Bookmobile connects city residents to the library

·3 min read

Lethbridge Pubic Library connects readers across the city with its Bookmobile coming to local areas through its summer programming events.

On Monday through Thursday and Saturday the Bookmobile is out at parks throughout the city, alternating Fridays, teaching fun games and sing-a-longs to give families an opportunity to get out and enjoy the summer while still providing plenty of reading options to the community.

“We’re going to parks around the city this summer, in July and August. At 10:30 we are offering an outdoor program for families. There’s no real age limit, we’re singing songs, reading stories, offering crafts for about an hour. Then we offer continual programming afterwards.” Says Patrick McCullagh Bookmobile Coordinator. “Offering family literacy and activities. The goal is that families can take what they’ve learned at the program and bring it back home to their families and offer the songs or the crafts encouraging families to read stories to their kids.”

With a goal of family literacy, the Summer Programs look to give more options to Lethbridge families. Coming to neighborhoods in the summer without detours, being present and sparking opportunities. McCullagh says there is a lot of families coming out to participate in the programming, with lots returning weekly. With the COVID pandemic affecting opportunities to use library services the increase has been enjoyed by all.

“We’re doing a lot more this year. We bought some tables for the kids to sit at. We’re doing more take home programs. Families leave with something whenever they come. Whether it be a book, or an activity sheet, or take-home crafts. We want to create an atmosphere where everyone can get excited.” Says McCullagh.

Sparking continual reading, LPL is creating fun activities like kids and adult bingo with chances to win prizes. Readers can enjoy crossing off squares for outdoor reading, getting a tan while getting lost in a page turner. Or reading a book that’s a new genre or style, such as poetry and non-fiction.

“We’re doing the TD Summer Reading Club, which is a national program sponsored by TD Bank and the Toronto Public Library. All public libraries across the Canada offer this program. Encouraging kids to continue reading through the summer. There’s take home activities like build a paper-boat or paper-dragons, there’s online activities too if they sign up. They can come visit any of the 3 branches to sign up. And it’s free to join. There’s prizes and giveaways all summer long.” Says McCullagh.

The Bookmobile is a smaller space than the libraries in the city, but instead offers comparable services that readers would find at any of the main branches. With books being less than a year and a half old, the Bookmobile is the place to go for all the latest reads too. Including a top rates collection and blockbuster DVDs, hidden gems for many to enjoy. Accommodating for families without the means to get to the libraries, instead popping up in local parks with ease and convenience.

“If you haven’t come to see us, give us a shot. We have everything you’d want in a library but in a more community focused, friendly environment. We get to know people’s names, we can offer people the program in the park, it’s a more personal experience than a larger branch.” Says McCullagh.

The Bookmobile can be found weekly around Lethbridge until the end of August at Watermark Park Mondays, Henderson Lake Tuesdays and Saturdays, Fort Whoop-Up Wednesdays, Westminster Pool Thursdays, and Coalhurst Spray Park on the 5th and 19th. For more information check out lethlib.ca/branch/bookmobile.

Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald

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