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Plenty of programs up and running at the local library

Mary C. Moore Public Library is marking 15 years of service
This month marks the 15th anniversary of the opening of Lacombe’s Mary C. Moore Public Library. Mark Weber/Lacombe Express

Things are hopping at the Mary C. Moore Public Library with a range of programs up and running.

“We have programs running five days a week for families, home-schoolers and the public at large,” said Executive Director Christina Petrisor, adding that altogether, the Library now has four programmers on staff.

“On the first Tuesday of the month, our book club is very well-attended - and it’s been running for 15 years now. They generally meet in our Read and Relax area, but even during COVID, they kept meeting which was really amazing. They would meet in campgrounds around fires!”

There are of course lots of art classes and craft programs running on a continual basis, she said, adding that there is also plenty for children to take part in - much of it under the direction of ‘Miss Mary’ (Mary Poole).

“She is absolutely amazing. On an annual basis, (and when not affected by COVID), she serves more than 8,000 kids in that little room over there,” she explained. “Everyone just loves her.”

Petrisor said the Library, which boasts a collection of 62,000 items, also runs an independent movie program on the third Wednesday of the month in partnership with Lacombe City Cinemas.

“We are also hosting memoir writing classes in the Library,” she said. “It’s just really a hub of activity.

“The programs are so fun - when you leave, you are thinking, ‘I had a fun night out!’”

Visitors can also bring snacks into the Library, except for the computer area.

“Come in and think of us as your stop - if you want to have a lunch break, we have windows along the front there that overlook the Lest We Forget Park.”

And gone are the days when you had to stay virtually silent as you explored the shelves of books.

Chatting is welcome (there is a ‘quiet room’) and the Library staff team is also very good at recommending good literary options, too, she added.

The over-arching goal is to be inclusive and welcoming to anyone who wants to visit and see what the Library has to offer.

In the meantime, staff are marking 15 years this month since the Library, which covers 10,000 sq. ft., first opened.

And they are prepping for further expansion come the start of 2023.

“We are taking over the Kinsmen Room on the second floor of the LMC - we will be leasing it starting Jan. 1. We will have the room to offer more life-long learning opportunities.”

Petrisor said that ultimately, the sky really is the limit for the new space in terms of community partnerships and collaborations. There will also be spaces for meetings, including for local organizations that might not have a current spot to gather.

And ultimately, the success of the Library certainly boils down to a strong and committed team, said Petrisor, who has found her passion as head of the library - although it wasn’t her initial intended career path. “I was going to be a lawyer. And then I got tired, and took a summer job in human resources. They put me in the library, and they kept saying to me, ‘You’re not a lawyer!’ I said, what do you mean? But I later applied to library school (in library science) and I never looked back.”

As for coming events, a huge Halloween bash is slated for Oct. 29 in the LMC’s County Room.

“I would say, come in and check it out,” she said, indicating folks who maybe haven’t dropped by in awhile. “See what is the same and see what is different.

“It’s a fun place!”

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Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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