South Peace News
It was a terrific few weeks for the High Prairie Municipal Library.
Not only did the library accept the Non-Profit Award from the High Prairie and Area Chamber of Commerce Oct. 20, they took home the Peace Library System’s Excellence in Public Library Programs and Services Award at the Rural Libraries Conference Sept. 27 in Grande Prairie.
The award recognizes outstanding achievement in delivering programs and services.
“I was honoured to be recognized for services, I’m proud,” says library manager Tracy Ireland. “It’s worth all the hard work.”
She credits staff for delivering the programs in an efficient and effective manner and adds it is important to provide such services.
“It’s an energetic program, it’s organized, and the kids are all learning,” says Ireland.
Peace Library System director Linda Duplessis says the local library’s programs rate very high.
She says the library’s efforts “… truly speaks to the modern library’s role as a place to gather, engage, educate, and support the local community.”
Specifically, the programs sponsored by CX Energy Services was mentioned. Wii/Colouring is held Monday, Retro Games for Kids on Tuesday, The Lego Group meets Wednesday, Kids Craft Sessions are Thursday, Movie and Popcorn are Friday, and the Kids Drop-in on Saturday.
The need for programs was alluded to by Deplessis in her speech announcing the winner.
“A few years ago, [library staff] started noticing issues in High Prairie with school-aged kids hanging around town after school and getting in trouble because they were bored waiting for their parents to get off work.”
Staff also noticed the same children and youth were not using the library as much as staff would like. Programs were developed to meet the need.
Programs were first offered two days a week, but were so popular they were expanded to five days a week.
The result was a new group of young, energetic patrons attending the library to make use of its services.
The grandmother of one child wrote supporting the library’s efforts.
“The after-school program has been a wonderful opportunity for my grandchildren to interact with other kids, make new friends, learn new things, and to have wonderful role models in their lives,” says Audrey Rouse.
“The after-school program gives me a safe, accessible, affordable, and supervised place for them to go for short period of time when they are out of school until I get off work,” she adds. “The staff are kind, caring, and knowledgeable … the time they give to the children of the community will undoubtedly have a positive impact for many years to come,” she adds.
Chamber president Barry Sharkawi also praised the library during its award presentation at the Growing Together Gala Oct. 20.
“It cannot be said too often what a fantastic job our library does. In a time when digital seems to be end-all, be-all, our library has had no problem joining the digital revolution.
“But the one thing that is talked about the most in the community, is the children’s programs,” he added.
Call the library at  523-3838 for more information.