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Burnaby Public Library finishes last outreach project of 2016

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Librarian Kelsey Jang and community recreational leader Laura Meehan staff the pop-up library at Wesburn Community Centre. Photo by Clare Hennig
Librarian Kelsey Jang and community recreational leader Laura Meehan staff the pop-up library at Wesburn Community Centre. Photo by Clare Hennig

Reported by Clare Hennig

The Burnaby Public Library set out to do 60 community outreach events this year for their 60th anniversary – they ended up doing nearly 80, the last of which was a ‘pop-up’ library at Wesburn Community Centre yesterday.

Kelsey Jang, a community outreach librarian, said making the library’s services and resources more readily available to the public is a priority. At the pop-up library, people can borrow or browse through books without having to commute to one of the branches.

Accessibility is key

“We realize that it’s hard for people to get out into the libraries,” Jang said. ”There are a lot of people who aren’t able to get to the libraries easily from this area, especially families with young ones.”

This is the third time this year the library has partnered with Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services to host a morning of children’s activities, such as a craft table and build-your-own-playground, with the pop-up library.

Laura Meehan, a community recreational leader at Wesburn Community Centre, said the initiative is designed to bring the community together.

“It’s essentially to give people a place to come and meet each other and create a space to see what services the city has,” said Meehan.

Alda Llabani, who came with her four-year-old daughter, said she enjoys the event because it’s a chance to do something different and meet new people.

Books aren’t the only appeal of libraries

Jang said creating a feeling of community is part of the magic of libraries.

“Library services are more than just about getting books these days, it’s about being able to interact with other community members and take advantage of the things that the community has to offer,” said Jang.

Although the anniversary initiative is almost over, there are plans to continue bringing the pop-up library to Wesburn Community Centre in the new year, starting again on the last Monday of January.

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