Aldergrove’s library is celebrating its 60th anniversary Thursday with a birthday party fit for the community.
On Oct. 10, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. the branch will host Langley’s First Capital Chorus in a program of songs from the 1950s, the decade the library first opened its doors in Aldergrove.
“The celebration will be for everyone – the whole family,” community librarian Jacquelynne Garden emphasized.
Township Councillor Petrina Arnason will also join in the fun, and say a few words. Cake, coffee, historical photographs, and activities including a who’s who scavenger hunt will be offered.
As one of five Fraser Valley Regional Library branches (FVRL) in Langley Township, Aldergrove’s has operated on the bottom floor of the Kinsmen Community Centre since December of 1989.
Aldergrove community librarian Jacquelynne Garden, who manages the FVRL branch and its programming, recalled being a wide-eyed child spending time in the library in search of tales and new insights.
“I remember coming here and getting a big box of books every month to take home,” she reminisced.
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Garden, 33, has been the Aldergrove librarian since August of 2018, and is giddy to be back in her hometown for her first posting as a community librarian.
“It’s not only our 60th anniversary in Aldergrove, but our 30th anniversary inside the Kinsmen Centre,” Garden admitted learning from Alder Grove Heritage Society (AGHS) archives.
In one day, library staff see anywhere from 300 to 700 patrons utilizing services at the branch, Garden said – “it can get very busy.”
The library first opened on Dec. 22, 1959 in the 27000-block, or the “new Kyle Block” of Fraser Highway in downtown Aldergrove, according to AGHS president Tami Quiring.
Back in the day, the library’s most popular programs included puppet shows, Garden said.
The old Grove Theatre – built by Otto and Johanna Kelm in 1948 – subsequently housed the learning centre on Old Yale Road near its intersection with 271 Street up until 1955.
Records list the library’s book collection then at 1,500 books in its first site. Since moving to its current location in the Kinsmen Community Centre, the collection has grown, to its present tally of 18,000 items.
FVRL libraries are funded by a mix of local and provincial funding, with a portion that is funded through taxpayer dollars, Garden explained.