North Grenville Public Library’s Vision: “Making the Most of Every Mind”

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by Councillor Doreen O’Sullivan

The North Grenville Public Library’s Norenberg Branch, located at 1 Water Street, is truly the heart of old town Kemptville and it’s not just about books. There is so much at the library to stimulate your mind socially, intellectually and creatively. We also are pleased to have a library branch in Burritt’s Rapids located at 1 Grenville Street. As a catalyst for learning, discovery and creativity, it is our library’s mission to be a vibrant, accessible resource that builds and promotes an inclusive community by bringing together people and ideas.

Drop by in the morning and you’ll find regular clients of the library in to read the daily newspaper by the cozy fireplace. Throughout the day, you’ll find folks in to access the internet at a number of computer stations. In the after school hours, there are teens working on a puzzle set on a large table near the fireplace. In the Children’s section, you can see youngsters also using computers at little desks with brightly coloured keyboards.

There are comfy chairs where people sit reading and browsing through journals and magazines. Groups and organizations can rent rooms at the library for meetings and programs. Students can arrange to sit exams in a private area with supervision.

While the library has an impressive collection of books, did you know that they also have a selection of DVDs and CDs, including audio books? Did you know that you can borrow family passes to several museums in Ottawa, including the museums of Nature, Civilization, Science and Technology?

Were you aware that you can borrow books about how to Geo-cache, along with a Geo-caching kit complete with a bag and GPS unit, quick start guide, and an explorers guide to geocaching? These are made available through the Municipality of NG and a grant from The Healthy Kids Community Challenge Leeds and Grenville Community. Another program is known as MAPSack. A MAPSack is a backpack containing stories, nature guides, activity sheets, a logbook, and a free family pass to enjoy the Rideau Valley Conservation Areas and Parks. MAPSacks is a joint library project created by the Leeds-Grenville Stewardship Council and Rideau Lakes Public Library as part of the Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Healthy Communities Partnership. The MAPSacks are a rotating collection among the Libraries of Leeds & Grenville so watch for other sacks!

NGPL is also part of the TackleShare Program. Fishing rods and tackle boxes are available to sign out for free at the Kemptville Branch. Supported by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the TackleShare Program gives new and young anglers the opportunity to go fishing at no cost. NGPL, in conjunction with the Municipality of North Grenville, is also very pleased to offer walking poles for loan! Just use your NGPL card to borrow walking poles for a 3-week period, just like checking out a book.

Other programs include a Digital Literacy program with learning initiatives that help people of all ages develop digital and information skills needed for the 21st century. These include Coding for Kids workshops, with a focus on programming robots; and Makerspaces, where kids get to explore interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects. Sessions to help patrons learn how to access Library e-books. Tech Buddies: Teaming up seniors with tech questions and youth with know-how. Other Adult Programs include: NG Writers Groups, Quilting and Knitters Clubs, Science and Tech Groups, Book Clubs and Youngsters of Yore.

Extensive Children’s Programs include Friday Fun Days, Sarah’s Circle and Bedtime Story Hour just to name a few. Teens Programs include Free Driver Education Program, Teen Book Club and Teen Art Club. We have a newly formed partnership with the French Public School Board, and have a growing collection of French books in the library. Copy and Printing Services are also available at the Library for a fee.

The Municipality of North Grenville is a major funding source for the NGPL, with a budget allocation of over $400,000. There has not been any increase in provincial funding for libraries for over 20 years. We are fortunate to have a very enthusiastic group of “Friends of the Library”, who fundraise annually and support the library. There are many ways you can contribute to and support your local library; make a donation, volunteer and/or become a ‘Friend of the Library’.

North Grenville residents may obtain a FREE NGPL Membership Card, valid for two years from the date of issue which entitles the cardholder to a full range of services and materials available from the North Grenville Public Library. For more information visit either of the library branches or the website at www.ngpl.ca. There is a survey to ask about modifying hours at the Kemptville branch to allow for opening the library on Sunday afternoons. Public input is appreciated. It’s the season to curl up with a good book from your local library.

I must end by noting my appreciation to the CEO and staff at the libraries for their ongoing exceptional customer service.

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