Via Knittinmama, a former student:
A six-year-old girl says she is disappointed after her knitting group was asked to leave an eastern Ontario library due to a new ban on arts and crafts.
“I really had fun in there in the library, and I’m really sad that they stopped that,” said Kingston Currie, who used to spend two hours a week with the Itch and Stitch Club at the Long Sault Library in Long Sault, Ont., about 95 kilometres southeast of Ottawa.
Pamela Haley, manager of library services for the united counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, said the ban on crafts was put on place because the municipality is revamping its 18 library branches in an effort to attract more people and needs to be more literacy-focused to achieve that end.
She said the library’s new fall lineup includes teen book clubs and Scrabble nights. The library will also be holding some events not focused on literacy, such as video game nights, to attract a younger crowd.
But under the new plan, there will no longer be a space for Kingston Currie and the other girls, aged six to 10, who used to sit around a table teasing yarn into organized patterns and items with crochet hooks and pairs of needles.
Read the comments as well. It looks like it’s a much more involved story. Folks contacted the library, including this poster: (emphasis mine)
This is the answer I received from Pamela Haley:
A recent article in the Chesterville Record has stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy surrounding the supposed “expelling” of young knitters from the library while retaining “gaming”. This article and the subsequent CBC report is factually inaccurate and decidedly premature.The Library does not have a problem with artistic expression and creativity. The history of programming in the SDG County Library has been, however, to offer programmes with only the making of a craft as its focus, e.g. build a bird house, make cards, decorate eggs, etc. This has drawn patrons in for the craft, who have left without “experiencing” the Library. What we are striving to do is to enhance that library experience by focusing on literature-based programmes. Preparing for these programmes is based on a widely accepted model that involves selecting a theme, and choosing literature and activities based on the theme, with crafts being the occasional addition to the programme.There was no specific targeting of the “Chix with Sticks” group. Indeed, we had placed a call for programmes in the branches and had not received any indication that there was a continued desire for this programme. Even if we had been notified, we would have asked the group to tweak their programme to fall in line with the new programming guidelines. What we are proposing is a programme called “Chix in Stitches” which is a female book club focusing on humourous “chick lit” that encourages knitting, crocheting, etc. during the discussions and a pot of tea to boot.
Interesting take on “experiencing the library…”