With a new library building on the way, Susan Kline is looking at showing off what goes on behind the doors.
“I have been looking for ways to introduce the library to people in the community that don’t know what we do,” said Kline, community librarian at the Summerland Public Library, adding she is often asked questions about how the library functions.
“We thought, why don’t we invite the whole community into the library, to just see what we do on a day to day basis?”
That led to the idea of having an open house, which led in turn to the thinking about how different community and cultural groups use the library.
“Then we thought, why don’t we have it in conjunction with cultural days so that we can allow those members of our community to demonstrate the ways that they use the library and things that might be interesting about their culture,” said Kline.
Putting the two together, Kline said, they decided to have an open house week from Sept. 23 to 27 and run it into B.C. Culture Days, which is the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of that week.
Since the library is closed on the Sunday, they will be missing the final day of the annual cultural event, which is a Canada-wide movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of all Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.
“We have put some cultural events into Friday and Saturday in the schedule of events and we have put other things in during the week that will hopefully invite people to come in,” said Kline.
Throughout the open house, Kline is hoping people come in and ask questions about library functions, like how book requests and shipping are handled though the Okanagan Regional Library system, but she is also hoping people drop by to observe the local functions.
“All our programs are starting that week as well, so we are inviting people from the community to come and sit in for five minutes, 15 minutes or whatever to a preschool story time, a toddler time, a baby time,” said Kline.
Also on the schedule for the open house is a display of playwright and author George Ryga.
“We have fairly good collection of Ryga’s works, so during that week, we will have a display of all Ryga’s stuff and some memorabilia from the museum,” said Kline. “Dick Clements is going to come on the 23rd in the evening and read from one of Ryga’s plays.”
Clements’ reading isn’t the only author event planned for the week. On Friday, as part of cultural days, First Nations author Frank Busch will be visiting to read from his novel, Grey Eyes.
“We have a Japanese Tea ceremony happening on Friday afternoon, we have a potter’s demonstration happening in the morning, and Saturday is pretty full as well. The book club we hold here monthly will be discussing Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese.
But the crowning finale to the week, Kline said, is a Saturday afternoon event by the Friends of the Summerland Library, who are presenting their 10-10-10 event, which is 10 authors, 10 minutes each, check out 10 great books.
“They have a combination of writers and poets and hopefully some musicians that are going to be here Saturday afternoon for a couple of hours, making presentations.” said Kline. “That kind of caps it off. It is going to be a busy week.”