Friday, December 01, 2023

ImagineIF Libraries receives award for educational opportunities

| September 8, 2023 12:00 AM

ImagineIF Libraries received the Friend of Education Award during the Northwest Montana Reading Council’s Back-to-School Literary Conference on Aug. 16 held at Flathead High School.

Co-Director of the NW Montana Reading Council, Kelli Higgins, presented the award to Youth Services Librarian, Becca Johnson, on behalf of ImagineIF. The award recognizes certain educators, who have been nominated by their peers, as outstanding contributors to the growth and development of Northwest Montana Students and Teachers.

“I had no idea the level of fine detail that the librarians consider as they operate the library or the scope of people that they welcome each day,” Kelli Higgins said. “Our librarians are also busy cooking up innovative ways to draw our attention and help us discover something new.”

ImagineIF Libraries offers educational opportunities for children, teens, and adults at library locations in Kalispell, Columbia Falls, and Bigfork. The Youth Services department, led by Becca Johnson, has maintained an engaging space for kids and families all year round that includes art, dramatic play, interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities, and access to books, computers, and information.

Teen Services Librarian, Starr White, and her team have updated the teen experience at all locations, including a remodel of teen spaces in Kalispell and Columbia Falls. They’ve introduced new programming, including LVL-Up, which combines gaming, cooking, and tech, and Anime at Dusk, a movie night where teens can view their favorite anime films on a 200” inflatable screen.

In addition, adult programming has undergone changes led by newly appointed Outreach Librarian, Lune Axelsen, and Adult Programming Librarian, Deidre McMullin. The duo has worked with their team to bring innovative programs to the library like the Library Antiques Roadshow and Summer Porch Concert Series. They’ve also created partnerships with community organizations to offer hands-on learning like mending and sewing workshops.

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