Stettler visitor finds comforts of home at library

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Hello to Stettler and area residents. I’m glad to meet you. This is my first column as the library manager at the Stettler Public Library. My name is Mary Zazelenchuk. I’m westernborn (Saskatchewan), Maritime-raised (New Brunswick) and drove across this fair country of ours (from Nova Scotia) to live here in Alberta. You’ll be seeing a lot more of me in the coming months.

On my first day at the library, Deb Cryderman asked me for a secret to divulge to the staff. At the time, I couldn’t think of one, but later at the roller derby game (yes, roller derby!) that we both attended, it came to me. The library has always been a welcoming space and a place of refuge. It was never more so for me than the year that I was nine, when I decided that I hated ballet lessons.

For two months, instead of going to the school gym, I spent the time from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays more productively — in the periodical room of the Ross Memorial Library reading Harlequin Romances.

Needless to say, I ended up with a lot of misguided notions about romance.

Although there’s no back room at the Stettler Public Library, it is just the kind of place to escape your troubles, to experience the joy of reading, and to participate in community activities. During my first week, I’ve had the chance to see a Mango Languages learning session, witness the fun sing-along and activity time that is Read and Rhyme, and observe the games, crafts, and stories of Something Cool After School.

I was blown away by the interest in One Book, One Stettler and am looking forward to borrowing some of the library’s excellent DVDs for the long winter. The staff members are friendly, engaged, helpful, and a great resource for patrons. Come and ask them some questions! I’ve asked a lot of questions myself this week and have received some excellent answers. Also, I now know where the grocery store is.

We’ve got some fantastic Halloween activities planned for Oct. 29, including the uber-disgusting Fear Factor Feed Off and some scary stories for all age groups. Also coming up in mid-November is the annual giant book sale, organized by the Friends of the Library. We’re seeking volunteers to help with setup, with the sale itself, and with teardown. If you would like to volunteer or to donate items, contact us at 403-742-2292.

We’ll be running Food for Fines throughout the month of October in honour of Canadian Library Month, so come on in with a food item to receive credit for your fines.

A quick reminder, too, that the library will be closed on Monday for Thanksgiving. We all wish you a joyous holiday.

Now that you know my deepest, darkest secret, I hope that you’ll still want to drop by and say hello. Kudos to Deb for the wonderful job she’s done in making the library so much the centre of the community. I have a feeling my next big romance will be with the town of Stettler.

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