Brian Jenkins with daughter Joanne and granddaughter Olivia
It was a love affair that started in downtown Calgary in the 1940s, and has spanned the generations.
Brian Jenkins, 85, remembers well how he became a devout library user. He was a young teenager working as a downtown “office boy,” and would have spare time over the lunch hour. “I would go to the Central Library (now Memorial Park Library) where I would discover all sorts of things and find a constant source of new books to read.”
From this lunch hour past-time developed a lifelong love of reading and the library.
As the city grew and changed, so did the libraries that Brian used including the Hillhurst Library, which is now the home of Pages Books on Kensington.
Brian and his wife fostered a love of reading in their children. His daughter Joanne, now a busy chiropractor, recalls “Mom and Dad always had books on the nightstand, and I remember regular visits to the Louise Riley Library. My sisters and I were avid readers from an early age.”
Today, Joanne and Grandpa Brian have instilled the pleasure of reading in Joanne’s daughter, Olivia (5). “I like to take books out,” says Olivia, “and my favourite book is Midnight in Memphis.” She adds that she is going to show her grandpa how to check out his own books on one of their next visits.
Brian, Joanne and Olivia all use the computer at home for information, communication and entertainment, but they still come to the Nose Hill Library on a regular basis. “The Library is a great family place and a nice link to community in a cyberspace world,” says Brian. Joanne adds that the Library expands knowledge, and the city would have been a limited place without the public library. “Nothing can replace it.” Olivia seems to agree, as she runs to the shelves to get some more books and a movie.