Despite shifting media, the local library is as popular as ever with people looking for free events, a sense of community... and Halloween fun.
"We really try to develop a space that's community oriented, a place people come for social interaction," said Susan Pierce, librarian for Parksville and a number of north Island branches including Port Hardy, Sointula and Woss.
And while books are still the spine of the library, they offer media in all the latest technologies plus more and more programs and events that bring people together.
"We couldn't exist without the customers," she said, highlighting their customer appreciation day last Friday, with snacks and refreshments for the public.
The Parksville library has a long list of free ongoing, usually drop-in, weekly events, like Babytime, Fridays from 10:30-11 a.m. which introduces parents and babies to music, rhymes, lap play and more.
They have similar regular events for children of various ages including Preschool Storytime and Lego Club, Fridays following Babytime, a chance for children to socialize and learn to build and play together.
"I'm trying to find programming that engages the community, to keep the library relevant and accessible," said Pierce, who has a background in teaching, "and the community has been very responsive."
They also host holiday themed events, including a special free matinee screening of Tim Burton's classic Nightmare Before Christmas at 2 p.m., this Saturday. Halloween costumes are encouraged, Pierce said, adding the film is rated PG13 and they leave it up to parents who know if their children would enjoy the spooky animated fun.
"People might as well get more use out of their costumes," she said of that and their Halloween Storytime 10:30-11 a.m., the following Friday, Oct. 31 where costumes and fun will again be encouraged.
For adults the library also offers some serious content this week with the first in a monthly series of health talks by local natural health consultant Lisa Leger.
Called 'A Sensible Look at Natural Medicine,' Leger will explore health and wellness by reviewing the benefits of nutrition, supplementation and natural remedies, starting today (Oct. 21), from 1:30-2:30 p.m.
The series will continue monthly on subjects for seniors and adults, focused on the growing interest in natural remedies and areas outside the usual doctor's domain, Pierce said.
Then on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. they host another reading, this month featuring local author and retired nurse, Hazel J. Magnussen.
She will read from her new book The Moral Work of Nursing: Asking and Living with the Questions, followed by a discussion on the changes in health care.
Most of the ongoing events wind down over the holidays, for more information and up to date schedules visit http://virl.bc.ca/branches/parksville, call 250-248-3841, or stop by your nearest library.