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Barrie Public Library patron Shirley is no stranger to what libraries can do for their communities. Libraries have played an important role in her life since she was a young girl.  

"My love of libraries and reading goes way back," says Shirley. "When I was in Grade 8, my teacher would set time aside for us every Friday afternoon to answer questions related to the book we had just finished reading. This tested my ability to comprehend and helped me remember what I had read. I joined the Library Committee in high school and since then libraries have become an essential part of my life. While home with our four young children, I always made it a point to bring them to the library as a regular part of their week."

Shirley has been a dedicated member of the Barrie Public Library for the past 35 years, however, it was during the pandemic that her connection to BPL was truly cemented. "Reading kept my mind focused and active," Shirley says. "It allowed me to concentrate on the characters in the books I was reading and not on the constant COVID-19 news updates."

Shirley then made it a point to share her library experiences with friends by way of letter writing. She would write letters to her friends and tell them about the books she was reading. "What started out as an innocent past time quickly resulted in a regular communication circle. Instead of getting together for a traditional book club, we put our pens to paper! Recently, my friends have also been writing me about their reading highlights; exchanging notes about our favourite books and stories has been a great way to connect when we couldn’t see each other in person."

"The Library has shown me that you’re never too old to learn by sharing and reading," shares Shirley. "As you can see, I certainly don’t hesitate to communicate my love of reading with others!" 

Thank you, Shirley, for your continued support of the Barrie Public Library. We appreciate you! 


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