After Daniel Kalla’s talk, patrons, writers, librarians and organizers flooded the lower level of West Vancouver Memorial Library, enjoying wine, cheese, and good conversation. The room was abuzz with discussions of today’s themes – including the incredible history of Jewish immigrants to Shanghai that Kalla talked about with such passion. Once most had a drink in hand, the organizers – librarians from North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District and West Vancouver Memorial Libraries – offered an official welcome as well as their sincere thanks to everyone involved in making this festival possible.
Marcia Bergen, Chair of the West Vancouver Memorial Library Board of Directors, spoke passionately about today’s symbolism: events like this one are representative of the library as a community hub, a place for writers, readers, and lovers of learning to come together. The library’s job is “inspiring and empowering local communities,” she said, adding that one of its most important functions is to provide access, assistance and affordability, of both books and technology, to those who need it most. She pointed out that right here on the North Shore, there are many who rely on the library for these services, and that “the library is essential to the health and development of our communities.”
The organizers presented copies of The Library Book to Ministers Ralph Sultan and Naomi Yamamoto, in recognition of their support of the North Shore library system. The book celebrates the B.C. Library Association, which celebrated its centenary in 2011. Finally, several patrons who came out to join in today’s festivities were sent home with more than just a renewed passion for writing and a belly full of wine – one lucky patron won a Kobo e-Reader, generously donated by Chapters, and eight others won copies of books by local authors (including today’s panelists and speakers).