For this month, WRAC features Whitemouth Library, located on Railway Avenue in the town of Whitemouth. The RM provides the space and the library offers free services to all residents of the municipality. Membership has also been extended to the RM of Reynolds.
In 1985, a group of residents, recognizing the need for access to books and the importance of literacy, founded the library. Since then, it has worked to keep up with the times, adjusting to the demand for recreational reading, with popular best sellers purchased on a regular basis, to the delight of their patrons.
It is not a public library, but is run by around thirty dedicated volunteers and supported by the community with donations of cash and books. Of the thirty volunteers, nine are board members. Many of the board members chair committees such as fundraising, children’s programs, and special events. Special events include author readings, crafts, and informational presentations. In June, they hold a major fundraising event.
Two recent presentations were “Square Foot Gardening” and “Birds of Manitoba.” Volunteers are now working on a program called “Art in the Library” where local artists and artisans can display a selection of their work.
The library stocks specialty books that deal with lifestyle topics such as health, nutrition, and exercise. It also owns a collection of school yearbooks and history books on the early settlers of Whitemouth and the nearby Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Along with the regular services, Whitemouth Library focuses on promoting literacy for children. To instill a love of reading, they feature a large children’s book section, interactive CD read-along program, Kids’ Day at the Library with storytelling, crafts, and an outreach program that includes reading to students at the elementary school.
For more than thirty years, this small, but mighty, library has shown a great deal of foresight and determination, and nurtured a whole lot of volunteerism and literacy.