The Calgary Public Library in partnership with the Calgary Fire Department is thrilled to announce a new program that launches this week.
From January through June, children and families will have the opportunity to participate in weekly drop-in Firefighter Storytimes at select Library locations. Visitors will enjoy a story read by a local firefighter, and, availability and weather permitting, a tour of a working fire engine – a special experience for children of all ages. This unique partnership will also see firefighters sharing life-saving fire safety tips with the communities in which they serve.
“What better way to inspire early learning and literacy in children than with real-life firefighters reading to them?” said Mark Asberg, Director of Service Delivery for the Calgary Public Library. “These local heroes are helping to set the foundation for future learning. We are proud to be working with our partners at the Calgary Fire Department to bring lifechanging programs like this to Calgary’s youngest citizens.”
The Library first partnered with the Calgary Fire Department for Engine 23, a popular early learning installation at the old Central Library. Following firefighter and truck visits during 2018 Love Your Library Day, a plan was made to pilot an expanded storytime program across the library system. After the closure of the old Central Library, Engine 23 was moved into storage and plans are underway to install it at a new community library location in 2019.
“The Calgary Fire Department encourages our members to visit public libraries in our communities and spend some time reading to children,” says Calgary Fire Chief Steve Dongworth. “I want to thank the Calgary Public Library for working with us to help spark a love of reading among children and ensuring they have access to the reading resources they need.”
The Library locations selected for the pilot program were chosen based on their proximity to local fire stations. Storytimes will take place on Sunday afternoons at two different Library locations, beginning at 2:00 pm. Each storytime will last about 30 minutes.
A full list of dates and locations of upcoming Firefighter Storytimes can be found at calgarylibrary.ca/programs.