I read online at kamloopsthisweek.com that a third library is being considered for Kamloops.
I was elated to read the news, as I was when the North Kamloops Library opened a decade ago and I fell in love with it.
I have to wonder, however, if the new library will contain any staff at all.
I’ve been a weekly patron of the North Kamloops Library for years, bringing my growing family to participate in activities, check out books and grow their love for reading.
However, I have seen many changes unfold in the last several years. The first was a switch from the incredible staff we had grown to know on a first-name basis, staff who had facilitated the children’s programming, until it was deemed any old staff member could handle the job.
Next, they did away with the children’s librarian, so the kids could no longer ask questions of someone at their own level, safe in their special section of the library.
Now, children must stand in line at the daunting main desk with all the other adults in the library.
More recently, I lugged to the counter the 30 or so books we check out each week, with a baby on my hip and the rest of my young children in tow.
The staff member regretfully informed me she is supposed to suggest I use the self-checkouts as library staff are no longer supposed to sign out my books for me.
One of the things I loved was knowing when my arms are full, someone could help with this last step before loading up to go home with our new books.
I could hear the banter from the librarian checking me out, suggesting other books my kids might like or asking if I had heard about a new program starting.
My favourite parts of what makes the library a warm and inviting place to grow my children’s knowledge have been slowly stripped away.
So, now I wonder — will the new library contain any staff at all or will patrons be expected to read the signs, bury our questions and self-check out as quickly as possible?