Collecting our stories

Upcoming special events! Updated – April 12th, 2024

The CMLibraries was granted an extension on our Seniors Community Grant! We will be running several more events between now and the end of June.

We are asking for registration on many of our activities so that we can plan appropriate amounts of seating and food for our Lunch and Learns.

Either use the embedded QR code or click the picture to access the registration form. Activities without QR codes do not require registration.

Background information

The Groundwork:

Earlier this year, Karla successfully applied for a Seniors Community Grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide a safe and accepting space for seniors to meet together and socialize.

We will be offering a variety of newly created library programs and activities, designed to alleviate social isolation while providing volunteer opportunities and help participants gain employable skills.

While many of these programs will take place within our branches, we will also be increasing our community engagement by working with similar agencies and bringing activities to those who are not able to come to us.

Previous research:

As the older generation is disappearing, so are their stories. A programming survey done by the CMLibraries in 2022 showed an interest in “assistance with writing memoirs”. We see this as a need in our community that the CMLibraries can fulfill. This project would encourage people to gather and to tell stories before they are gone.

Memoir writing:

A main focus of this grant is memoir writing (although we will encourage writing of any kind). Those who can type or write will be guided to record their own stories, while others who need extra help can have a volunteer transcribe their stories for them.

We will be using a variety of technology, such as computers, VR headsets, speech to text software, zoom, etc. We will also be hosting writing workshops to assist with the memoir writing process.

This project is meant to benefit the community by giving the participants a sense of belonging – even if they aren’t from here. Everyone’s story is important. This project will become an archive of information provided by those who were here in 2023 – protecting memories for future residents and generations.

The plan:

While this project will mainly be geared towards the 55+ community, we will encourage intergenerational involvement – including options for participation and volunteer opportunities to students. Not everyone is interested in sharing their histories, so we want to offer the opportunity for the community to come together in different ways to promote a sense of belonging.

We will be having an expressive art therapist come to the library for a series of art related workshops. During the workshops, the participants can draw a map of where they grew up or an important place in their lives.

We will also be hosting Tech Time once a week at the Millbrook and Bruce Johnston Branches, which will focus on specific topics such as Ancestry, Hoopla, etc.