Literacy, Art and Legacy At Leduc Public Library

The new Leduc Public Library opened its doors in early February.

Harp

by Dominique Vrolyk

The new Leduc Public Library opened its doors in early February, but Friday, April 10 saw a celebration welcoming officials and regional families to celebrate the Grand Opening of a wonderful facility.

The entrance is grandiose, resembling an open book. City of Leduc Councilor and Deputy Mayor Bob Young was quick to herald members of the Library Committee who planned and designed the spacious, colorful and comfy surroundings that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

The 10 am start of the day saw more than 200 preschoolers and their parents line up to enter the spacious Library, to participate in the Kids’ Carnival, enthusiastically planned by Emily Richard, the dynamic Library’s Youth Program Coordinator. Nine stations offered games, popcorn, lemonade and face painting. Library staff and volunteers wore bright blue T-shirts, with smart sayings on the back such as, “I have always imagined that Paradise would be a kind of library”, by Jorge Borges.

A colorful, well-designed brochure promoted many of the Library’s Spring Programs, such as Pajama Story Time, Family Movie Nights (next one is Mulan set for May 6), Scavenger Hunt and other fun events for Tweens and Teens, and various adult programs such as ESL (English as a Second Language), Meditation  and Composting classes and movie nights. (Check out www.leduclibrary.ca).

Members of the newly re-branded Leduc Ambassadors were also on hand to greet visitors and dish out celebratory cake and hot refreshments. Steve Stamhuis and wife Wendi Weir were among the many visitors visibly awed by the look of the new library. “We joined the library when we moved to Leduc in the fall of 2013. I can’t say enough about the benefits of reading to young children, and I can’t wait to take our younger grand-kids here to enjoy this fabulous library”, shared Wendi.

Jean Carruthers is long-time City of Leduc resident and a Library member since 1979. She was happy to declare, “This is marvelous! It is much more than I expected.” The afternoon offered a fun and well-attended performance by Mary Lambert, a Leduc County resident, songstress and storyteller. An entire wall is dedicated to local artists and it is rumored that soon Library visitors will enjoy an exhibit by the Leduc Seniors Art Club. (Stay tuned, or check the library website).

Honouring a long-time Leduc community supporter, Library board member and avid gardener, the Florence Lede Patio will soon receive its comfy outdoor furniture and later some plants and flower pots. The view will be the Civic Pond, with its fountain, duck families and new landscaping. This is a unique feature among Canadian libraries.

Carla Frybort is the dedicated, congenial library director, obviously proud of all aspects of the new library, which she had a hand in planning. She points out the colorful and large mural created by local artist Amy Kraus, who also painted the jungle mural in the old library. She also proudly mentions the Library’s meeting rooms geared towards community groups of 15 to 70.

Several computer stations, library catalog computers and Hoopla, a revolutionary digital service providing thousands of movies, full music albums, and E-books, are accessible with the help of knowledgeable library staff.

The evening also offered a delightful performance by Edmonton harpist Elise Neeland and her gold-plated, 47-string Lyon & Healy Chicago-built instrument. A small crowd of appreciative music lovers took in every precious moment of her spirited performance.

The Leduc Public Library Grand Opening soirée was launched with dynamic speeches by Leduc County Mayor John Whaley, Library Board Chair David Marriott and Leduc Deputy Mayor Bob Young, who shared, “From the early planning stages, our City of Leduc Mayor Greg Krishke insisted that there had to be a wow factor. I think we’ve accomplished that!”  This is definitely a new feather in Leduc’s ‘regional cap’, one that City and County residents are welcome to come discover and enjoy.

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