Creative writing program another way for library to reach out to community

The Brandon Public Library recently bolstered its efforts in providing services to the community by adding a creative writing program for the summer.

Danielle Hubbard, assistant librarian, responsible for programming and outreach services, says as far as she’s aware, the adult program is the first of its kind at the library – and it’s part of an overall goal to provide more relevant programs to help support literacy and life-long learning.

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“I thought that creative writing was a really important part of that,” said Hubbard, who played a key role in starting the writing program, which has 20 people from the area registered.

The program began recently and will include two separate groups that alternate week-to-week, lasting until August. The program is facilitated by Hubbard and Patrick Johanneson, a local published author who works at Brandon University.

Participants will submit a piece of work each week prior to each workshop so that everyone involved will have read each submission ahead of time.

“They’re expected to come prepared with thoughts of what worked, what didn’t work. Really whatever they thought of it,” Hubbard added. “It’s roughly the format that a lot of professional writing programs follow but we’re going to be doing it in a more relaxed fashion.”

She hopes the programs will help the local writers network with each other to create more of a writing community.

Other programs that are offered at the Brandon Public Library include a wide range of children’s programs during the summer as well as a book club for adults, which was recently started by Hubbard.

For more on the programs at the library, contact Hubbard at 204-727-6648.

Librarianship ‘different than it was 10-20 years ago’ says Hubbard

A big part of Hubbard’s job since she joined the library is finding more ways to offer services. Public libraries in the province continue to adapt to the digital age and are in the midst of a policy review launched by the provincial government.

“Our library suffers the same challenges as all public libraries in North America,” she told the Journal.

The library is more than just coming to get the latest book.

“This is where you can go to discuss books, this is where you can go to come get help researching something and this is where you can pursue writing or go to a reading by an author, those kinds of things.”

She says librarianship is less straightforward and more like a puzzle – continuing to adapt and figure out what the community needs and is expecting. Hubbard says that challenge is exciting.

“I think we’re just trying to figure out our role in a digital world. I don’t think libraries are going to die.”

Hubbard says all public libraries in the province were provided with a survey to fill out by the provincial government earlier this year, followed by consultations, gathering input from each library staff in Manitoba.

“Beyond that, I don’t know what the directions they’re going to take that in. I certainly hope in the library community that there won’t be a funding cut or there won’t be a cut in services.

She says the best thing public libraries can do is continue to work at being as relevant as possible.

“I think that’s part of what I’m trying to do by providing more programs and services,” she said.

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