NANOOSE BAY — The small community of Nanoose Bay has a long history of volunteer-run libraries.
It all started way back in the 1930s when Mrs. Fred Oman decided that she would provide a ‘Bookmobile’ library service for her neighbours. This she ran from her home, the Oman Store and Post Office until 1951 when the VIRL (Vancouver Island Regional Library) included Nanoose as part of their mobile library run.
It was more than 20 years before Nanoose Bay would acquire its very own library. It was only when Gordon Greene decided he wanted to donate his entire collection of over 1,000 books to the community that a group of insightful and interested senior citizens, with the help of a New Horizons grant, found and rented the log cabin which, to this day, houses the Nanoose Bay Library Centre. It officially opened its doors to the community on Sept. 27, 1974.
Soon after, it was agreed that the property should be purchased and then enlarged with the addition of a new hall to provide a permanent community resource. The founding seniors joined with other residents to form The Friends of Nanoose Library Centre Society. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Edmonds generously decided to transfer the ownership of their property for about half its actual value.
As a registered charity it is managed by a volunteer board assisted by trustees. In addition there is a dedicated group of fundraisers who hold at least five major events each year. These include the annual Giant Book Sale, the Spring Flea Market, a summer Salmon BBQ which is co-hosted by the Island Clan ‘Shriner Hillbillies’, the Fall Book Sale and at the end of each year, a traditional Christmas bazaar.
Today, libraries are competing in a technological world. As a result, the question frequently asked is what the future holds for libraries?
Libraries have the potential to play a continuing and vital role in their communities. Among the factors that will help Nanoose Library to maintain its place in the community, is the maintenance of a warm, safe environment, the provision of a comprehensive range of books and well-organized systems that assist the users and, of course, knowledgeable librarians.
Sandra Dutton, the librarian co-ordinator, said the Nanoose Library Centre is much more than just a library, but a perfect meeting room as well. If anyone is interested in renting the hall contact is Stormy Sweet at 250-240-7202.
For those in Nanoose Bay who value their local library Sandra said there are three ways in which they can offer support: become a member of The Friends of Nanoose Library Centre; come in, visit the library and borrow books from the well-stocked shelves, and; volunteer a few hours of time. New team members are also sought by the fundraisers to help with the annual events.
The Nanoose Bay Library welcomes donations of books for the upcoming Giant Book Sale on Sat., March 24 together with Talking Books (CDs only) and DVDs for their collection.
The library is open afternoons Tuesday to Saturday between 1 and 4 p.m.
It is also open on Thursday and Friday mornings between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The Library Centre can easily be found in the quaint log cabin at 2489 Nanoose Road, V9P 9E6 (the corner of Nanoose and Northwest Bay Roads in the Red Gap area) 250-468-9977
For more information please contact Sandra Dutton (250-821-3685, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ) or Jill Davies (250-468-0296 or e-mail email@example.com).
— Submitted by the Nanoose Bay Library