By Les Corbay
Summer fun and fun with books! That’s what it’s like working for the Montreal Children’s Library (henceforth known as MCL) in the summer. I have now been working for the MCL for a little above a year, and over that time I have gotten a pretty good handle on what it’s like being a children’s librarian here in Montreal. Summers working for the MCL are comprised primarily of four things: Book Club, Cabot Square, Board Games, and Community Events. I, however, have managed to toss in a few extra tid bits of amazingness just for fun.
My first major summer event was a book drive I coordinated with the CBC. The story goes, back in March my library had a flood. And, well, the CBC got wind of it and before you know it, I had 5000 books donated to me by bookstores and private donors from across Montreal. With these books, the Tyndale St. George’s Community Centre team and I were able to replenish the Community Centre’s book supply for their Early Childhood Education department and the After School Program, as well as help refill the shelves in the MCL.
Since then, I have been cataloguing like crazy and working to get the donated books on the shelves. These books also need to be ready to read for the summer Book Club. So far we have 18 children in our Book Club, and the kids have registered more than 180 books read since the Book Club started at the end of June. And because we received so many books as part of the book drive, I have been able to give away lots to the kids as prizes for just being amazing readers.
Oh, and there’s more! In collaboration with the Ville Marie borough the MCL has a summer events series which takes place in Cabot Square, near downtown Montreal. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, about 150 kids show up for a different cultural event showcasing the talents of Montreal performers. So far we have showcased: circus performers, singers, and even a paleontologist. It’s amazing watching the kids get really excited about learning how to dig up and preserve dinosaur fossils.
I have also had the pleasure of working with the Ville Marie borough with their Quartier en Movement events happening on Rue Pierce. As part of the event, I helped operate an information table, answering questions and giving out important information about the library to the community. It was a hot, but great way to spend a couple weekends enjoying the summer sun.
Oh yes, and in June, with the Release of Cars 2 3D, AMC donated 100 movie passes to my library. I was happy to share them with the Community Centre, where kids from the Tyndale Summer Camp, who are regular library patrons in their own right, and students from our reading club were able to see the movie for FREE!
Not a bad list of events and accomplishments considering we’re only half way through the summer! Still to come, I have more community information sessions, and then at the end of the summer the Little Burgundy Festival is happening and I am so excited about it! (Oh, and I forgot to mention, yours truly invited Emily U. to a BBQ in Little Burgundy at the Community Centre this summer, where she got just a taste of what it’s like to be a librarian in such an amazing community.)
Editor’s note: It’s awesome. Especially if you’re good at ducking rogue basketballs like I am.