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Stockpile reading material over Games

No limit on library book withdrawal over six-week timeframe

Library cardholders can stockpile their winter reading without penalty as the library prepares to shut down for the 2010 Winter Games period.

The Whistler Public Library Director, Lauren Stara, said people can take "armloads of books" home with them over the Olympic Games period as the library prepares to close its doors to the public from Jan. 30 to March 7.

"We don't want people to be without reading material," said Stara.

"(They can) take as many books as they want for six weeks."

The library has designated Jan. 25 to 29 as the period to stockpile books and audio books.

Stara recognized that despite the chance to stockpile their reading material, Whistlerites will still feel the loss of their library.

It is, she said, a place where people can hang out, drink a coffee, access the free Internet, catch up on the news and just relax.

"That probably is the biggest loss of all, is just having a place to come and hang out," she said.

"We feel for the community and we understand that it's a great loss for the community."

That being said, the library has been closed before for roughly the same time period, when it moved from the old trailers to its new state of the art green building in 2008.

At that time, some people took as many as 30 to 50 books out at once because it saved the books being moved into storage.

"There were people who were doing it to help us," said Stara.

She hopes to see the same outpouring of support this time around.

Not all the library stacks will be removed to make room for the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Government of B.C., the Government of Canada and the Resort Municipality of Whistler, who will use the building as a hosting facility during the Games.

A good portion of the books, however, will be moved to a warehouse in North Vancouver.

While it will be an "accredited" building and not open to the public, there will be some community events over the course of the Games where people can meet athletes and other celebrities.

The library will be open during the Paralympics, which run from March 12 to 21, but will close early some days for events linked to the Canadian Paralympic Committee.

If there are any questions about the library hours and operations and Games-time mode, contact Stara at 604-935-8433.