The Coronel Memorial Library at Royal Roads University

Royal Roads library opens up more to the community

Spend some time in your local public library this season

When we think of libraries, usually books, newspapers attached to sticks and silence come to mind.

But it’s important to remember the value of libraries as a place for connection, not only to information, but to the past, our community and to each other.

I was reminded of this when I read Royal Roads University library’s announcement last week that they had eliminated the charge for community borrower cards, making it free for members of the public to access their print collection. According to the university, the move was inspired by a similar decision by the University of Victoria and is part of a local movement to provide increased public access to library resources in Greater Victoria.

“Our print collection could be more used than it is, and opening it up to more people could perhaps give it more life,” says Rosie Croft, head librarian at RRU.

Croft tells me that aside from a niche collection of information on subjects the university instructs in, the library also boasts a modest collection of material from Royal Roads’ days as a military college, often of interest to local history buffs. She also recommends two recently published books on local issues that new patrons may want to take for a spin: Ferry Tales: Mobility, Place, and Time on Canada’s West Coast, by RRU’s own Prof. Phillip Vannini; and The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea, by Lissa K. Wadewitz.

For those more interested in activities, programming at West Shore branches of the Greater Victoria Public Library not only includes children’s events (such as the upcoming, already-full Christmas Storytime), but also opportunities for other members of the community to connect and learn.

For instance, the Juan de Fuca branch beside the recreation centre in Colwood plays host to a monthly meeting of West Shore writers. It’s open to writers of any genre or experience level who want to discuss the craft with fellow wordsmiths. Or if music is more your thing, the branch is again hosting local harpist Philipp Gawthrop on Dec. 14 for a free hour-long holiday concert which has seen a large turnout in years past.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to get social and give back, the library is hosting Holiday Open Houses at all its branches on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“These open houses are a time to celebrate with our patrons. We invite everybody to come in for festive treats and we’ll have a craft table set up as well,” says Alyssa Polinsky, director of communications and community development with the Greater Victoria Public Library.

The open house features a Food for Fines campaign, which makes it possible to eliminate up to $5 in overdue fines in exchange for non-perishable food donations.

Check out gvpl.ca to learn more about these and other events happening on the West Shore.

Johanna Henderson is an executive member with the West Shore Arts Council and principal with Shelter Creative Services. Find her at johanna@sheltercreative.ca.

Just Posted

Husband of slain RCMP officer ‘disgusted and disheartened’ by parole board

Killer of Const. Sarah Beckett allowed limited day parole for alcohol treatment

Driver convicted in death of Const. Sarah Beckett granted partial parole

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend an alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after fatal crash in Langford

House fire on Esquimalt First Nation sends one to hospital

The blaze began at a home in a residential neighbourhood; one person has been treated for smoke inhalation

New childcare in Langford looking for toddlers and teachers

Willowbrae Academy puts an emphasis on healthy living habits

Experts discuss sustainability and tourism in Victoria

IMPACT Sustainability Travel and Tourism Conference runs Jan. 21-23

WATCH: Celebration of Life hosted for 29 Victoria trees set to be removed

Community Trees Matter Network hosting “goodbye and thank you” for trees on Fort Street

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Trial starts for man accused of killing Winnipeg bus driver

The Winnipeg bus driver was stabbed multiple times back in 2017

Giuliani clarifies comments about Trump Tower Moscow project

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani clarifies comments he made

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Speaker brings report on allegations to B.C. legislature committee

Report describes Darryl Plecas’ suspicions about senior staff

Suspect allegedly armed with handgun robs Island gas station

Incident occurred Sunday night in Nanaimo

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

MARS seeing influx of sick, injured eagles from north part of Vancouver Island

Factors for increase in eagle cases can be anything from lead poisoning to vehicle strikes

Most Read