Kinsmen helps library

Chief Librarian, Ken Feser and Kinsmen's Local Services Director, Evan Laturnas display the donation.

During a socially distant cheque presentation at the Medicine Hat Public Library (MHPL) on May 7, the Medicine Hat Kinsmen Club’s Local Services Director, Evan Laturnas presented a cheque for $80,000 to MHPL’s Chief Librarian, Ken Feser. The remaining $79,000 donation will come in a second phase in 2021. 

“The Kinsmen Children’s Library, which opened in its current form in 1992, is one of the many facilities in our city that is supported by Kinsmen funding,” described Laturnas. 

Until just this past year with the addition of the Co-op Community Developmental Play Space, made possible by a generous donation from Federated Co-operatives Ltd., the space has largely remained unchanged since it opened in the 90’s. A walk through will reveal stained carpets, rusted shelves, and worn fixtures from almost 30-years of being well-loved and well-used by the community. 

“When we found out that we were getting a donation from Co-op to build the Play Space inside the Kinsmen Children’s Library, we started to realize that many of our furnishings and fixtures were actually quite dated. We reached out to the Kinsmen Club and submitted a proposal to revitalize the space with new carpet, paint, furniture, and shelving,” explains Feser.

Laturnas describes the decision by the Kinsmen Club to donate to the Library as an important way to enhance literacy in our community, “We knew that with the addition of the Play Space, the Library would be serving even more children than they had in the past, and their attendance numbers were already very high. We agreed as a Club that our donation would likely encourage even more families to visit the Library to not just play, but to also leave with a stack of books and the willingness to make reading a regular part of their children’s lives.”

Though the Library is temporarily closed right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Feser says they’ll be starting work in the Kinsmen Children’s Library as soon as possible.

“We are delighted to be announcing that even though we are currently closed to the public, we will return with a revitalized children’s space, one that the children of Medicine Hat truly deserve. We are so grateful to the Kinsmen Club for showing their support of our library with this donation, and for giving our community something to look forward to during these tough times,” says Feser. 

Kinsmen Home Lotto tickets are currently available for sale until Sunday, May 10 at 11:59 p.m. online at mhkinsmen.ca

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