Library offering services despite flood closure

Library volunteer Ruth Anderson read a story to children at last week’s farmers market. The market is held every Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Fallen Four Memorial Park. The Mayerthorpe Public Library has been offering activities for children.
Brigette Moore

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It will be several more weeks before the Mayerthorpe Public Library will be able to reopen but despite that staff are working to provide services to the community.

The library, which is located in the basement of the town administration building, suffered a flood on May 11. The entire space had to be packed up and put in storage while the building is under repair.

Gloria Wilson, the library manager, said recently the library board decided to rent a space for the staff so they could operate in one location.

“We were having a lot of trouble trying to coordinate any programming when working from home,” she said.

Until the library is able to reopen, which Wilson estimates will be in two months, the staff are operating out of the Fallen Four Memorial building. The building will not be accessible to the public but allows the library staff to offer curbside pick up for books and other resources.

Since the library’s books are all in storage, they don’t have a wide selection to offer. Recently, however, Wilson said the library has been able to bring in books from other library branches for patrons.

Residents can go online and order the books they’d like to read and have it shipped to Mayerthorpe. The library staff have been handing out the books at the weekly farmers market, which is held Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Staff also contact patrons for curbside pickup when books have arrived from other libraries.

Wilson said the library has also started a crafting program. Craft supplies needed for projects are put together in a bag and videos are posted on the library’s website guiding people through the crafts. There is no cost to patrons for the craft program.

Craft packages can be picked up at the weekly farmers market, held at the Fallen Four Memorial Park, or curbside pickup can be arranged for alternate times by calling the library.

Wilson said the library has also been holding story time during the farmers market. Last week, children were provided chalk to draw on the sidewalk and volunteers were on hand to read books to the children.

Even without a space of its own, the library is offering many programs to the community.

Another project Wilson and her staff are working on is a story walk. They are contacting local businesses to put up story pages from a book in the windows. Then families can go for a walk and read a story along the way.



When the flood happened, the library didn’t know how it was going to pay for its deductible. Funding has been tight in the recent economic times and without any way to fundraise, the library was facing a prolonged closure until enough money could be collected.

However, the community rallied and the library has collected enough donations to pay the deductible, said Wilson.

“We have a lot of support for our library and it’s wonderful,” she said.

Many of the donations were from individuals. There have also been some donations from other organizations and businesses.

Just recently, Wilson said the library received a $1,500 donation from Pembina West Co-op through its till tape program. Patrons who support the library collected their receipts from the local grocery store and then once a year the Co-op tallies the receipts and donates one per cent of the total to the library.

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