My family and I waited in anticipation for the opening of the new library in Whistler. For more than four years, we have been members of the Whistler and Pemberton libraries. All of the press releases and the information that it took approximately $11 million to build the new library led us to believe that it would offer enough books to cater to the needs of our children, teenagers, students, our senior citizens and all ages.
We were in the library the other day with my family and friends from Vancouver who used to live here. All the kids were asking, "Where are all the books, mommy?" In fact, we offered to donate some books as the shelves were so bare. Several rows of shelves are empty! One would think that with a budget exceeding $10 million, books would have been a priority on the agenda!
When we finally decided to check out, we were told that the computer system was "down". The librarians had to write down all the serial numbers of the books by hand. Surely, with a budget in excess of $10 million, we could expect an operational system.
Given that Whistler is an international destination for working students from Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan, there should be books for them in foreign languages. My husband and I are speechless, but that is nothing in comparison to how our children and teenagers feel when looking for books that are suitable.
Big ski boots to fill
As we approach the craziest week of junior ski racing, if not in the world then at least in our valley — Whistler Cup — I feel I must recognize the efforts of someone who has poured his heart and soul into ski racing for our kids. Nigel Cooper is stepping down from his position as Program Director for the Whistler Mountain Ski Club at the end of this ski season.
The athletes — and this is always what Nigel calls our kids — have had his unwavering support. Nigel lives, breathes, eats and sleeps junior ski racing, and is completely and passionately involved.
As the parent of two kids, I mean athletes, involved in ski racing I think that we have one of the best programs in the country, and we are watching kids develop into athletes who will represent Canada beyond 2010. The athletes that don’t make it that far are learning life lessons along the way: hard work, preparation, dedication, independence, teamwork (yes, ski racing has that component), not to mention technical skiing ability.