Pam Rudd, the Head Librarian in Barriere, made a presentation to District of Barriere Council during their June 1 online meeting asking for permission to install a ‘Story Walk’ from the Barriere Library and into and around Fadear Park.
She explained that a ‘Story Walk’ is the pages of a picture book placed in story boards, along a path, that includes interactive portions such as ‘hop to the next page’ or ‘skip to the next page’.
“Story Walks support literacy in a unique environment and promote physical and mental health,” said Rudd, “It empowers parents to unplug, engage and connect with nature and one another, and it supports inter-generational interaction and learning, helping people maintain social connection with age.”
Barriere and Area Literacy Outreach Co-ordinator Jill Hayward was also in attendance at the meeting, and reported that Barriere Literacy has pledged $2500 of Barriere Raise A Reader funding to the installation of the Story Walk Project.
Rudd noted, “The Barriere Library serves Barriere (population 1700) and surrounding area. Over 18,000 patrons entered the Barriere library in 2019. We delivered over 250 programs engaging over 2000 participants, and over 28,000 items circulated through the library in 2019.
“With the closure of libraries across the province libraries have gone to serving our patrons through the use of technology. In our rural setting, with the lack of equitable access to internet, and a great deal of low income families we are missing many families. This initiative will balance and connect patrons to resources while inviting people to disconnect and enjoy literacy and nature.”
She also noted that a Story Walk will, “Empower parents with young children to support literacy. Help people maintain social connection with age, and help people maintain mental wellness.”
Rudd also explained that the stories will be changed every two months by the library.
Cost of the project is $5,000. With the $2500 from Barriere Literacy, and $1000 from the Thompson Nicola Regional Library system, she now only has to raise the other $1500 to complete the project.
Rudd noted the story board signage will be permanent and the pages can be slipped into the signs.
Rudd also asked if the District of Barriere staff could do the signage installation it would save on having to do additional fundraising?
Mayor and council were in agreement and asked Parks Manager Dustin Doherty if this was possible which he answered in the affirmative, while also noting there would be extra work involved when mowing or snow plowing around the signage.
Rudd noted her hopes were to get the Story Walk installed as soon as possible once she had raised the balance of funding required.
At that point Councilor Kershaw pledged $100 from his family to the project.
If you would like to learn more about the ‘Story Walk’ project please contact Barriere’s Head Librarian Pam Rudd at the Library, or by calling 250-672-5811, or email her at: email@example.com