By Sam Laskaris
Long gone are the days when local libraries were primarily a place to go and borrow a book to read either for pleasure or to research a school assignment.
“Books are a very small part of what we do,” said Janet Banfield, who has been the CEO of the Ramara Public Library for 19 years.
“We offer so much more now in terms of technology.”
Ramara’s library has two branches. One is located in the basement of the Mara Medical Centre in Brechin and the other is situated inside the Ramara Centre, on Highway 12 in Atherley.
The two branches have a combined dozen public computer workstations (eight at the Athlerley branch and four in Brechin) that offer high speed Internet access and free Wifi. Both branches also have one laptop each that can be borrowed and used on site.
Other services the library offers are the borrowing of e-books, audio books, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray releases.
The library also offers a variety of programming for all ages, including story time sessions for kids and quilting, knitting and art clubs for adults.
“We don’t have anything major coming up other than our March Break programming,” Banfield said.
“Registration information is on our website and some of the programs are already filling up.”
The library’s Brechin branch hosts monthly sessions for younger classes from neighbouring Brechin Public School.
“They come over with their teacher and use tools and services we have,” Banfield said.
Similar sessions, however, are not staged at the Ramara Centre branch.
“It’s because it’s not in walking distance for schools,” Banfield said, adding it would not be economically feasible to rent buses to have students travel from their school to the Atherley location.
Both branches of the Ramara library are open five days a week, from Tuesday through Saturday. Hours of operation vary for the branches and are available at www.ramarapubliclibrary.org
For more information contact the Brechin branch at (705) 484-0476 or the Ramara Centre branch at (705) 325-5776.