Welcome to Creston Valley Public Library
CELA has recently welcomed Creston Valley Public Library as one of our member libraries. We had to the chance to speak with Cassandra Viers, the Accessible Services Coordinator to find out more about this library and how the addition of CELA services is helping Creston Valley Library meet the needs of the community it serves.
CELA: Tell us a bit about your library and your community:
Cassandra: Creston Valley Public Library serves a population of just over 13,000 people within the beautiful Town of Creston and Regional District of Central Kootenay. We operate on the unceded homelands of the Yaqan Nukiy people of the Ktunaxa Nation and approximately 6% of our population identifies as Indigenous. In general our population has a higher median age and a lower median income than the rest of the province.
In the past year we’ve seen a real increase in activity when compared to the years with COVID restrictions. Everything from in-person visits and facilitated programs to registered patrons and circulated items are up exponentially.
CELA: We were delighted to see a recent update on your library’s Facebook page featuring CELA resources. How are things going with the process of adding CELA to your library’s accessibility services?
Cassandra: It’s going well! Our current outreach patrons, who have deteriorating abilities to read paper books and had been transitioning to regular audiobooks, were thrilled with the increased availability and ease of use. These people are our largest patron base for CELA services. They are so happy that they can continue to ‘read’ even though they can’t manage print books anymore. And patrons who move here from other areas served by a CELA member library are pleased to have the choice and service they have been accustomed to.
Our ILL staff have had a huge load lifted off their shoulders trying to fulfill requests for audio CDs for patrons with print disabilities. Often ILL CD titles being requested are part of Talking Books collections or belong to libraries who don’t lend CDs so now we are able to offer CDs. And we can now often find a CD for patron, burn it and get it delivered to them the very next day. The DAISY CDs are much easier for them to use.
CELA: What would you want your patrons/users to know about your accessibility services and the benefits CELA adds to those services?
Cassandra: Creston Valley’s Accessibility services aren’t just for home-bound seniors or for people who are blind. We can provide CELA materials for anyone with a print disability who needs an alternate format to read. And while we do still deliver print books to the people who are homebound, the CELA collection greatly expands library service to those who are have print disabilities.
We’re here to help! Our patrons can get CELA materials through the library or call CELA to set up an automatic delivery services. Family members or friends can act as a designate with CELA to help people get the books they want in the format they need.
CELA: We often hear from libraries that they are interested to learn what other libraries are doing. Can you tell us about what you are doing or planning to do to promote CELA services to your users and in your community?
Cassandra: We’ve been pretty proactive with our initial outreach using CELA materials. We reached out to every local care home and assisted living facility, every school, our local media, local doctors, clinics and the hospital, and Public Health.
We also promote CELA and NNELS in our library with materials and posters and we’ve been working with staff to get them trained using the CELA webinars so that we can all talk to patrons who might benefit from CELA services.
But we’re also really new at this and so we’d love to connect with other libraries about what has worked, what hasn’t and how to help patron know that we have much more than just print materials.
Thanks Cassandra for sharing Creston Valley’s experiences. If other libraries would like to reach out you can find Cassandra’s contact information on the Creston Valley library’s website.