Shhhh - Quiet zone.

No wait, it’s no secret nor should the immense value of public libraries, particularly in the province’s rural communities, be hushed.

For example, Murray Harbour, a fishing village of about 300-400 people, depending on the time of year, has an abundant number of readers who patronize their local library. The users includes folks from the outlying districts as well.

A total of 619 people hold library cards there. Of that number 463 children and adults attended library programming in 2019.

Those are impressive stats and it’s certain any number of libraries in smaller communities across PEI can boast similar success.

Of course libraries identify with literacy and the ability to read and comprehend creates an informed society, which is beneficial to all.

Libraries have grown to accommodate changing times. These days they no longer exude starched reverence within their walls. In times prior it was close to a mortal sin to speak aloud even if you and the librarian were the only two there.

Nowadays a library visit is an adventure for both kids and adults. While its foundation of loaning books remains steadfast there are also DVDs, CDs, magazines, musical instruments and snowshoes available to sign out at most.

To reference Murray Harbour Library once more, a total of 3,931 of these items were checked out January 1-December 31, 2019.

The province holds a Family Literacy event each winter but the focus on reading and fun isn’t earmarked by a single day or week it’s a year-round privilege offered free of charge.

The seeds to make a library grow are planted in children and in Murray Harbour, as in other libraries, a host of fun events are open to youth. Whether it’s crafts or a reading by a local author or story time, the library is fun.

Again in Murray Harbour, 84 children took part in the library’s 2019 Summer Reading programming. Considering July and August are among the busiest with outdoors activities, the number speaks volumes.

Literacy is the foundation of learning whether in school, at the grocery store or reading your local weekly newspaper. Without that skill the entire structure is weakened.

Heather Moore is editor of The Eastern Graphic. She can be reached at editor@peicanada.com

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