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It takes a community

The Airdrie Public Library's annual fundraising event, Adopt-a-Book, is back and will run until Dec. 15. Photo Submitted/For Rocky View Publishing

While the saying, “It takes a community to raise a child,” is unquestionably true, it could also be applied to public libraries.

It might be a surprise to learn the Airdrie Public Library (APL) is a board-run, non-profit society.

Public libraries in Alberta are a service provided by municipalities under the Libraries Act and, as in APL’s case, are governed by a board comprised of City councillors and volunteers.

Libraries are funded through the local tax base, with additional funding at the regional level and by a provincial library-operating grant.

This funding provides brick-and-mortar services and staff payroll, but everything else at APL – such as our collection of nearly 80,000 items, and all the nuts, bolts and widgets required to meet the literacy needs of our community – come from the generous support of local businesses, collaboration with other social agencies, various grants and the amazing generosity of the citizens of Airdrie.

One of the ways we see this support is through APL fundraisers, such as the annual Adopt-a-Book campaign – running Nov. 12 to Dec. 15 – which is the perfect way to blend the importance of reading with gift giving.

Last year’s event resulted in the adoption of 221 books, totalling more than $4,950.

Participants ‘adopt’ a book from our colourful display of brand-new children’s readers, board books, picture books, junior fiction, adult fiction and nonfiction.

The adopter’s name, the name of someone they wish to honour or a special dedication is placed on a name plate in the book, and the adopter can be the first to sign it out when the book becomes available for pick up. And, because the books you adopt become part of APL’s collection, they literally become the gift that keeps on giving, reader after reader.

So, it really does take a community to raise a library.

This year’s Adopt-a-Book runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 15.

For more information on any of APL’s programs and services, visit, call 403-948-0600 or drop by to get your free library card.