Friday, 30 June 2017 08:00

Chinook Regional Library offers valuable services

Written by  Andrea Carol
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 Branch Manager, Andrea McCrimmon and Jordan Dewer are two of the friendly faces you will meet at the Chinook Regional Library and they love books. Branch Manager, Andrea McCrimmon and Jordan Dewer are two of the friendly faces you will meet at the Chinook Regional Library and they love books. Photo by Andrea Carol

Why do traditional paper books remain so popular in the midst of the digital and e-book age? The truth? Many people still prefer to do their reading on paper and researchers are beginning to think there is something better about paper reading.


Didn’t books begin their existence on stone tablets, cave walls, scrolls and eventually graduate to paper books? Now one can hold scads of books in light hand-held digital devices. Easy peasy right? Or is it just a handful of distractions?
There is research to support that children prefer their books in print rather than on a distracting screen and Chinook Regional Library Branch Manager, Andrea McCrimmon couldn’t agree more.
“We really encourage children to learn how to read with paper books. Screens aren’t recommended for young children to be using and to keep use to a minimum. Our emphasis is on learning to enjoy physical books and that can start as young as infants.”
Initiatives such as the Baby Steps and Romp ‘n’ Read programs improve children’s literacy at an age before they are capable of reading. These types of programs improve literacy and are extremely valuable to those learning.
McCrimmon oversees the library programming and has some help from the children’s program co-ordinator. The library is currently in the process of hiring an IT program co-ordinator to oversee the technology programming. 
“We do a wide variety of programming here at the library for everyone from infants to senior citizens,” says McCrimmon. “We do early literacy programming for children to get them excited about reading and practise their reading skills. We give them access to free books which is really important for learning how to read and improving their reading level.”
The library also offers programs to improve digital literacy for individuals in the community.
“Digital literacy is being able to use technology effectively to learn things and communicate,” McCrimmon explains.
If someone has some experience or is completely new to the digital age, the Chinook Regional Library staff will help him or her develop a fundamental understanding of computers and learn essential skills to utilize technology safely and efficiently.
“I think it’s really important for libraries to help people learn how to access technology and use technology. Digital literacy is really an essential skill that everybody needs to have to participate in our society,” points out McCrimmon. “It’s important not just for children to be learning skills but also for adults to have a place to go and ask questions.
“We strive to be a welcoming and inclusive resource in the community and it’s our goal to strengthen and lengthen life-long learning in the community. The library is the only place where many people have access to technology training.”
The Chinook Regional Library gives residents all the more reason to appreciate all the paper books that line its shelves. It gives free access to learning and literacy to people of all ages from all walks of life. There is something about reading a paper book and holding the pages that is worth making an effort to preserve it. 
There’s still plenty of life left in a good old-fashioned book and there is a cornucopia of them waiting for patrons at the library.

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