By: Shannon Fleming and Sean Wetselaar
Food for Thought
It is a widely-held (and absolutely true) belief that for a fairly small town, Uxbridge has a very well-stocked library. With over 60 thousand items between the two branches, it’s an incredibly diverse collection. However, the libraries in major centres and big cities are often given much more funding by the government, and thus have larger collections. This makes sense, as they service so many more people. However, our opinion of city libraries changed drastically when Sean dealt with a couple who came into the Children’s Department one day, several months ago.
They had a little boy, and wanted recommendations for a good series for him to read. Sean made a couple of suggestions, but continuously hit dead ends in acquiring said books for them (another patron had them out, this one was an audio book, this one was just plain M.I.A. – it was seemingly unending). He finally suggested ordering the books in from another library – often a time-consuming process.
By this point, most patrons would have been fed up and simply have called it a day. But not these two. They were friendly, understanding – the model of stereotypical small-town generosity. However, one of them let slip that they were in fact new arrivals to Uxbridge, and that they’d been living in Toronto until recently. They went on to compliment the service and comment on what a wonderful library we had. They told Sean that our staff were helpful and understanding, and that they liked our little local library as much as, if not more than, the one in Toronto.
This was a shock to Sean, as what he had always considered would seem limited and tiny to anyone from Toronto had satisfied these city-dwellers totally. Even better – they went out of their way to tell him what a great place it was.
It seemed that our homey, little, local library is a much bigger deal than we had always given it credit for. It occurred to us that size doesn’t always matter, even when it comes to the size of a collection in a library. And maybe what really determines a library’s worth is the people. In other words, a library is what you make of it – it’s up to the patron and the staff to make one really stand out.
Just food for thought.
What’s Happening: The Children’s Department is pretty busy these days. A collage contest is being held for children ages 12 and under to celebrate the library’s 123rd birthday. The subject for the collages: “Why Do You Love the Library?” Entries are due in by December 9. Additionally, a “Harry Potter Potions” activity is being held on November 19 for kids in grade 3 to 7, with the cost being four dollars per participant. For more information on what’s happening at the library, come pick up a newsletter at one of the circulation desks.
What’s New: In the Adult Department, we now have a sequel to Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel: Dracula: The Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt. We also have in a plethora of new audio books, including Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.