Hear the impact of Surrey Libraries in the lives of others.

After my daughter was born, I was grateful for baby time at the library

When I first moved to Surrey, I was 7 months pregnant and I wasn’t working. Being a lover of books, within the first two weeks of moving I got my library card. As a kid, the library was a safe haven of endless possibilities of adventure and a place to escape from daily life. I always felt safe and at peace in the library. The love of libraries has only grown throughout my life. After my daughter was born, I was grateful for baby time at the library, being a new resident I didn’t have any mom friends and a chance to interact with other moms was sorely needed. I was able to checkout books on advice for sleep training and baby food recipes.

Now that my daughter is two, and the library has reopened (woo hoo!) we go every other week to get new books. My daughter has the same love for books as I do, and can spend lengthy amounts of times skimming through books. Libraries are a big part of our lives and I always want my children to value and support them.

 - Heather

These creative programs the Surrey Library has offered over the years has creatively kept my kids engaged and loving books

I am a proud Mom of 2 hard working high school students. Libraries have definitely been an integral part of their upbringing. Specifically, the Semiahmoo Library, which is our community library and with the proximity to our home, we have been able to enjoy walking and cycling there as a family over the years. My kids Nana was also a librarian in England 50 years ago and it’s where she met their Grandad... so you could even say it’s in their blood. ❤️ Right from newborn, I brought my kids to the library. There were amazing Babytime and then storytime programs, where song, story, crafts and movement carried them through their early years. We just loved our weekly library day, and of course got to fill our double stroller with books we all picked out afterwards. The kids started school and then it was bedtime story time we attended from time to time. During the Summer, my kids enjoyed taking part in the Summer Reading Club, and then Teen Summer Adventure. It got them reading, out in the community and parks, and also making sure they got to check off all the activities in their booklets! (Which they really missed this past Summer). These creative programs the Surrey Library has offered over the years has creatively kept my kids engaged and loving books. The kids are looking forward to continuing taking part in programs once things open up again, but for now their talk includes which books they are going to reserve next from the library. I know our libraries will continue to play an important role in shaping the lives of our children and communities.

- Lorelei

… enjoying your story/song times from Ash Vale, in Surrey in the UK!

I just wanted to let you know that we have been enjoying your story/song times from Ash Vale, in Surrey in the UK! I accidentally found the videos on YouTube after searching for Surrey Libraries rhyme time, which my 2 year old daughter Alice really likes. She has a new baby sister so we often sing along with videos on my phone when I am feeding the baby. The first video we watched was from the Guildford branch (our closest town here) and it was only on the third Canadian accent that I realised it wasn't our Guildford!! Nontheless, we have thoroughly enjoyed the different songs especially the ones with a guitar and the shaker. Alice's favourite stories at the moment involve the Big Bad Wolf so we were pleased to see he is popular where you are too! All of the staff are really engaging and the videos are enjoyable for both of us. Thank you so much for improving our lockdown time, we really appreciate it.

- Kate

"I still have the medals and I remember the pride I felt every time I looked at them. "

When I first came to Surrey, I was around 7 or 8 years old. Some of my fondest memories as a child were in the library. I would take out stacks of books and I remember taking out DVD movies when they used to be a thing. I always signed up for programs and the library just felt like a homey place to be. I always remember doing the summer reading programs and I took them so seriously. I still have the medals and I remember the pride I felt every time I looked at them. Reading was a way for me to leave this world and enter a place where anything is possible.

- Muntaqi

"I've always considered libraries as one of my safe spaces."

I am a 4th year student at Simon Fraser University. I've been through tough times over the years. With that being said, I've always considered libraries as one of my safe spaces. And so, I am thankful for being able to have a place to always look forward to going.

"I always looked forward to come to the library for quiet studying..."

The Library has played a major role in my life during my school years, as well as now. I always looked forward to come to library for quiet studying plus to meet my study buddies. I was able to borrow books that I did not want to buy such as NCLEX-RN study books. Now, I have two sons and I always make time to come to library with my toddler so that he starts showing more interest in books. He loves to read at this age and looks forward to get new books.

“I became part of the library champions program where I learned about a huge number of helpful resources”

Library has played a pivotal role in my initial days as an immigrant. It not only helped me to land my first job, but also I got it in my field (i.e Accounting) which feels as a dream come true. As soon as I landed in Canada, I became part of the library champions program where I learned about a huge number of helpful resources offered by libraries all across Canada and one such tool is the online Gale courses being offered by libraries. I enrolled in it for learning Quickbooks software which is widely used by accountants and got certification which helped me to upgrade my resume and I nailed the interview and got the job in just 2 months after immigrating. The best part is that it was all free of cost… I would encourage everyone to make best use of it.

