General News · 26th April 2014
That tiny blue building with the discreet sign that reminds us when it is open - Fridays from 1.00 to 3.30 - is the oldest public building on Cortes Island. It was built in 1927 as the Farmers Institute Building.
The storekeepers of the day were not on the best of terms with the Farmers Institute due to concerns that bulk feed sales undercut their own business. When building commenced, the storekeeper of the day - one Bill Robinson I think - appeared with his shotgun to make sure that the Farmers Institute were not building on his property, which is why the Library ended up on the Government road allowance. The Women's Institute started renting a shelf there in 1935 to house their travelling library book collection, and at some point acquired the building altogether, although when and how that occured is not on record. In 1957 the WIs gave the building to the Whaletown Community Club, who immediately took their new responsibility seriously by putting in a new window and replacing the stovepipe. Vera Crowell was the first WCC Librarian.
For many years the Library had a permanent collection with a rotating shelf. At one point it belonged to the VIRL who eventually disowned it, stating that Cortes didn't need two Libraries. These days the collection is entirely by donation and the Library is run by volunteers. We have an many excellent titles, both fiction and non-fiction in all genres as well as an expanding collection of childrens books. We also have a popular selection of movies, both DVD and VHR.
We are greatly in need of volunteers. I am the only Librarian at the moment and I expect to be away for a lot of the spring and summer. We will require help as of Friday, May 2nd.
The key can be borrowed from Helene on any mail day if you would like to help yourself to books or movies but to see the Library stay closed on its customary Friday seems very sad. Anybody who would like to sign up for a pleasant two and a half hour shift would be welcomed with open arms. I am putting a sign-up sheet in the Post Office. Just put your name and number beside your preferred date, and then call me at 935-6623 so I know that you will be there. Get the key from Helene at the Post Office, go on in, and make yourself at home. We have a number of projects on-going, which I can fill volunteers in on, but you are welcome to just enjoy your time reading.
Please consider joining the team, the Library is a gem and a real asset to the community.
Brigid Weiler, Whaletown Librarian.