Town of Ox­ford sup­ports lo­cal li­brary

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - NEWS - Ruthie Pa­triquin Ruthie Pa­triquin is Ox­ford’s com­mu­nity eco­nomic devel­op­ment of­fi­cer. She can be reached at: 902-447-2250, or via email at rpa­triquin@town.ox­ford.ns.ca

One of the im­por­tant lo­cal ser­vices sup­ported, in part, by the Town of Ox­ford is the Ox­ford branch of the Cum­ber­land Pub­lic Li­braries. And what a tremen­dous as­set to our town.

Do you have a free li­brary card? And if your an­swer is no, why not?

The easy task of tak­ing out li­brary mem­ber­ship, good for life, not only opens worlds of pos­si­bil­i­ties for you, but helps to en­sure that hun­dreds of oth­ers have ac­cess to all the li­brary ser­vices. Be­cause num­bers count: the more mem­bers a li­brary has, the more the lo­cal li­brary is used, the more ev­i­dence to show govern­ments the need for sup­port.

And provin­cial govern­ment sup­port is des­per­ately needed.

Since 2010, Cum­ber­land County’s li­braries have seen a 1.3 per cent provin­cial fund­ing in­crease, but in­fla­tion has in­creased by 12 per cent. The pub­lic li­brary ser­vice in Nova Sco­tia is not sus­tain­able with­out the provin­cial govern­ment in­creas­ing core fund­ing. Chief li­brar­ian Denise Corey can tell you more about that.

So, please get a li­brary card and if you al­ready have one, please use it. Think of what you’re help­ing to make pos­si­ble: ac­cess to books, au­dio books, e-books, DVDS, puz­zles, books by mail for those who can’t get to the li­brary, in­ter­li­brary loans (this li­brary may not have what you’re look­ing for but if it’s in any other NS li­brary, it will be or­dered for you).

And that’s just the be­gin­ning. There’s free book clubs and other adult groups, af­ter-school pro­grams for chil­dren and youth, free wifi, not to men­tion a com­mu­nity meet­ing place where you know there are peo­ple with whom you have some­thing in com­mon.

The li­brary also part­ners with other com­mu­nity groups to sup­port lo­cal ini­tia­tives such as the re­cent Po­etry at Large event.

Yes, the ben­e­fits of free li­brary mem­ber­ship go well beyond the ob­vi­ous ac­cess to free books. Li­braries play an im­por­tant role in sup­port­ing ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment and so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, all fac­tors for in­di­vid­ual and com­mu­nity health.

The free in­ter­net ser­vice, alone, has po­ten­tial for those seek­ing work to search out and ap­ply for em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as the chance to keep in touch with fam­ily and friends. Not ev­ery­one can af­ford their own in­ter­net ac­cess.

In Ox­ford, we’re for­tu­nate to have great li­brary staff: Me­gan McNutt and He­len Cole. Me­gan is the new­est ad­di­tion so I’ll take some time to in­tro­duce her.

A res­i­dent of Springhill, she has strong fam­ily ties here in Ox­ford, and is well qual­i­fied with her mas­ters of arts in English lit­er­a­ture. On May 31, she’ll be of­fer­ing a new pro­gram, An­ime Teen Night for youth in Grades 7 to 12.

On my bucket list for years was join­ing a book club and I was thrilled when Me­gan started one in Ox­ford. Books are or­dered free through the li­brary and we meet once a month on the fourth Thurs­day, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (ex­cept in July and Au­gust).

Cur­rently we’re read­ing a bi­og­ra­phy, au­to­bi­og­ra­phy or mem­oir of our choice. Con­tact the li­brary if you’re in­ter­ested in join­ing the club.

By sup­port­ing the li­brary you’re play­ing a role in main­tain­ing an im­por­tant ser­vice in Ox­ford. Let’s not take our li­brary for granted!

SUB­MIT­TED

Ox­ford li­brary’s Me­gan McNutt.

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