By Miriam Ostermann, Associate Editor
Every year the Strathmore Municipal Library prides itself on offering over 350 programs – last year’s program hiatus notwithstanding – and 2018 is no exception as the year is already off to a strong start with Fun-filled February on the horizon.
Special programs this February include the return of fan-favourite Putt & Play – library mini-golf – beloved magician Christopher Cool, fan-favourite Library Olympics, and the much-anticipated Blind Date with a Book month-long event, where patrons choose from a selection of pre-wrapped books.
Unlike previous years, however, staffing limitations are resulting in the cancellation of regular programming, such as Story Time or Night Time Tales, during the weeks when the special programs occur.
“A lot of our programs are ones that we ran before, and we usually like to take the programs that we know have been highly successful and run them again because we know people love them,” said Carmen Erison, assistant director to library services at the Strathmore Municipal Library. “We heard positive reviews from our families, so we try to run them as often as we can. We’re trying to come up with some more unique programs. It’s just a matter of what do the kids love to do.”
High on that list is Minecraft Mania, which was not offered at the temporary location while Lambert Centre – the library’s current location – was undergoing construction. Owing to a grant provided by the United Way, the library was able to secure eight laptops for a laptop lab, thus bringing back the six-week in-demand Minecraft Mania program. Although the program was already competitive, being able to offer the program during library hours as opposed to after school hours, there are only eight spots available instead of the former 10 – one spot per laptop. In the past, registration only took a few minutes to fill the program, and is available at the library on Feb. 5 for children eight years and older. The library is also planning on offering Minecraft Mania for children aged six and seven for a six-week period following the Feb. 27 to April 10 program.
Now that the library is able to spread out and expand its programs in the new facility, staff is excited to bring back Putt & Play, a nine-hole mini golf round throughout the library. The course was donated by Town of Strathmore Councillor Denise Peterson, and will be accompanied by a variety of games.
This year, magician Christopher Cool will not only be returning for a free magic show but will take a couple dozen lucky kids behind the scenes and reveal some of the tricks to his trade.
However, Erison is most excited for the return of Library Olympics, which is keeping with the Olympic spirit of the games being held in PyeongChang at the same time. The library will stream the events in the program room while simultaneously offering the library’s twist on the XXIII Olympic Winter Games through games, crafts and activities for all ages.
“We get into the Olympic spirit around here and we love the Olympics,” said Erison. “We’re presenting our own indoor and warmer Olympic winter games. The idea is to work around winter sports, so you will see a variety of sports, a variety of crafts revolving around the Olympics, and in the past we’ve done things like Kleenex box snowshoes and reading obstacle courses.”
The program has attracted roughly 100 participants in the past years. The Strathmore Municipal Library is also busy wrapping books for the fourth annual Blind Date with a Book – just in time for Valentine’s Day. The initiative was widely popular last year when 71 books were signed out. The idea challenges residents to pick a book blindly without the chance to judge its cover until unwrapping it at home.
Friday Fun Film will also take place at the library on Feb. 23. Erison emphasized while most programs are free to attend, Minecraft Mania and the Secrets Revealed with Christopher Cool program registration dates are quickly approaching. The Strathmore Municipal Library is also already working towards its book sale on March 23-24 and Edible Book Day on April 7.
Fun-filled February programs for children
The library mini-golf Putt & Play program
takes place on Feb. 20 from 12 to 4 p.m. and is open to all ages. The program is free to attend and no registration is required.
Secrets Revealed with Christopher Cool
takes place on Feb. 21 from 1 to 2 p.m. The interactive magic workshop for children aged eight to 11 is limited to 25 participants, costs $5, and registration takes place at the Strathmore Municipal Library from Feb. 1-18.
Magic Show with Christopher Cool
s a free event with no registration necessary. The show runs for approximately 45 minutes on Feb. 21 from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. Doors open at 2:10 p.m.
takes place on Feb. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. There will be games, crafts and activities for all ages. The event is free to attend and no registration is required.
Friday Fun Film
will provide a PG rated movie with popcorn and drink and is free to attend without registration. The event takes place on Feb. 23 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Blind Date with a Book
returns for the whole month of February. Visit the library and pick out a pre-wrapped book to take home.
will return on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. weekly for a six-week period from Feb. 27 to April 10. Registration is on Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. Minecraft Mania is limited to eight participants. For more information visit strathmorelibrary.ca/minecraft.