Anticipation was in the air at the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library on Thursday morning as staff prepared to announce the final tally for the library’s year-long card campaign.
The campaign began last October with the goal of putting 5,000 free library cards into the hands of community members. The library hit that goal in August, a couple months earlier than expected.
During Thursday’s finale, library staff treated an excited audience of library patrons and elementary school students to a telethon-style reveal of the final numbers -- 6,152 library cards.
"Sometimes we forget about how important libraries are,” said Mayor Gale Katchur as she congratulated staff on their hard work.
Katchur commented that on her way into work at city hall in the mornings, she often sees people sitting in the lobby waiting for the library to open. More library users means that more people are coming downtown, she added, a change the city has been working toward.
Library board chair Renetta Peddle noted that the card campaign gave the library staff the chance to interact with community members as they spread the word about the resources and services that come with having a library card.
“We have connected with each and every school in this community. We have met with organizations like the hospital, Families First, day cares, seniors centres and community outreach programs.”
The library gives patrons access to a number of resources beyond books, including a 3D printer, a button maker, fitness equipment and musical instruments.
Library director Michele Fedyk said that both staff and the community played a part in the successful campaign.
“They really did put their heart and soul into it,” she said the dedicated library crew. “And the response from the community, it’s been overwhelming.”