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LETTER: A love letter to the Squamish Library

In the times of COVID, none of us are living our best lives. The times have been tough for us all as we determine how to best play the cards we have been dealt.

In the times of COVID, none of us are living our best lives.

The times have been tough for us all as we determine how to best play the cards we have been dealt.

For many of us, our lives, work, social connections, and even our identities all look drastically different than they did just a mere eight months ago.

We are all doing the best we can to balance it all, and to redefine all of this for our families and ourselves.

We are finding different ways to participate in the meaningful activities we love so much, as well as to find new ones.

For my family, one small but big piece of this comes from reading and our local library.

Back in March when everything shut down, the library was not on my mind.

Slowly, of course, the focus became figuring out how to best support my seven-year-old’s developing literacy skills at home, and fostering his general love of books.

At that point, we looked to his teachers for support, online resources, books stores in the corridor, and of course to the Squamish Public Library.

The library, however, was closed.

Once the dust settled, I tried the online system to reserve books.

This too was a bust for us. Months later I tried to check the website which was under construction. At that point, I just gave up. The summer progressed and days were filled with outdoor fun and of course doing the best we can with the books we have.

Fast forward to the fall. School started and my newly-brandished Grade 2 son was keen again for the library. With excitement, I noted the library was open with a safety plan in action! The hours were limited, and I knew it would be tough for any of us to get there.

That is when the magic began for us! A quick phone call and I was hooked up with the incredible Take Out program! A program I had no idea even existed. I provided some information on my son’s reading abilities, interests, and book preferences and we were good to go.

That Wednesday, my vibrating second-grader jumped in the car with me, face masks in hand, to head to the outdoor pick-up table. Let me tell you, it was like Christmas! He received a bag so heavy he couldn’t even carry it. It was full of books to stoke his imagination and learn amazing things, books that made him laugh out loud, and those to encourage him to develop his literacy skills. It had comic style books and books for us to connect over and read together. I would never have picked the variety provided or found books on my own that were such a good fit.

My son’s passion for books has been fiercely reignited. I am so thankful to our library and the team of people there. They have played the hand they have been dealt and managed to find creative ways to keep us all safe and support our community.  It is one thing that this pandemic had taken away from all of us that we could now reclaim and give back to our kids and to ourselves.

Our ‘trip to the library’ looks a whole lot different now. It looks like a seven-year-old jumping ecstatically while waiting for his turn to claim a giant surprise bag full of adventure — and what grand adventures we will have.

We love you Squamish Public Library. Thank you. Sending you our BIG love.

Chandra Kipfer