North Grenville Library news

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North Grenville Public Library hosting local author showcase

The North Grenville Public Library (NGPL) will be holding a local author showcase at the end of February to celebrate the end of Freedom to Read week, which is celebrated from February 23-29, and is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “What better way to celebrate our own freedom to read than by celebrating our local talent?” says NGPL Coordinator of Community Engagement, Liz Dwyer.

The showcase will be held at the NGPL on February 29, from 1-4 pm. There are 19 local authors with diverse backgrounds who have confirmed their attendance at the event. There will be representatives from almost every genre of writing, including mystery, poetry, blogging, historical fiction, fantasy, non-fiction, romance, sci fi, children’s books and horror.

The showcase will give the authors a chance to share their work, and many will have their books for sale. At 3:00 pm there will be an author panel, where select authors will take questions from the public. Throughout the event, people will be able to enter a draw to win books by the local authors and a grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to Chapters.

Liz says the NGPL believes that we are very fortunate to have such a talented group of people working and living in our community. “We want to give local residents a chance to meet, talk to, and get to know some of these fascinating people.”

Library launches survey

The Library is looking for your input. NGPL launched a survey last week, asking users to tell them when they are most likely to use the Library, and if they would be interested in seeing a slight change in their hours to include Sunday afternoons.

NGPL CEO Rachel Brown says they decided to put together a community survey because they have been approached by several people about Sunday hours. Sunday is often a quieter day for people, and some may like to spend time at the Library in their down time. “Sunday hours are pretty common [at libraries],” she says. “It made sense that we should at least be exploring the idea.”

To find the resources for these Sunday hours, the survey is also asking whether it would affect Library users if they closed at 8 pm, instead of 9 pm on weekdays. Rachel says they have already noticed a drop in library use during that time and are wondering whether these hours would be better used on a Sunday afternoon. “We want to make sure we are servicing the community as best we can with the resources we have,” she says.

The response to the survey has been great so far, with 100 responses online in the first day. NGPL is planning on making the survey available, both online and in hard copy, at the Library and the Municipal Centre until at least the end of February. “The longer we keep it up, the longer people have to respond,” Rachel says. “We want as big a cross section as possible.”

There is also a section on the survey allowing people to leave comments, which Rachel says is extremely valuable to them. They are hoping to have at least 500 responses, so that they will be able to do a meaningful analysis of all the data collected. “Based on that, we will be able to make some recommendations,” Rachel says. “After this, there may be more questions we have to answer.”

To access the survey online you can visit the NGPL’s website, or pop by the Librar (https://ngpl.ca/2020/01/30/ngpl-survey-on-usage-and-hours/)y or Municipal Centre to grab a physical copy. Rachel encourages anyone who has questions or concerns to come by the Library to speak to NGPL staff.

Library looking for teen volunteers to help with tech programs

The Library is looking for youth volunteers to help run a couple of tech programs this year. The first program, set to begin at the end of February, is the “Tech Buddies” clinic, where seniors and other community members who need help with technology can come to the library to have their questions answered by knowledgeable teens. Volunteers will need to have basic computer skills and be able to help people with things like social media, using apps, email, and settings on cell phones, computers and tablets. “It’s stuff that a young person would consider general knowledge, but an older person might not,” says the NGPL’s Project Coordinator for Digital Literacy, Adam Bergeron.

Adam is also hoping that those who sign up to help with the program will also be willing to volunteer for their Coding for Kids program in March. With the help of funds raised by the Friends of the NGPL, the library will be purchasing programmable Lego robots to help kids learn how to code. The first workshop will be during the March break, on March 18, with Ottawa’s The Lego Guy coming in to help launch the program. “It will be the beginning of the Coding for Kids series,” says CEO Rachel Brown. They are hoping to offer the program at least four times a year, depending on demand and interest.

Rachel says both programs are a fun way for teens to get involved and work towards their volunteer hours, which are mandatory in high school. Volunteers will learn valuable leadership and communication skills, and interact with seniors and children in a different setting, while teaching them a topic that they are already familiar with. “It’s a great way for teens to build meaningful connections and give back to their community,” she says.

Adam says they are hoping to recruit volunteers by mid-February, so they will have time to hold a few training sessions before the start dates of the two programs. Between the two programs, volunteers will most likely get about a dozen hours towards the mandatory 40.

To sign up, or learn more about volunteering at the Library, contact Adam at abergeron@ngpl.ca.

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