Library branches integral part of county community spirit

Picton Gazette

Just two decades ago when this library first amalgamated the coming together was not entirely a happy place. In truth people were worried about the future of their branch. Recognizing that, in this newly formed library system, an amalgamation of the Friends groups was not imposed. The Friends of the Library, for those of you who do not know, exist to advocate, fundraise and generally support (in our case) their local branch. Last week there was an evening meeting of the Friends of the Consecon and Ameliasburgh Friends. Gisa Iannaci (their librarian) and I attended. There are some new faces, but many of those around the table were there twenty years ago. Their commitment to this library has not wavered. A good thing? Of course. It says to me that we’ve forged a partnership with the common interest of the library at heart. The conversation last week was around planning for their book sale table at the Ameliasburgh Fair Sept. 21 and 22, their purchase of a new arm chair for the branch (neighbours sitting comfortably chatting in the middle of the Ameliasburgh branch have thoroughly worn out one of the old ones) and they wanted an update on the Picton expansion project before finally turning their sites on the picnic table that needed to be replaced in Consecon. Bev Marr, one of the very active Friends, ran a different silent auction every two weeks for three months last winter in the Consecon branch. She raised enough money through her effort to replace all of the computer chairs in that branch. Bev got a round of applause. It was comfortable, friendly, productive and abundantly clear to me everyone there was proud of their branch.

Within the Ameliasburgh community the library has forged another connection and partnership. The Al Purdy A-frame on Roblin Lake sends the visiting writers in-residence to the library to donate one of their works and to connect to the community through a program of their devising. In this way the Ameliasburgh branch is acquiring a unique collection that serves as a lasting tribute to those who have had the honour to create where the poet of the people lived and worked. This weekend is your opportunity to visit the A-frame at its second annual Open House. Visit the library, park your car and then stroll up Whitney Lane to enjoy a tour of that iconic abode. This is a busy weekend in for the library. On Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00 at HatchGallery, 8 Stanley Street, Bloomfield, enjoy a unique pairing of music and art. Enjoy the musical talents of Kevin Hearn and Sarah Slean and then view the gallery opening of their art work. The tickets will be available at the door, but to avoid disappointment order your tickets ($120 each) online at All proceeds to the County of Prince Edward Public Library – Picton branch expansion project.

I read recently that the term community is outdated – that community as shared physical space, the traditional definition of community, is no longer accurate. We now share interests online that draws us together as a “community”. Your library with its six locations exists to give the geography we share definition as a community in a traditional sense. Join the library and meet your neighbours. The first Newcomers Club meets September 26th at 10:00 at the Picton library. I guarantee that you will have more fun than if you stay at home and visit an online “community”.

Barbara Sweet