In a recent survey completed by the National Endowment for the Arts Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America the results revealed that literary reading is in dramatic decline in the U.S. with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature. The survey also reported drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline , 28 per cent, occurring in the youngest age groups.
And what about Canada? The situation here isnt quite as dismal. The last year Statistics Canada collected such data was in 1998 and it showed that roughly two-thirds of Canadians had read at least one book of any kind in the previous year, versus 57 per cent of Americans, and 45 per cent of Europeans. At 72 per cent the Swedes are the most literary of us all; the Portuguese, at 15 per cent, seem to have been concentrating on soccer. Even so, 35 per cent of Canadians dont read even one book a year.
So what can we do about this? Well, your public library is an obvious place to begin. Public libraries offer all kinds of resources, services and programs to their communities. In fact, the Canadian public library is the most heavily used public community facility with more than 150 million visits per year. This is more than any other cultural and sporting events combined!
At the Whistler Public Library you can borrow books, DVDs, videos, magazines, books on tape or CD; you can use one of our five public access computers for email, Internet research, and word processing at no cost; your child can attend our Summer Reading Club, Junior Book Club, weekly storytime, or participate in our Young Adult Writing Contest or Youth Bookmark Contest. We regularly invite well-known authors to read from their works, present slide shows and offer creative writing workshops.
We are also members of InterLINK a group of 17 libraries that includes Pemberton, Squamish, Vancouver, North and West Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, the Fraser Valley and the Sunshine Coast. If you live in Whistler or any of the cities above, you can get a library membership free of charge .
Before InterLINK, you had to pay a non-resident fee to join a library other than the one in your town. This means you can borrow books from Vancouver and return them to Whistler! It also means that you can access the subscription online databases held by each library you belong to and thereby access millions of articles on all kinds of subjects.
So what are you waiting for? Come down to the Library, sign up for your membership and start borrowing!
New Faces at the Library
We are pleased to welcome Anwen Boyd as our new Childrens and Youth Services Librarian. Former librarian Agnes Gorgon has moved to Richmond and is working for the Richmond Public Library.
Anwen is a recent Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) graduate from the University of Alberta. She also has a Bachelor of English Degree from the University of Calgary.
While completing her MLIS she worked for the Faculty of Extension and the Rutherford Library at the UofA and served as the president of the Library and Information Studies Students Association. She has also worked at Parkland Regional Library (Lacombe, Alberta), the University of Calgarys MacKimmie Library and the Calgary Public Library.
While she has spent most of her life in Alberta, she is really excited about her recent move to British Columbia and loves living in Whistler. Her new position as Childrens and Youth Services Librarian at the Whistler Public Library is proving to be rewarding, challenging and FUN! In addition to her library career and interests she spends her time hiking, travelling, reading and writing.
We have two university students working for the summer. Jennifer Pringle is back for a third year she is currently studying at UBC, going into third year and is hoping to eventually get her Master of Library and Information Studies degree. Michael Gunther is a new addition to the library and is a third year geography student at UBC. He is a great singer and guitar player and is already gaining fans among the children at the Summer Reading Club.
Annual Used Book Sale
Donations are still being accepted for our Annual Used Book Sale. Drop off points are the Library, Nesters and the TDCanadaTrust Bank in Marketplace. The sale will take place on Saturday July 31 st from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. in front of the Marketplace IGA.
Summer Reading Club
Next weeks theme is : You Can Discover Fantastic Places. Please call 604 932 5564 for more information or to register. www.whistlerlibrary.ca