Richmond Public Library’s summer reading program is going strong, with over 3,000 kids registered this year.
And new in 2021, more outdoor activities are being offered as well as online programs. Five different author events for children and writing workshops for teens are some of the upcoming offerings, says head of children and family services Kate Adams.
Library branches have re-opened on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. And special outdoor programs, including Storytimes in the Park and StoryWalks bring people together more safely.
The library also has several programs within its Exploring Ecology Through Place series designed for all ages, notes coordinator of collections and customer service delivery Wendy Jang.
New Indigenous programming includes a weekly podcast series called First Stories—Tales from Turtle Island. This pairs with a new Indigenous Resources web page, with access to internal book lists, library programs and external resources.
The Launchpad, a dedicated space at the library’s Brighouse branch, has also re-opened to the public. This area allows community members to explore and access digital technology. The library’s 3D printers are back in use, as well as other digital technologies that will be introduced over the next few months.
The library is continuing to focus on expanding spaces and seating throughout the summer, says Jang. And new learning kits are in the works, themed around STEAM subjects.
In addition, birdwatching kits launched today. Each is equipped with everything necessary to get started with birdwatching: binoculars, a lens cloth, a field guide, a pocket guide and two maps. People can borrow one of 10 kits with their library card, or place a hold online.
“During the COVID crisis, we were all reminded how important it was to slow down and re-connect with nature,” says James Casey, Fraser Estuary specialist at Birds Canada. “Seeing the safe and inclusive environment created by Richmond Library inspired us to partner with them to ensure everyone in the Richmond community has the chance to discover and explore the most important bird habitat in Western Canada, the Fraser River Delta.”
The kits were made possible by a donation from Birds Canada, supported by Wild Birds Unlimited and Vortex Optics. Additional financial support came from Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel