The community surrounding each library plays a huge role in shaping what kinds of programs and services they offer. West Vancouver Memorial Library’s Ehlam Zaminpaima plans to venture into the community to see what needs must still be met. Ehlam Zaminpaima began her career with West Vancouver Memorial Library nine years ago as a casual staff member. She has been in her current customer and community experience coordinator role for approximately one year. She oversees the accessible services of the library with a team of two. Together they support people in the community with accessible needs.
The West Vancouver Memorial Library currently offers the standard accessibility services like talking books for patrons with low vision, physical challenges, dyslexia, etc. They also offer home delivery services to those patrons who cannot visit the library themselves. “We love the opportunity to select books for our home service patrons. We get the opportunity to know them and to become familiar with their likes and dislikes – and we love the chance to chat with them,” says Ehlam.
This service is an important part of their day, but Ehlam and her teammates know they can do more to offer resources to the community.
Bringing the Library to the Community
Lately, West Vancouver Memorial Library has been focusing on doing outreach for the community, looking into providing services for areas where people are unable to come to the library due to distance or personal challenges. Ehlam wants to visit Libby Lodge out in Horseshoe Bay. The Lodge is under BC Housing and is quite a distance from the library, which is why it would be wonderful to bring the library to the residents. Her goal is not only to deliver resources but also to meet people and learn about their needs so that the library can better serve them in the future.
Offering More than Books
West Vancouver Memorial Library has a few other unique resources for patrons. Patrons with dementia or cognitive challenges may find the “Brain Health” collection helpful. This collection includes games, activities, and other resources to check out and take home that are perfect for anybody looking to develop their memory skills and increase cognitive function.
A popular new resource, “Happy Lights,” is so in demand that it has had a huge waiting list. “Happy Lights” are tablet-like lamps which mimic sunlight using a full spectrum light designed to help those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and these small lamps help lift spirits and improve those seasonal slumps.
In her work out in the community, Ehlam has noticed that people are often unaware of the library’s range of services. “Whenever I get the chance, I like to share all the great things available from the library. What the library offers is continually evolving, and once people know these free resources are available, they have the opportunity to use them.”. Ehlam also plans on collaborating with the city and/or other libraries to receive feedback on how to improve as an organization in terms of accessibility.
If your library is interested in connecting and sharing ideas, please contact Ehlam Zaminpaima at email@example.com.