It was a day for celebratory take-home tea and ginger snap cookies … and plenty of memories.
The Maple Creek branch of Chinook Regional Library reached a special milestone on Wednesday, November 24: it turned 50.
Through the day, a slideshow highlighted some key events, people and moments in the library’s history.
There were photographs of John Humphries, long-serving chairman of the Maple Creek Library Board and founding member of Chinook Regional Library Board, and a black-and-white picture of the town’s old community library in the former Saskatchewan Government Telephones building on Maple Street.
There were also reminders of more recent events: a Summer Reading Club rocket launch during the 2017 wind-up party at the Jasper Centre yard; a 2019 Jeopardy Night fundraiser at the Jasper Centre; and a “Bees and Butterflies” presentation by Peggy Needham at the library on June 11, 2019.
For librarian Violet Wong, one of the most memorable occasions was a “Meet Lawrence Hill” evening at the Senior Centre on April 5, 2017. It took place little over six months after she started her new job and was attended by about 70 people.
The award-winning author of “The Illegal and “The Book of Negroes”, who stopped in Maple Creek after doing a presentation at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, gave a reading, answered questions, and signed a few books.
Hill’s relationship with Saskatchewan goes back a long way: he worked as a train operator in Gull Lake and taught at the Sage Hill Writing Experience near Lumsden.
When the News-Times visited the library last Wednesday, volunteers Ida Miller and Kathy Carter were busy creating decorative holders for each Howard’s Bakery cookie and bag of herbal tea.
One of those who came by to wish the library a happy anniversary was Margaret Larson.
She finds libraries fascinating, as well as very social, places.
““Interlibrary loans open the world to you,” she said.
Chinook Regional Library has provided public library service to Southwest Saskatchewan since 1971 through its branch libraries and corner libraries.