'The Library is for Everyone'

Posted on 06 October 2023 by Chris Brown.

The Medicine Hat Public Library has been part of the fabric of the city since 1915. Back then it was no more than a small reading room with a limited selection of books.

Now, more than a century later, the downtown location is a one-stop shop -- open to everyone -- for all things educational, informative and entertaining to foster lifelong learning and growth.

Asked who the library is for, chief librarian Ken Feser doesn’t hesitate.

“That's easy,” he says. “The library is for everyone!!!”

He continues.

“MHPL is a place where you can get your questions answered. It is a free spot to bring your family for entertainment and activities. It is a warm welcoming space for you if you are cold or lonely. It is a lot of important things to different people.”

The Medicine Hat Public Library is joining with libraries across the country to celebrate Canadian Library Month. This year’s theme is Libraries for Life. As well, Canadian Library Workers Day is marked on the third Friday of October. That falls on Oct. 20 this year.

The story of the Medicine Hat Public Library continues to evolve, with new pages and chapters added all the time.

“Libraries have always been an important source of information, knowledge and learning,” Feser says. “But they are also a place that brings people together, a common space in our community where everyone is welcome.”

There are of course still the traditional books, and plenty of them. But we also have them in eBook and audiobook formats. But the library now offers so much more than books.

There are electronic resources that put the world at your fingertips.

You can access materials of cultural and historical significance through Alberta Heritage Digitization Project. You can read newspapers from around the world on PressReader. You can learn the story of you and your family with Ancestry Library Edition.

There are DVDs of movies and TV series for your binge-watching needs. There are CDs from almost every genre of music imaginable. There are video games for all ages and interests.

And the programming here. Oh, the programming. If the library is open, chances are there’s a program taking place.

For the younger crowd there are weekly family storytime sessions and other events like our new Drop-in Family Day on Sundays. Activities for tweens and teens are always fresh, such as Anime Nights and the current Unity Circle program. When you’re here be sure to check out our just-opened Honeycomb House, which is becoming a popular hangout for teens.

Book clubs, Stitching in the Afternoon, Readers’ Theatre and Cats and Coffee barely begin to scratch the surface of what we have for you adults out there. And there’s also the Library of Things and our Human Library Book collection.

The library is no stranger to special events either, like September’s Multi Cultural Fair and the Banff Mountain Film Festival each winter. We also host art exhibits and live music from time to time.

Did you know we also do bookings? You can book the Co-op Community Developmental Play Space, meeting rooms and even the library theatre for your family or organization.

All of these things are free with your library card, which by the way is free thanks to generous local sponsors. 

Thanks to our cardholders and visitors past, present and future for being a part of the library community. 

Follow us on social media: @mhpubliclibrary

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