Ditidaht library opening now on video

Library 8Members of the Royal Family officially openedthe new Write to Read library in Ditidaht, a small village on Vancouver Island, last summer. A video of that event has been produced and can be viewed at the link below. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and Princess Sophie, Countess of
Wessex, cut the ribbon.  A feat was held and a ceremony honoured the “champion” of the library, teacher Eva Clarke. Log on to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OROrvJsv73s


As a result of great work by our W2R team member Christoph Neufeld of Britco Structures, TELUS is now working with W2R to study the viability of connectivity for our First Nations communities.

This can mean that W2R libraries are becoming truly the hub and gathering place envisioned in earlier planning. Our implementation team is now working hard to set up our newest library, NOOAITCH. We are calling this library W2R Version 3.1 because NOOAITCH will become our template for future libraries. Each will contain a computer lab, a tablet lab, video conferencing, and a fully stocked aboriginal library along with other books. The modular building that Britco has supplied to the Canada Winter Games will be the structure will use for our Version 3.1. TELUS is studying the viability of connectivity for the community that could enable video conferencing capabilities and allow NOOAITCH to be the prototype for future libraries..<

Sue Sterling and Andrea Inwards from the Merritt Sunrise Club are the spark plugs for this project and have already secured funding from both the Merritt Clubs (Sunrise and Noon club) to purchase aboriginal books plus the furniture to go into the building. Our implementation team of Christoph Neufeld, Brian Van Sickle, Margaret Fletcher and Bob Blacker will be going up to Merritt to meet with the community to confirm the final configuration for the library.

TELUS has asked for coordinates of all our existing libraries,< to see what connectivity they currently possess. We will build our future network from there. For the libraries already functioning, we will verify if we can also install video conferencing and tablet labs. So, another giant step for the entire Write to Read Project!

Westcoast Outbuildings joins the W2R team

Aquarium 1editWith major sponsor Britco Structures having fulfilled its promises of supplying Write to Read with 10 modular buildings (a $250,000 donation) to be used as libraries in remote First Nations communities around the province, the challenge becomes finding new sponsors to assist in funding new structures. Westcoast Outbuildings, a North Vancouver company, may be the right partner to manufacture any new libraries for which funding is found. (www.outbuildings.ca)

Westcoast Outbuildings has been in business for 5 years, making a wide variety of cabins, studios, cottages, offices, guest houses and other small buildings that are inexpensive to manufacture and easy to move. Owner Geoff Baker heard about the Write to Read Project and has offered his staff and production facility to assist with the manufacture of any new buildings, once plans are finalized and funding found.

“We’ve been successful in business and are looking for ways to ‘give back’ to the community,” said Geoff, “and this looks like a way to do so.”

Geoff, along with Write to Read Project Coordinator Bob Blacker, estimates the cost of manufacturing a small building, transporting it, and then installing it on site at approximately $50,000. The main challenge with remote communities lies always in the shipping. Coastal First Nations may be difficult to access and usually require barges, although BC Ferries does dock at a few native communities. Interior shipping by truck requires pilot cars, and buildings need to be of a specific size to fit on highways and under overpasses.

“We’d like to be able to get involved once the exact needs are decided,” said Geoff. “We have a wide range of designs in our portfolio and can probably provide a building that works for the purpose needed. We are pleased to get involved.”

Baker and Blacker recently toured the admissions building at the Vancouver Aquarium, which Westcoast designed and built at a cost of $125,000. It may be possible for Write to Read to acquire the building for use as a library if the cost of purchase and shipping can be funded. The building has 10 work stations wired for Internet and would make a perfect fit for several First Nations communities on a waiting list.