PASSIONATE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY!

PENHOLD & DISTRICT LIBRARY, ALBERTA, CANADA

In Penhold, Alberta, the library expanded its logo to includes the phrase “passionate about community.” Having to be shut down during the COVID-19 Pandemic has been really hard for both the library and the community.

During the Pandemic, Library staff decided they would start doing some outdoor activities so that patrons would be able to gather, but still be able to follow the pandemic restrictions put in place by the provincial health ministry.  In March 2021, the library hosted a “Snowbank Stories” storytime for children and families, and a “Walk and Talk and Sip and Snack” program, which consisted of a traveling coffee break, where librarians and community members meet at the library and walked to the local bakery cafe for tea or coffee to-go, and then walked back to the library.

The library is still just getting started with this new outdoor adventure, but they’ve already seen some faces that they haven’t seen since COVID-19 shut-downs happened last fall. The library is, through these outdoor programs, giving people a chance to greet their neighbours, get out, and get a little exercise. In Alberta, even in March, the sidewalks can be slippery. Some of the library’s older patrons feel safer walking outside when they walk as part of a group, as in the Walk and Talk library program.  The library’s little patrons love just being outside and having the storytime experience that they’ve missed during COVID-19.

The library has also included a StoryWalk(r) as part of its outdoor storytime. Everyone had so much fun walking, dancing, marching, skipping, rolling and thinking up all sorts of other new ways to move from page to page of the book!  Everyone was tired out by the time they got to the end of the StoryWalk(R) book!

The Penhold & District Library is part of the Parkland Regional Library System.

Learn More

Lessons learned: Turn lemons into lemonade by taking programs outside.

Safety first! Even during icy times you can take your programming outside. In fact, a library walking program may encourage those considered with safety to venture outdoors because they are part of a group.

Fun, reading, and outdoor activities can all come together in StoryWalk(R) and outdoor storytime programming. These are great ideas for good times and bad!

Having a safe route for walking programs is key. Having a clear destination makes the program seem safe, approachable, and fun!

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