Submitted by Blair McFarlane
Community Outreach Library Assistant at Invermere Public Library

A library can be stocked with the newest and hottest titles. It can have print services, a 3D printer and even robots. But it is just a building full of great stuff until our patrons come in and make it a library. It’s the people who make it the community gathering place where our imaginations soar. The library without its patrons is like a book with no words or pictures. We couldn’t operate without you, and our library is especially lucky to have such great people walk through the doors. 

One of our most dedicated library patrons was Ray Crook, who passed away in December at the age of 103. Many of us knew Ray as a fixture in town, always smiling and in the mood for a chat. Ray was a huge part of our library. Back in 1963, he was one of the people responsible for getting the community library incorporated as a public library association by the province (find the history of the library on our website). Ray made the library a regular part of his routine and was the embodiment of a caring, engaged community citizen. Even though he’s gone, Ray is still supporting the library—he graciously named the library a recipient of $10,000 in his will. We are most thankful for this donation, and will ensure the use of the funds honours Ray’s legacy and love for the library. We will share those plans once they’ve been decided upon.

Ray went absolutely above and beyond in his support of the library. If you feel inspired by his legacy, we are looking for two new trustees to join the Library Board. We need people who care about the library, and want our valley to have the best resources and community hub possible. The heart of the library is our passion for community care and we would love for you to be a part of that. There are currently two positions available; one for residents of electoral Area G (north of Invermere to Spillimacheen) and one for Area F (south of Invermere to Fairmont). 

The Invermere Library Board is comprised of people who care about the community and are passionate about creating free, equitable avenues of learning and connection. If this sounds like you please consider applying.

Applicants must be a resident or elector of Area F or Area G and cannot be a director of the RDEK Board, an employee of the RDEK, or the Invermere Public Library Board. These volunteer positions are for a two year term to run from early 2022 to December 31, 2023.

If you are interested, please submit a letter of application and brief resume including reasons for your interest and related experience to Tina Hlushak, Corporate Officer, at the RDEK; via email in PDF format to; or by mail or drop off at the RDEK Cranbrook Office, 19-24th Ave. South, Cranbrook.

This week’s column was written by Blair McFarlane, Community Outreach Library Assistant at Invermere Public Library, which is located at 646 4th Street. Visit their website or call 250-342-6416 for more information.