June 21st, 2024

Library introduces Speaker Series for 2023

By Samantha Johnson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 25, 2023.

Chief librarian Ken Feser and head of marketing services Marina Boese in the new Honeycomb House, still under construction. Once complete, the Honeycomb House will be the new teen space in the library. --NEWS PHOTO SAMANTHA JOHNSON


Medicine Hat Public Library has a new program this year called the Speaker Series. The idea is to bring in members of the community in who have interesting stories and each part of the series will be on a different topic.

The first evening in the series will be on International Women’s Day, March 8, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

A large collection of female speakers – Mayor of Medicine Hat Linnsie Clarke, Amber Stark from the Department of National Defence, Super-T aviation pilot Mellissa Lemmer, creative director of Pattison Media Kelly Moore, MHPL board chair Rebecca Harper, owner of Botanicals Karri Montean and owner of Renu Jeska Rabbit of Renu – will be taking the stage in the theatre at MHPL.

“It’s a wide range and they are all women who have been influential in the community and are sharing their experiences,” said Marina Boese, head of marketing services at MHPL.

Next week, MHPL’s social channels will have postings on the event, bios of the speakers, what their topics are and other information.

The new teen space will also be completed and ready for use in 2023.

“The Honeycomb House is a room downstairs that is being developed for teens to do schoolwork, get homework help,” said chief librarian Ken Feser. “It will be a hangout space, can be used for gaming, and our Tic Tac Team Advisory group will be active out of there.”

Another new program, in partnership with Our Collective Journey, is Pathways to Recovery, a community support group that brings people together.

“We are excited about that partnership,” said Feser. “We feel it’s an important group locally, it’s locally based, well-known people in the community are involved with it. It’s a subject that is of great interest to us, both as a public facility that has challenges and as a societal issue today.”

MHPL is always interested in hearing from people in the community about how they are doing or what they should be doing differently.

“Anybody who wants can come and talk to me directly or any of our staff,” said Feser.

As part of the needs assessment MHPL is doing this year, board members will be on hand at Canada Day celebrations, Spectrum and other community events to talk to the people about the library.

The library is always looking for new sponsors for its A Library Card for Every Hatter initiative. While not fond of having to put a fee on getting a library card as it’s a barrier to library use, Feser said it’s hard walk away from the revenue due to recent budget cuts.

“It’s both a real kindness to the community and very helpful to us. It solves a problem for us and it also gets some great advertising for the business, so we think it’s a win-win,” said Feser.

Those interested in becoming a sponsor of free library cards can email Marina Boese at marinab@shortgrass.ca or call 403-502-8536.

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