Holiday Greetings from the Chief

Ken Feser, MHPL's Chief Librarian reflects on the year that was 2021 and looks ahead to what 2022 holds for us here at the Medicine Hat Public Library.
Posted on 22 December 2021 by Ken.

It’s December and it feels like the Library is on the cusp of change.  December is always a time of ending and renewal; it’s when we enter the dead of winter and also when the sun first begins to return.  One year passes and another begins.  You get the idea.

We, and our community, have seen a lot of endings this year.  COVID persisted, and the worst of it came at a point when we hoped it was on the way out.  So much of what we love in the library isn’t possible right now.  We build community by bringing people together, but it’s been hard to do that in the physical sense.  And our library shared the grief that so many people have endured when our Board Chair, Rick Redmond, passed away suddenly.

But let’s remember the promise of renewal.  I’m hopeful that restrictions on library programs will be eased soon, and we can connect in a safe manner.  Our library has been substantially renovated in the last few months, and we’ll be doing more to modernize the space.  A Quick Picks collection area is being built that will allow you to pop in and grab items in a pleasant bookstore environment.  

We are planning a big expansion to our popular cohort bookings.  You can already book our Play Space and Theatre for a private session with your kids; the number of spots is going to grow and we’re adding Lego and Big Blocks to the mix.  We also have an awesome new resource coming soon - giant dinosaur bone building blocks.  Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates.

There is a new city council and we’re getting a lot of new Board members in January.  It feels like a new wind in our sails.  The new council seems very interested in community building and social programs.  I don’t expect the money tree to grow any bigger but I feel the moral support that will allow us to adjust and grow into our new environment.  New Board members will bring excitement and engagement and fresh ideas.  Call me an optimist, but I feel like spring is not too far off.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours. 

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