of Marigold Library System and TRAC, which gives them access to an additional 3 million items through interlibrary loans. They also provide a wealth of e-resources for members such as Lynda.com, Ancestry.ca, and RB Digital, the leading supplier of online magazines. More than reading materials, the library also offers some unexpected items such as walking poles, children’s toys and physical literacy kits.

The Canmore Library offers programs for kids and adults. “Pre-Covid we offered a huge range of in-person programming, from storytimes for babies all the way up to an annual seniors’ fair,” says Preston, “Our programming has moved online for now, but we are happy to offer both live and on-demand storytimes for children in English and French, as well a monthly virtual book club and author talks for adults.”

The staff at the library can also help curate a reading list based on your interests. “Our Next Reads service is where our knowledgeable Library staff will put together a curated selection of books geared to your reading tastes,” says Preston. You can also drop-in to the virtual reference desk for assistance.

The library is a free membership service for Canmore residents. Part of their funding comes from the Friends of the Library volunteer group, who raise funds for the Library to supplement their annual budget. In non-Covid times, the Friends of the Library host three book sales each year and they put on a monthly speaker series, which covers topics of interest to the community. All the funds from these events directly support the library and its programs.

So how do you get connected to this amazing community space? “All you need to access these services and resources is a library card! Bring your photo ID with proof of your Canmore address and we will get you set up with your free library card in just a couple minutes,” says Preston. “If you prefer to avoid public spaces, we also offer an online registration form.”

You can follow the Canmore Public Library on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for their monthly e-Newsletter on their website to get all the latest Library news, events, author spotlights and program information.


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