October is Ontario Public Library Month and Oct. 20 – 26 is Ontario Public Library week the time frame during which most busy libraries host celebrations.

This is an annual event since 1985. The theme is A Visit Will Get You Thinking. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s website announces the theme with the following comments:

A strong library system is the cornerstone of a strong community. Ontario Public Library Week recognizes the important contribution Ontario’s public libraries make to education, literacy and life-long learning in Ontario Communities. With more than 1,134 service points (they mean libraries) throughout Ontario, public libraries’ patrons make over 72 million in person visits to local libraries across Ontario annually, as well as over 108 million electronic visits and over 19 million social media visits. Also every library branch in the province provides access to electronic information through the internet.

During the month of October consider a visit to one of our branches, pick up a copy of our newsletter and your free library card if you are not already in possession of one. If you have not visited a branch in a while it is easy to renew your membership and because there is always something new happening at the library, it may have changed since last you were in. If it’s books you are looking for, we have a steady infusion of new titles, both in print and digitally. The last few years we have greatly enhanced our DVD holdings, seasons of series such as Game of Thrones, Call the Midwife or Longmire are especially popular. If you’re wondering if we have a series you have been wanting to catch up on you can check our catalogue from home or in person or just give us a call. Our collection moves constantly between our branches – never think just what you see in one branch is all you get – there are five other branches to draw from.

The library offers ongoing programs in the form of conversational French, scrabble, bridge, book clubs, discussion groups and all are free of course. There is also an ever-changing list of one-off programs, author readings and instructional sessions. Our technical staff offer one on one tutorials and workshops on all aspects of computer technology including tablets and cell phones.

For children the library offers early literacy programming, STEAM learning (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), story times and visiting authors and illustrators. After every program your child can load up with as many books as you can carry and read to them before the next visit.

I said earlier you are not limited in your selections by the books on our shelves in the branch you frequent. Through PEC library you can access books from all over Ontario. Through ILLO (inter library Loan) you can borrow a book from any library in the province. Combined with our free and always available Wifi means your library card is a pretty powerful possession.

During Ontario Public Library month visit a branch- that visit will get you thinking.

-Barbara Sweet