The Trail and District Public Library is offering a plethora of programs to kick off a more hopeful and healthier new year.
The library, located in the Riverfront Centre, is rolling out a variety of virtual programs for members this month: from the traditional and not-so traditional book clubs to innovative comic creators, online study halls, cooking classes, and creative craft programs.
Library programmers Donna Tremblay and Patricia Byers created and implemented the online line up, adapting to the virtual world with creativity and technical agility in response to the new normal.
“They have done a wonderful job putting together virtual programming for us,” said library director Samantha Murphy. “Obviously with our new environment we are unable to continue our in-person programming right now.
“Essentially Patricia has her expertise and Donna has hers, and that’s what the girls come up with.”
The mix of programs range from educational to entertaining, and are geared toward virtual social interaction and support.
School Aged programs include Online Study Hall, Home School Group, Kootenay Teen Book Club, the crafty Gifts from the Heart, the GET (Girls Empowered Together) Club, Mother and Daughter Book Club, Creating Comics, Back to Basics in the Kitchen, and the Library Realms for ages 8-12.
“We have limitations of what you can do online, so we have also put a lot of story-type programming on our you-tube and Facebook pages that you can check out,” said Murphy. “We’ve also been using our green screen and our digitization station for that.”
Library programmers scan the book or photos onto the digitization station so online users can see the images while it’s being narrated. The process is especially effective during Sweet Dreams Storytime or the Mother Goose Song and Rhyme Time for preschoolers.
“Staff are really creative and we’re lucky that we have in the first group what the instructors are really interested in, so we’re able to put out a variety of programs.”
Adult members can also log onto Study Hall Online, Gifts from the Heart, Creative Comics, Back to Basics in the Kitchen, and Mother and Daughter Book Club.
There is also an interactive Read Local Book Club, a Riverside Readers Book Club, and a Learning from Indigenous Authors book club. Authors often attend the virtual meeting, and this month Roz Nay will lead the discussion of her book “Hurry Home” in the Read Local Book Club online on Jan. 26.
The library also offers technical assistance with their Tech Coaching program that helps patrons access library resources online, download material, and enhance their ability to find information.
The move to full virtual programming is uncharted territory for the Trail library.
While the pandemic brought its share of challenges, staff has adapted and are able to provide virtual services as well as accomodate up to 10 people at a time at their location – with masks mandatory and social distancing required.
“We were lucky because we have a large facility, we were able to keep hosting our in-person programs for some time, but this will be the first quarter we’ll be doing [programs] strictly online,” added Murphy.
“Isolation is a huge thing and if people can still interact with each other online it’s still a blessing.”
The opportunity to access these programs and others is available to Trail and Warfield residents, who can go online and sign up for a library card.
The card and programs are free. Start dates vary, but information can be found at traillibrary.com.
The library offers access to a variety of mediums including books, ebooks, DVDs, games, periodicals, puzzles, and computers. Staff also delivers to those who can’t get to the library and provides curb-side pickup.