By Sobia Moman
After an unforeseen successful year, the Vanderhoof Public Library hopes for an even better 2022.
In-person programs resumed in the summer of 2021 with only a few meetings available in smaller groups of people. It was not until the Fall season that all of the regular programs were possible.
Along with the typical reading clubs for adults and children, a writing club was introduced for adults via zoom. Participants also had the opportunity to seek guidance from authors through club meetings. This was a surprising positive for the library and they hope to continue it virtually, as it is more cost-effective.
Brand new initiatives available at the Vanderhoof public library are adult English classes for those who need or want them.
Another fun COVID-safe program the library offered were craft kits that families or individuals could pick up and complete at home.
Community engagement for the year was closely aligned with numbers seen in 2019, which was an excellent year for the library. 2021 was much more successful than anyone was anticipating.
COVID-19 protocols for businesses call for plexiglass barriers between employees and customers, stations with hand sanitizer and increased cleaning. Adding these measures required more spending; however, no government financial support for pandemic policies was provided in 2021.
“There was a fair amount of expense involved with being able to open the doors and being offered some help would’ve been nice,” said Jennifer Barg, head librarian of Vanderhoof Public Library.
Making the most out of COVID restrictions has to continue for all businesses, including the library. The plans are to begin the new year with no in-person programming.
“We just got in-house programming and we figured out how to make it work and do it safely and then it’s pulled from under us. It’s hard because there’s a lot of people who may be lonely and they have found a little niche here at the library, it’s something that they can attend and be around people,” Barg said.
In accordance with pandemic protocols, residents who wish to join in-person programs at the library must be fully vaccinated.
The librarian would like to see more unity in the Vanderhoof library, rather than division.
“In an ideal world, next year we would be able to run full-size programs, offering more instead of less. I would also love to see programs run for people who have chosen not to be vaccinated, not to discriminate between one party versus the other. That’s been the hardest part for me, having to turn people away,” Barg said.
She understands that every business needs to do their part to alleviate rising cases of the virus regardless of her positive hopes for the new year.