The Annapolis Valley Regional Library is running a pilot project in Summerville that aims to make library services more accessible to rural readers.
Library workers will be running a satellite site at the Avon Emporium the third Tuesday of the month, from 2-6 p.m. Patrons will be able to check out books or DVDs, search for new reads on the shelves and in an online catalogue, place holds, return books, partake in computer tutorials and use mobile computer access sites with high speed Internet — all free of charge.
Wendy Kearnes, manager of AVRL’s outreach services, says 16 crates of books will be transported to the Summerville site each month, but the regional library is encouraging patrons to browse its directory in advance if they wish to reserve specific books.
“It’s better for them to let us know what they’d like to read so that they can place their holds, or we can place them for the patrons, and bring the material they want with us the next time we come.”
Kearnes says 46 people visited the Avon Emporium for the launch celebration of the satellite library Nov. 6.
“It’s proven to be very successful,” said Kearnes.
The satellite site is one of three included in a pilot project the regional library is running in Summerville, Springfield and Bear River. The special programs offered during the Summerville site’s hours of operation vary monthly according to resources.
“Because this is a developing service, we are still tying to figure out what each community would like as far as programming goes, however, we have no budget for programming,” Kearnes said.
“Everything in the library is free so come and enjoy it. We’d love to have more people come.” - Shirley Pineo
Shirley Pineo, chairperson of the AVRL board, says the satellite site is an attempt to find an economical way to branch into rural areas, and stay for a longer period of time.
“We thought this was an alternative to that big, expensive bus driving up and down the roads. We were not getting the number of people coming to the bus anymore.”
Pineo, a councillor for the Municipality of West Hants, says book mobile use in the shore communities dwindled to about 30 people per year.
The fate of the satellite site — whether it continues as is, ceases to function or expands to other communities — depends on demand and resources, she added.
“Everything in the library is free so come and enjoy it. We’d love to have more people come.”
In addition to the always popular story time sessions, guests at the Summerville site will be treated to a Lego party Nov. 27 from 3:30-5 p.m., and Christmas craft making on Dec. 18.
Kearnes says the addition of a satellite library in a neighbourhood creates another “community meeting place” for residents to enjoy.
“We feel the pulse of the community and we do what we can to provide the service that they need.”
The AVRL’s online catalogue, containing more than 200,000 items, can be viewed at www.valleylibrary.ca. For more information call 1-866-922-0229 ext. 234.