- Priyanka

“I enjoy coming to our library to keep up with the current news events and meeting people.”

Since my wife passed away over 4 years ago, I have been coming to the library more often than before. I usually come to the library 3 - 4 times per week. I enjoy coming to our library to keep up with the current news events and meeting people. I have also taken out some books to read mainly on health issues and have enjoyed them very much. ALL of the library personnel are very friendly and helpful. Thanks for making my days enjoyable whenever I visit your library.

- El

“It’s like my second home!”

This library gives me an escape from the stressful reality of school, friends and family. It takes me to a thrilling, exciting new world. It’s like my second home!

"An amazing opportunity for my children to foster a love of reading, songs, games, and friendships."

As a new mom with no mom-friends in the area, I started taking my newborn daughter to babytime on Thursdays to help her socialize. Almost three years later, my two daughters and I still walk to the library at least once or twice a week to borrow books and dvds, attend storytime, and for get-togethers with some of the many friends that we have made there. It has been an amazing opportunity for my children to foster a love of reading, songs, games, and friendships.

- Jennifer

"We have saved so much money going to the library, and we are so much closer as a family."

It is the greatest joy for me so far as a parent, that my son loves reading as much as my husband and I do. When my son was very small I used to take him to Baby Storytime. Now that he is a bit older, he loves being read to, and is learning to read himself. Every week, we go to the library together to pick out 15 - 20 childrens picture books to read our son for the week, and a novel or two each for my husband and I, and a movie for our son and a movie for us. The outing is fun in itself. Our son likes the pop-up books to be read to him there, and he loves the kid iPad station, and the puzzles. Then we have something to do together during the week, too. We have saved so much money going to the library, and we are so much closer as a family. I can't thank Surrey Libraries enough for keeping my family close and connected.

"I don't ever want to imagine living without a library in my life."

My mom used to read to my brother and I at bedtime every night before we could read longer stories ourselves. Some of the earliest memories I have of 'family nights' were trips to the library on Friday night with a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. I would check out the full limit of books I was allowed to take, read them all in a week and return the next Friday night for more. Some of my favourite authors from that time were Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.

Growing up, my whole family were readers. It was not unusual to see all 4 of us in the living room, no one talking but everyone reading. It was no surprise that I developed a love of reading that superseded almost everything else. My mom would try to make me go outside and play, but I would sit on the back step until she would give in and let me come back in and read.

As I got older, it was natural to look to the library for my first job. I became a 'Page' at the library at 15 years old, checking books in and out, shelving them and helping the patrons. I kept the job throughout high school and until I started my first full-time job upon graduation. One of the things I loved about being a Page was the opportunity to see all the great genre choices being returned that I may not have found on my own.

I continued the family reading passion by reading to my daughters when they were born. It was natural to bring them to storytime when they became old enough and both daughters eventually volunteered to become a Reading Buddy for several years.

Recently, I had to go into the library to dispute a returned damaged book charge. When they pulled up my history, I was astonished to hear that I have borrowed over 3,000 books from the library over the course of my membership - and happy to note that not one book had been returned damaged. :-)

Reading has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. For me, reading is an escape and a relaxation and a treat I look forward to at the end of a long, busy, or stressful day. I don't ever want to imagine living without a library in my life.

- Colleen

"It is one of the only places that I know of that is free, helpful and resourceful."

This is the place where I go to borrow items for free, to learn and enjoy, by myself or with others. When my children were small, I would attend many programs and learn about others things happening in my community, ie. Strong Start. It is one of the only places that I know of that is free, helpful and resourceful. I can enjoy a variety of items that I would not necessarily enjoy because of the expense. I feel grateful that such a service still exists. 

"I went on to university and was the first in my family to graduate."

When I immigrated to Canada, the library was a lifeline. The support I received from staff in accessing services and materials to help improve my English helped me not only build my language skills, but also my confidence. I went on to university and was the first in my family to graduate. The library enriches our community's economy, access to learning, and social well-being.

"Without the library, I would not have been able to get in touch with my family"

Without the library, I would not have been able to get in touch with my family through email when I first came to Canada. The library staff were very kind and gave me a card right away, which I still have up to this day. The staff also helped me print my resumes, and showed me where to fax them, so I can apply for jobs. I now have 3 children and they always sign up for the Summer Reading program. They love getting those medals at the end of the program. The library is like a safe and secure haven for me and my children. We may not visit often anymore, but we still drop by once in a while to borrow books. Thank you to the Guildford and the Cloverdale public libraries for all you do.

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