New library opens in Skidegate

  • Nov. 9, 2007 12:00 p.m.

The Skidegate Band Council has opened a new children’s library in the middle of the village, in the same building as the nursery school. Education coordinator Janna Wilson said the library held its official opening Nov. 3, at a well-attended celebration which included storytelling by Charlie Mack. The facility is called the Kuugin King Naay Children’s Library, which means “looking at books house”, Ms Wilson said. It has about 400 books, aimed to appeal to everyone from babies to teenagers, as well as reference books and three computers. Ms Wilson said the library started out by focusing on aboriginal books, and it pretty much has every aboriginal children’s book available. It’s now collecting a broad range of children’s books. Ms Wilson said she wrote to almost every Canadian publisher over the summer asking for donations to the library, and they responded generously, sending boxes of books to Skidegate. Some community members donated as well, as did the Vancouver Island Regional Library in Queen Charlotte. Getting the library up and running was a long process with many people and organizations helping, Ms Wilson said, including Literacy Haida Gwaii, the Haida Education Council, Skidegate Head Start and the Skidegate Band Council, as well as librarian Barbara Mack. So far, the library’s young clients have been most excited about getting their cards, which allow them to borrow books. “The kids are just thrilled,” Ms Wilson said. “They get their own library cards.” All islanders are welcome to use Kuugin King Naay. At the moment, the library is open on Tuesdays from 3 to 5 pm, Fridays from 10 am til noon, and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm. Ms Wilson said this is a temporary schedule; parents are being surveyed about which hours would work best for them and the library will announce a permanent schedule after that.