Flin Flonners will be able to check out books on the weekend thanks to a change at the Flin Flon Public Library.
After nearly two years without opening on weekends, the library will be open to the public on Saturday afternoons and shutting down on Mondays starting in March. Library administrator Courtney Campbell said weekend openings were literally brought back by popular demand.
“Every time I’d go to a meeting in Creighton or speak with someone from Denare Beach, they’re like, ‘Are you going to change hours for Saturdays?’ We tracked different times and the different people who asked us and this is the result,” she said.
Campbell said opening the library on weekends enables people who may not be able to visit often, including children and residents from outlying communities, to make more trips to the facility.
“It’s a different demographic of people that come in. We’re missing those kids who are at hockey games or swimming lessons or all of those other things they do during the week, and if parents can’t bring them, they’re not able to come. Also, for the teachers and people who live in Denare Beach and Creighton who are so busy during the week, Saturday is a time for them to be able to come,” said Campbell.
The Saturday opening is not permanent and hinges on how the public responds. If the experiment is well-received, winter hours for the library would include a Saturday shift. If the measure fails, the library will go back to its previous hours.
“We’re doing a test run for March and April to see how it goes,” said Campbell.
“For these nine weeks, it’s really driven by the community. If you don’t come to the library and we don’t find that the Saturday is of use, then it will not continue in the fall. If we get a lot of good traffic from this, that will really dictate our hours once we get there in the fall and what we’re going to be able to do for people.
“They would change for the season, because as we all know, no one comes in during the summer. Everybody’s out at the lake. There’s no need to be open on a Saturday during the summer.”
With Saturdays now a work day and only limited provincial funding for libraries available, Campbell said opening the library on both Monday and Saturday would not be feasible.
“Being open six days a week just didn’t make sense and in our community, for the size that it is, I still agree with that. We don’t need to be open six days a week,” she said.
The library is currently making plans for “I Love to Read Month,” including exhibits at the location featuring Canadian books, books banned under controversial circumstances such as the Harry Potter series, To Kill a Mockingbird and Tango Makes Three, promoting a visit to the community by Saskatchewan author David Bouchard and the group’s now-annual “Talk Wordy to Me” fundraiser.
Campbell adds you don’t even necessarily need to read to enjoy the library.
“This is one of the last places where you can exist for free. You can come in and read a magazine. You can come in and use the table, read a book and you don’t have to take anything out if you don’t want to. You don’t have to spend any money. You can just use the space,” she said. “That’s what I’ve heard a lot from people who used the library before this change. They would bring their grandkids up or they themselves would come in and it’s just I think it took losing it to see how much people actually missed it.”