Event: Coffee House Fundraiser for PSS Library, Thurs Jan 15, 6pm


Learn to knit. Watch a flick. Browse some local art. Do yoga. Read something mind-meltingly good. Sounds like a groovy arthouse cafe space, but it’s actually the Pemberton Secondary School library. And on Thursday evening, they’re opening the doors to the entire community, and hosting a Coffee House night, for real, (with Mount Currie Coffee Co coffee and Namasthe tea on offer), to raise funds for the library.

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Teacher Karen Tomlinson, (a little bit of a library nerd herself, and we consider that high praise), braintrusted the concept, inspired by the Pemberton’s library’s grown-up Wine and Cheese event, a 21 year old success story. She’s on both the PSS staff library committee and the Pemberton Library Board, and she gave us a little background to the debut project.

A Coffeehouse artshow fundraiser for the PSS library?  Why do you need to raise money for the library?

The library has a school budget which quickly gets used up with purchasing books and supplies, and does not leave a lot left over in updating the space, so this fundraiser is to help with the purchase of some new furniture for the library.  Specifically, we are looking to purchase rolling book cases so that we can move them around when we want to reconfigure the space for different events.

Our goal for the last few years has been to refashion the library into a learning commons area.  This means that, not only is it used at a library space with books and other research capabilities, it can have more versatility for students and staff to use.  We have presentations and workshops in the library.  The kids have Netflix Thursdays at lunch, and the staff does yoga after school on Fridays in the library.  If we had movable bookcases, we could push them off to the side to create more space when we needed it.

Library parties seem to be a growing Pemberton tradition… Who are you hoping will attend?

Everyone and anyone. In addition to students, staff, and parents, we would love for people who don’t normally have an association with the school to come and see our school and our library, and check out some of the things are students are doing.

What’s in it for me? Satisfaction of a prurient curiosity about what happens behind the walls of the local high school? A chance to drink great coffee at night, after the cafe has closed? To pretend I’m in Paris?

Come to the library and see some of the changes we have made already and what a great space it is for our students.

the library in early 2013

the library in early 2013

See a showcase of student talent.  A variety of students and former students will perform – singing, playing instruments, and dancing – and there will be displays of students’ work in art, photography, metal crafts, and wood working.

Sit and relax in a comfortable setting over a cup of coffee donated by the Mt. Curie Coffee Co. or a cup of tea donated by Namaste Tea Co. (We really appreciate their contributions to this event).

Model for a groovy arthouse cafe? Pemberton's own Mt Currie Coffee Co, shown here just before their opening 7 years ago.

Model for a groovy arthouse cafe? Pemberton’s own Mt Currie Coffee Co, shown here just before their opening 7 years ago.

When is the action taking place?

Performances start at 7:00 pm, but come by earlier (we’re opening at 6:00 pm) to view the student’s work and bid on some auction items.

The photography and metal work students are doing projects right now on how to connect to the community.  Their work be on display, and there will be metal creations and photos available for purchase. (Half of the money from proceeds will go to the student and the other half will go back into the program.)

The Parent Advisory Committee has helped immensely with this event and they have a Silent Auction with a variety of baskets of items donated from local businesses in Pemberton and Whistler, and they are doing a Coffee and Tea Sale where people can buy bags of coffee from Mt. Curie Coffee Co. and boxes of tea from Namasthe Tea Co.


We are also offering Adopt-a-Book!  All the new books we have purchased for the library this year will be on display, and people can buy one of those books for the library.  That will free up money to purchase even more books, and let you be recognised for your contribution with a plate in the front of the book.

Sounds like quite the communal effort.

The Basketball Leadership class is helping to run this event, as part of the event planning portion of their course. They will assist with the fundraising portions of the evening, collect donations at the door, sell coffee, tea and treats, and MC the evening.

How important is the library at Pemberton Secondary School?

The library is an important component in any school.

Well, you would say that. You’re a library nerd. How is it important?

We have a Silent Reading program at our school where our students read for 20 minutes every day.  The library provide the books for all our readers at all different levels.   If we don`t have the book a student wants, we can purchase that book or get it on loan from the Pemberton Public Library for them.

We are seeing more and more use of the library space as the school year progresses.  Teachers are bringing their classes down to use the library for research and do group activities because it is a space where kids can spread out to work.  They come to use the computers and the TV-Apple TV.  They send individual kids down to read or small groups down to work on a project.  The library is also packed during lunch time with kids eating, doing homework, using computers, or just socializing.

We hope that people understand the value of a library in a school and a community for lifelong reading and learning.

That is why we think it is worth people coming out and supporting this event.

Plus, you never know who you’ll run into. This could be the social event of the season. Don’t miss the chance to say, “oh yeah, I was at the first one, back when so-and-so {insert famous artist/writer/singer/craftsperson} was a student there…”