Fireplace at Jasper Municipal Library (A Thom)
The United Nations’ has designated December 11th as International Mountain Day; a chance for the international community to celebrate mountain ecosystems and peoples together. Each year the UN declares an International Mountain Day theme, in 2016 the theme was, “Mountain Cultures; celebrating diversity and strengthening identity”. The Canadian Mountain Network reached out to the community of Jasper, Alberta, in the heart of the wild Rocky Mountains, to learn how the United Nations’ theme is exemplified in a Canadian context.
The Municipality of Jasper, Alberta sits at the heart of Jasper National Park. Jasper is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Dark Sky Preserve, and a destination for 2 million people a year from around the globe. Jasper is also a community of approximately 4,500 residents, with three schools, a daycare, 2 seniors’ residential facilities and everything in between.
The Jasper Municipal Library resides in the Jasper Library and Cultural Centre. From this facility the library serves not only the permanent residents, but also seasonal workers and visitors. From every window visitors can enjoy the every changing mountain landscape. Reminding them why they visit or even live here.
Part of the building that houses the library is a heritage building that was the original RCMP station for the area. Within this space the library has created a comfortable location to read from the local interest collection, to study, to participate in programs (Community Conversations or Games Night) and attend special events. For some it is the view of the surrounding mountains that invigorates their writing and feeds their soul.
The library grows and changes with its community. Our partnership with ACFA régionale de Jasper has brought us a large French language collection that offers something for all ages. The local Greek community is working with the library to create a Greek collection to share their love of their history, language and culture. A Korean language collection is also in the works. These collections celebrate the diversity of cultural backgrounds that go into creating Jasper’s unique mountain lifestyle.
Jasper Municipal Library in front of Pyramid Mountain (A Thom)
Jasper thrives on being a small, rural, mountain town. It’s the sense of community that we like to share with all our visitors. The Jasper Municipal Library works hard to support that sense of welcome with an inviting space where people can learn and engage with each other.
For information on the Jasper Municipal Library online resources and services, see there website here.
For more information on International Mountain Day events in Canada, please visit www.internationalmountainday.ca.