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International Literacy Day Sept. 8



Can you read this?

If so you are fortunate. Research shows that 22 per cent of adult Canadians have serious problems dealing with printed materials. And a further 24-26 per cent of Canadians can only deal with simple reading tasks. (from Reading the Future: A Portrait of Literacy in Canada (1996 ).

What would it be like to not be able to read this newspaper, or follow the instructions for using your coffee machine or reading a book to your 7-year-old?

There is a strong relationship between educational achievement and literacy levels. Simply stated, people with more education have higher literacy skills. September 8 th marks International Literacy Day, first observed on Sept. 8, 1967 and founded by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The aim of International Literacy Day is to focus attention on the need to promote worldwide literacy. On International Literacy Day, individuals, organizations, and countries throughout the world renew their efforts to promote literacy and demonstrate their commitment to providing education for all.

At the Whistler Public Library we will have a display of materials which pertain to literacy as well as information on our children’s programs. Our Children’s Librarian Agnes Gorgon will be offering a Babytime from Oct. 3- Nov. 21 – remember: it’s never too early to read to your children! An early start helps develop their learning skills and improves their chances for success. The family that reads together learns together. Studies show that children with good verbal skills do better at school. Parents need to be aware of the strong influence they have on their children’s attitudes towards literacy and learning. This influence is particularly important from birth to age six.

The library also offers drop-in story times for preschoolers and their caregivers on Fridays and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Our very popular Summer Reading Club for 3-9 year olds runs in July and August. And for those older bookworms, we will be once again offering our Junior Book Club for 9-12 years olds, starting on Sept. 25.

What about me, you’re saying? I am older than that and I want to learn! Well, 35 per cent of the library’s collection is non-fiction, a great way to learn something new. If we don’t have what you are looking for, we can request the item on an interlibrary loan or, as a member of an InterLINK library, you can join any Lower Mainland library free of charge, borrow from them and return to us.

We also offer one-on-one Internet training for beginners, access to a great online learning centre ( >Resources and Tools > Online Learning Centre), author readings and slide shows throughout the year.

The Whistler Public Library is a partner in the Whistler Learning Communities initiative with the Resort Municipality of Whistler, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Capilano College, School District 48, MY Millennium Place, and Mount Currie. The library is already a centre for lifelong learning and the place to go to get information. As a learning community Whistler will centralize the information about learning opportunities, programs and events, both formal and informal, at the Chamber of Commerce.

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A huge THANK YOU to the Fairmont Chateau Whistler for the fabulous 17 th birthday cake. Thanks as well to trustee Betty McWhinnie and Friends of the Library President Jane Reid for helping with the birthday celebration.