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Irricana Library receives funding boost

A $20,000 donation from the Irricana Lions Club will allow the Irricana and Rural Municipal Library to make much-needed upgrades to its public-use computers and provide clients with free memberships, while continuing to grow its programming.
Donation plans
A $20,000 donation from the Irricana Lions Club will be put to good use by the Irricana Library, which will upgrade its computers, provide free memberships and support various free activities and programs as a result.

A $20,000 donation from the Irricana Lions Club will allow the Irricana and Rural Municipal Library to make much-needed upgrades to its public-use computers and provide clients with free memberships, while continuing to grow its programming. “It’s been quite a while since we updated our computers,” said Library Manager Papari Borthakur. “Ours is a very small library, and to get $20,000 was a big deal for our library.” Beginning in September, Borthakur said, the library was able to offer free memberships to users. Previously, memberships cost $15 per year. The library welcomed 9,635 users through its doors in 2017, and an additional 3,745 people accessed the facility virtually through its website, according to Borthakur. Last year, the library offered 286 programs for visitors of all ages, with 2,696 participants. “We continue to grow. We are more than just books,” Borthakur said. “Our staff make important referrals to our partners, such as for resumé writing to Rocky View Employment agencies and so on. “After seeing the large-print books in our collection, a patron who is losing her eyesight commented to one of our staff, ‘These are my kind of books, with the big print,’ and she borrowed three books immediately.” In addition to these services, Borthakur said, the library hosts special events including the Fall Fair, Halloween night, Santa's visit during Christmas and the Festival of Trees. “We have partnered with the Town of Irricana to participate in events such as the Easter Egg Hunt [and] Canada Day celebrations, the Irricana and District Agricultural Society for Christmas on Main – where we had a free toys giveaway, courtesy of North Rocky View Community Links (NRVCL) – and the Irricana Lions Club for different fundraising events,” she said. To help promote the many programs and events the organization offers, Borthakur said she has focused on getting the word out via social media and by having the Town include the library’s brochures in a mailout to residents. “If I’m having an event here, I also let the Beiseker library know because that way, we can combine and do stuff together,” she said. The library provides residents of Irricana and area with “one-stop access to family health services, resources, learning opportunities, counselling services, community connections and entertainment,” Borthakur said, through its partnerships with agencies including NRVCL, Rocky View Employment Services and Alberta Health Services. “These types of services and programs are the foundation to creating, strong, empowered, sustainable and resilient communities,” she said. “Community members get to access the services and programs they need, right in their own backyard.” More information about the Irricana Library is available on its website.

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