Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Library celebrates with author, slam poet Houston Today

Houston-Today: 2008 October 15

The Houston Public Library is celebrating National Library Month with a series of workshops and readings made possible by writers-in-libraries grant from the Public Library Services of B.C. under the Ministry of Education.

The library was able to welcome Sylvia Olsen, a writer who specializes in writing about First Nations issues. Olsen married into the Tsartlip First Nation and explores the in-between place where native and non-native people meet. She is an award-winning B.C. author of books for children and young adults.

Author of The Girl With a Baby, Just Ask Us: A Conversation with First Nations Teenage Moms, No Time to Say Goodbye: Children’s stories of Kuper Island Residential School, Which Way Should I Go?, White Girl and Yetsa’s Sweater, Olsen did a reading for the public on Oct. 6.

She also visited Twain Sullivan, Silverthorne Elementary and Houston Secondary where she educated the children on life in First Nations communities.

“Her presentation was the perfect way to kick off library month,” Karen Filipkowski, chief librarian said.

Northwest Community College has sponsored another author — Barbara Adler who is touring literary centres in B.C.

Adler was in Houston Wednesday to facilitate a writing workshop aimed at youth in the afternoon, then performed Slam Poetry in the evening.

The solo-spoken word artist has had a spot on the acclaimed Vancouver Poetry Slam Team four times since she was 18. She has also performed at the The Vancouver International Children’s Festival.

She has also presented workshops at high schools and elementary schools all over B.C.

She spoke fondly of councillor Shane Brienen, who taught fly-tying. As part of the tour, Adler is collecting material from each town she visits and making memory cards with graphics and facts about each community. She will be featuring Brienen on the CBC show, North by Northwest.

She also joked about the two bears put down on Hungry Hill and told Smithers to, “Get their own bear,” during her performance.

The Houston Library is also taking advantage of National Library month to promote evergreen, the newest service at the Houston Library. With Evergreen, patrons can now access the the library’s entire catalogue online from home.

There is also a Drop Everything and Read Hour on Oct. 27.

“All you have to do is show up and choose a book,” Filipkowski said. “At the sound of the bell, people drop everything and read for 15 minutes. After the bell rings participants can share a bit about the what they are reading and what reading means to them.”