Are you looking forward to spending some time in Waterton Lakes National Park this summer? Are you worried about running out of reading material while you’re there? Have no fear, because the Waterton Micro-Library is up and running.
Installed and maintained by Chinook Arch Regional Library System, the Micro-Library is an automated book lending device. Using your valid Chinook Arch card, you can borrow books using the “browse and borrow” feature, or if you’re in the area for a longer period, have your holds delivered there.
The path to having the book locker installed was many years in the making.
“I worked at Chinook Arch a number of years ago, it was the early days of online work and the potential for its growth was amazing to me,” said Lesley Little, Waterton appointee to the Chinook Arch Board.
“I have spent many summers in Waterton and had an “aha moment” when I came across an article about a book locker in a satellite library and how it addressed the issue of access to all kinds of library materials. It was the perfect answer for Waterton,” Little said.
Many community members and organizations had a hand in ensuring the success of this project. The Waterton Community Broadband Network project ensured adequate bandwidth was available. The space in the old Lion’s Hall, which is owned and operated by the Waterton Park Community Association, was available and then refinished just for Chinook Arch. After careful consideration, Improvement District #4 (the local council that represents the Waterton community provincially) approved the installation of the book locker. Chinook Arch was then able to secure funding for the locker and saw to its installation.
“To my mind, the Waterton Micro-Library is a local community effort in the interests of the larger community,” Little explained
“It provides access to numerous library materials with the swipe of a library card, so that everyone from researchers to recreational readers can find what they’re looking for. All while enjoying being in one of the most beautiful places on earth.”
Starting mid-July, the Waterton Micro-Library will receive weekly delivery, so items will be restocked regularly. The Micro-Library, located at 209 Fountain Avenue (in the same building as the post office), is accessible around the clock.