Delia residents will have a chance to ask Minister of Agriculture MLA Jack Hayden some questions live via video conference on Wednesday, June 2.
Recently the Delia Library was outfitted with video conferencing equipment, and they invited Hayden for a short chat to demonstrate the equipment.
“We’ve had it (video conferencing equipment) for less than a year,” said Delia Library board chair Barb Marshall. “It offers people in rural communities such as ours the opportunity to possibly meet, be it doctors or business meetings, and it can all be set up as a free service in the library.”
She explains the equipment was made possible through the Rural Information Service InitiativE (RISE). This was created by a partnership of three library regions in Southern Alberta. The Chinook Arch, Marigold and Shortgrass Regions prepared a proposal to access funding for a video conferencing network.
It is a $5 million project and 75 per cent of the funding came from the Rural Alberta Development Fund. This has paved the way for about 80 libraries in these regions to be outfitted with the equipment.
Marshall said one of the capabilities is to join educational and entertaining programs in other institutions via the video link.
“For example a couple weeks ago we took part in Puppets in Pajamas. It was a children’s author that did a little talk, and the children came to the library in their pajamas and enjoyed a live feed in another location,” said Marshall.
They have also taken part in an author video visit from Mary-Ann Kirkby, author of I am Hutterite, and a couple gardening talks. She says there are many programs; it is just a matter of who is interested in which ones to connect to.
The library wants to create more awareness of the service and that is one of the reasons they planned to connect with their MLA.
“We just wanted to promote our service, so we thought we could hook up with Jack Hayden in Edmonton,” said Marshall. “We talked to him and asked if he could give up a few minute of his time and he said ‘sure.’”
After working to coordinate a time, they agreed on June 2 between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Marshall admits it may be a short talk, as he is busy.
‘It is just a chance to meet with him and say hi,” she said, adding they have been collecting questions for the Minister of Agriculture upon his video visit.