Low key and free

Talking from Experiences by Ashleigh Tremere

Have you checked out the new Charlottetown Library Learning Centre? I’ll tell ya, it’s beautiful! 

And not just aesthetically, though that is accurate. How many places are left that cost you nothing to enter, partake in, and let you just be? They don’t even charge late fees anymore you know? What good sports, I’m a big fan. We’re a book-before-bed kind of family and I certainly couldn’t afford to keep my eight year old in graphic novels without the library. When we enter, they always cruise straight to the iPads though. That’s fine, run on, Grandmama and I want some more coffee.

Although possibly changing now, I think that libraries and librarians have been grossly misrepresented in pop culture. Were they trying to hide how cool they were from us? While the noise level is generally a quieter din, peaceful overall, there is so much going on, it’s full of activity. There’s video games in the back, computers everywhere, comfy booths full of people studying or occasionally having a little snooze between pages. All sorts of rooms for meetings or holding cool events. 

Oh, and the Makerspace! It opens at 2 pm so we were a bit ahead for that today, having skedaddled from the Charlottetown Farmers’ Market near noon. But it’s always got some craft or activity set up to do, amongst sewing machines and 3D printers. There’s a keyboard, a hydroponic garden, and little robots. Check it out, it seems to be evolving all the time.

The librarians there are super chill, a really good variety of funny, and genuinely excited to help you. Just immaculate vibes overall. The variety of programming is always changing and has something for all interests and ages. Check it out on their socials— which are pretty amusing to follow.

When I call the kids off the iPads, so other wee folk can have a turn, we gather our books for the week, grab a game and a couch. 

It’s nice to be out in a social setting, doing low key activities, for free. And around us people from all walks of life are doing the same. A mother-daughter combo are knitting, teenagers are cracking jokes in a study booth, toddlers are working on their first steps. People just going about their day in a calm, clean, safe space. No expectations aside from preserving that.

I start to get the feeling that my two youngest are ready to expend some energy after all this casual calm. So we cut our round of Exploding Kittens short and head to get our books “dooted.” A few minutes too late I suppose. The whole thing devolves into them loudly arguing and then wrestling in front of the main desk. I try to take my mortification in stride and the librarian just shrugs. This is the way. All kinds here.

If you find yourself looking for a low stakes, yet social Saturday, try the “smoothie market and library day” combo. Remember, both are best enjoyed under the self imposed guise that you have nothing else to hurry yourself off and accomplish.