Aaron Williams spoke to an enthralled, jam packed audience at the Smithers Public Library during the launch of his book about his experiences in fighting wild fires in the Interior. Tom Best photo

Author releases book at library he used to write it

Meeting on future of Arts and Culture Centre with library Oct.19, 6:30 at Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge.

One might think that the institution of “library” is something for the past, but a visit to our local version will certainly show that such is certainly not the case.

Last Thursday evening Aaron Williams, an engaging young man with a very interesting tale to tell, was at the Smithers Public Library for the release of his book Chasing Smoke – A wildfire memoir.

The place was packed. You could hardly turn around.

Williams gave an interesting account of his experiences fighting wildfires such as the ones B.C. experienced to no end this summer. It was much more than just a dry recounting of what happens during such fires. It was a retelling of his personal experiences in dealing with a part of nature that can go far beyond what we would like. This is from someone who has been in the center of that whole experience, as grisly or exciting as it can be.

Williams said that he used to spend evenings in the Smithers Library working on his book.

Library director Wendy Wright, an energetic believer on the importance of a library as part of any community’s life, was happy to hear that Williams was able to find free community space on his way to becoming a published author.

Meeting on future of library

Wright had a lot to say about the multitude of roles a library has within a community, and also how it is even more important in today’s society than ever due to the changing ways in which we communicate and research.

She said that people such as herself are able to complete educational courses that are not always available in someone’s household. The numbers of visits to the local library to use the wi-fi hookup for example are astounding.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have access to a lot of things because we don’t have the space,” she said. “Some of our materials have to be stored in a crawlspace under us and that makes accessing them very difficult.”

Wright described more modern libraries which have opportunities for online classes through Skype, for example.

While the local facility has tried to keep up with the modern trends, it has become more and more difficult due to the simple size and layout of the current building.

She encouraged interested individuals to attend the upcoming meeting concerning the present and future of key arts and culture facilities. The meeting will be held Thursday, Oct.19 at 6:30 at the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge.

Bulkley Valley Arts and Culture CentreSmithers Public Library

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Interested listeners had to jam themselves into the side stacks to hear Aaron Williams talk about his wild fire experiences during his recent book launch. (Tom Best photo)

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