GPPL: Libraries – Building Bridges and Breaking Down Barriers

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In the 2018 movie The audience, there was a quote about libraries that said, “Libraries are the last bastion of democracy. I had no idea what that meant until it was explained to me during a training. Libraries are not only essential, as we have understood in recent years, but they are the only place where there is real equity between people.

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During the pandemic, it has come to light that we all need help in one way or another at some point. Perhaps a person has lost their job and cannot afford the need for the internet to look for a new one. A new mother feels isolated from her estranged family and friends. An elderly man doesn’t know how to use fast-paced technology. Teens want a safe, warm place to read or study or just connect. Not to mention the countless others financially impacted by the pandemic itself, creating a need in the community for basics like food and clothing. Libraries can be a resource for all of this, offering an empathetic approach to the community as a whole, not just limited to whether you are a member or not.

Libraries are a place of opportunity. So that anyone of any identity can freely enter and access book resources, the Internet, computers and more. Libraries are there for all ages, genders, races and peoples. It’s not just about what we have, it’s about what we do. Libraries are meant to be a place of belonging for all, bringing people together with various services, programs, materials and more. Through the library service plan, we want to identify the varied needs of our community and find ways to meet those needs. My friends, we are so much more than a stagnant building full of old books. We are the heart of the community, reaching out to everyone in said community to listen and help in any way we can.

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We are relevant. We are here. And we want to help.

Whether it’s helping with resume building and job hunting with our career coaching, welcoming you to Canada with our Conversational English Club program, feeding a hungry person with our Little Free Pantry, from bringing her comfort and warmth with items from our Warming Wall, or just offering a suggestion on a great book, know that the Grande Prairie Public Library has you covered.

For more information on these programs and services, please contact the Grande Prairie Public Library at 780-532-3580 or visit our website at www.gppl.ab.ca

Brandie Nellis/Grande Prairie Public Library Customer Service Staff

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