The McKellar Public Library may be the only library in the world where you can borrow a fishing rod with your book and go down the hill to the lake to put your line in.
McKellar is in Ontario’s cottage country and one of those towns people in Toronto refer to as “up north,” which covers a lot of ground. For me, McKellar, Broadbent and Parry Sound are places where I spent considerable time in my youth. Grandparents, aunts and uncles had homes and cottages in the area. My parents have lived there for many years, and now one of my sisters and her husband have taken over my grandmother’s house.
Coming home to the cottage stirs up many fond memories; fishing off the dock, swimming in the tea water of the Manitouwabing River, and sneaking peas from my grandfather’s garden are just a few.
This last visit was all that much more special because I was invited to read from my books at the McKellar Public Library. And not just any reading…the inaugural public reading at the newly expanded library.
The recent renovation has nearly doubled the size of the library, which is clean and bright and has a view that will make you sigh. Joan, Maxine, Pat and Jackie made me feel very welcome. On the big day, they hauled in a lectern fit for a mayor and baked cupcakes to help raise money.
The library does an outstanding job of promoting local authors, even ones like me who have moved away, and they encourage library usage through innovative measures – did I mention the fishing poles? Not only do they loan out books and current issues of popular magazines, they also have a large collection of DVDs, videos, large print books and talking books. They offer free Internet and wireless service and if the mood strikes you, you can borrow a pedometer.
So, if you live in or around McKellar, or plan to visit, drop by the new library and have a look around. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and there’s something for everyone. If the fish are biting, borrow a rod and reel and catch your dinner.
Thank you ladies. You’re doing McKellar proud.