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Revisit the library — you’ll be surprised

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A local library is a great thing to have and we are lucky to have a fine one here in River Heights.


Library lovers must have had a few pangs of withdrawal this past summer as our library was closed for a few weeks for some essential building repairs. But things are back to normal now at 1520 Corydon Ave.


This library was purpose built by the City of Winnipeg back in 1961 on land purchased from the Winnipeg School Board. It was a permanent replacement for the travelling bookmobile that used to stop at Corydon Avenue and Waterloo Streets and by all reports was very heavily used.


But what of our present facility? Are physical libraries still valid today in this age of instant internet access and Wikipedia ?


Well a lot of people must think so, as the River Heights branch lends 315,000 items annually, which is over 1,200 per business day.


Some people just like the feel and texture of a book in their hands. But there’s far more to our libraries than just books.


Library membership is, of course, free to all Winnipeg residents and at our branch, like most others, you’ll find not just books, but magazines, current newspapers both local and international, music and video on CD, DVD and Blu-ray and audio books and cassettes.


I find our library website to be an excellent resource, not just for renewing material but also for searching and requesting materials, which will then be delivered by the library to your local branch and you’ll be informed either by automated phone call or e-mail that it’s ready for you and awaiting pick up.


Did you know that the library has book club kits ? Ten copies of each book complete with discussion guide, reading list suggestions and tips for running your club. These kits can be borrowed for 60 days by one person for all book club members to read.


Are you an e-book reader ? Did you know that you can borrow e-books and download them to your device at no cost ? As a Winnipeg public library member you are entitled to do this and their list of available e-books is growing daily. Music can also be downloaded free of charge with a service offered by Freegal in conjunction with the library.


Our River Heights library has a dedicated children’s section in the basement level and offers many programs for children throughout the year.  


Also in the basement is a meeting room with seating for 60 people. This room is available for the public to rent at a small nominal charge, which may even be waived if you’re a non-profit organization.


Need to dispose of old batteries or even old cell phones ? The library now offers a re-cycling facility where you can drop them off.


Remember there’s more to our library than just books. Remember also that the River Heights branch is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.


Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights. You can contact him via email at smitht@mymts.net.

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