Adopt a Library Literacy Program going strong in Pictou and Antigonish Counties

adopt a library

Albert MacDonald, left, and John Kennedy hold up some of the books available through the Adopt a Library Literacy Program. 

NEW GLASGOW, N.S - John Kennedy has a big wish for this holiday season.

As coordinator of the Pictou-Antigonish Adopt a Library Literacy Program, Kennedy wants children of all ages to receive a special gift that encourages them to continue reading.  

“We would like to see a book under every tree at Christmas. If parents realized how important it is to get kids reading whether it is a library book the kids read for a couple of weeks and bring back or a book they own, they would be reading the book long after they are done playing with toys,” he said .

The Adopt a Library program is in its 19th year and started as a regional program in Pictou and Antigonish where books are made freely available to people in an effort to encourage literacy.   Over the years, it expanded to a provincial program, but this year due to a change in funding, it returned to its roots by serving only Pictou and Antigonish.

“Basically any organization that deals with children and wants to have some books can come and see if we have any suitable for them. We have quite an inventory. We cover basically infants to adults. There are books for everyone they just have to come and ask,” said Kennedy.

So far, the program has had a busy December with many groups requesting books to hand out to children during festive events.  Here is an estimate of the dollar value of books donated to these organizations:

Communities and community groups... $27,000.00 worth of books.

Libraries in Pictou and Antigonish counties... $25,000.00 worth of books.

Schools in Pictou and Antigonish counties... $20,000.00 worth of books.

As well, the Adopt-A-Library Literacy Program has been able to provide Lego kits consisting of a storage container and 1500 pieces of Lego for each library in the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library region.

Kennedy has also worked on obtaining gift cards to be used in 2019 for healthy snacks for after school programming in the branches.

Eric Stackhouse, chief librarian for the Pictou-Antigonish Reginal Library, said books will also be able to people to take home free of charge in every library in Pictou and Antigonish before Christmas. 

“Come in this week to all library branches and ask for a book,” he said. “They can keep them and get a library card as well so they can borrow more books in the future.”

In addition, the Adopt a Library Literacy Program has also expanded its WOW Reading Challenge this year to include daycares.  There are currently 34 registrants and it is open to all schools, preschools, private/separate schools and home schools in Pictou and Antigonish counties.