Turn a new page in 2020 to borrow books and materials from the Prince Rupert Library. The inter-library loan program permits items not found in Prince Rupert to be sent here for patrons use. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

Numbers are describing words for the Prince Rupert Library

Need for library services continues to grow in Prince Rupert

Library services in Prince Rupert are a growing need. The numbers are the describing words of the library’s success. The library welcomed over 51 thousand avid attendees in 2019 and expect more in 2020.Whether it’s books, magazines, DVD rentals or computer usage, the Prince Rupert Library has a catalogue of 70 thousand items for patrons minds to wander through.

“What we are seeing is that there has been a consistent growth in two areas of library activity. A great increase in technical assistance for the public regarding governmental services, as well as increasing demand for scanning, faxing and print jobs,” said Joe Zelwietro, chief librarian. Governmental services include fishing licenses, visa applications, and job applications.

Brand new works of fiction are recommended by Joe Zelwietro, chief librarian at Prince Rupert Library. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

The other area of growth is the increasing use of the library rooms and facilities as public meeting or learning places. “Whether it’s an author reading, a magic show for children or election debates, the library provides a place for all in a fair and non-prejudiced way,” said Zelwietro.

READ MORE: Poetry month sees launch of “Oona River Poems” at Rupert library

With a total circulation of just over 65 thousand items borrowed in 2019, if an item choice isn’t available at the local location staff may be able to assist in obtaining it from another library. The local library is part of a provincial and national network of libraries. This is especially important for the Prince Rupert area said Joe Zelwietro, chief librarian. Inter-library loans exist because no single library can have all the items a community of readers desire.

Books can be borrowed for three weeks with a renewal period allowed. CDs and DVDs can be rented for a week. If borrowers cannot return items on time there is a nominal over due fee of 25 cents per day to a $5.00 limit. This is so fines do not accrue to exorbitant amounts. Currently, the library has several thousand dollars outstanding in fines. Last year’s over due fee revenue generated $6,300 locally. If library borrowers find the cost of overdue fees are preventing them from using services, there are programs in place to assist.

The “Food for Fines” program runs in December, where food, to be donated to the local food bank, can be exchanged for over-due fees to be waived. As well a youth program is in place to address the fines.

“Finally, this past year we started a program for patrons up to the age of 18, whereby they can literally read away their fines when they read books or magazines in the library. None of the programs catch everyone, but they do help,” said Zelwietro.

READ MORE: New piece of art bedecks Prince Rupert Library

The most popular top ten books in Prince Rupert for 2019 to engage readers of all ages were:

1. Adult fiction, The Tattooist of Auschwitz: a Novel – by Heather Morris

2. Adult fiction, Long Road to Mercy – by David Baldacci

3. Adult non-fiction, Putting your affairs in order: a leave-behind guide for your loved ones – by G. Edmond Burrows

4. Adult fiction, The Witch Elm – by Tana French

5. Adult fiction, Winter in Paradise: A Novel – by Elin Hildebrand

6. Adult fiction, Trickster Drift – by Eden Robinson

7. Adult non-fiction, Thai-English Dictionary- by Suwan Kaewkongpan

8. Adult non-fiction, Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst – by Robert M. Sapolsky

9. Adult non-fiction, Awareness through Movement: Health Exercises for Personal Growth – by Moshe Feldenkrais

10. Adult fiction, Blessing in Disguise – by Danielle Steel

The top five juvenile reads were:

1. Juvenile fiction, The Selection – by Kiera Cass

2. Juvenile fiction, Awkward – by Svetlana Chmakova

3. Juvenile fiction, Fallen – by Lauren Kate

4. Juvenile fiction, Sisters – by Raina Telgemeier

5. Children’s – My First Trucks and Diggers: Let’s Get Driving – by Marie Greenwood

Prince Rupert Library children’s area is full of colourful fun and books to engage young minds. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)

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