Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

“I pretty much do all of this stuff with my kids and have for years,” says Kaila Hettesheimer, new program coordinator at the Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library. “It felt like the perfect fit.”

By stuff, Hettesheimer means holiday-themed events, activities, and crafts.

Hettesheimer’s kids are six, eight, and 12.

“They’re kind of outgrowing my love of all this little kid stuff,” she says.

Hettesheimer grew up in Slave Lake. She moved away after the Slave Lake wildfire in 2011. She had her kids moved back to Slave Lake in 2019, just before the pandemic.

“I moved back because my whole family is here,” she says.

Hettesheimer and her kids are enjoying their home in Canyon Creek.

This spring she graduated with a diploma of social work from Northern Lakes College.

Hettesheimer went into social work because of one of her two passions, which is “community involvement and building stronger families,” she says. Her other passion is criminology, but the first one was a better fit with her lifestyle in Slave Lake.

Hettesheimer’s passion plays into her role at the library.

“My goal right now is to not get too carried away,” she says. Along with that, “my goal is to create an atmosphere where people can come and have a good time and connect with resources.”

One of the resources is The Mailbox Program, which is a free four-week workshop for families with children having a hard time. It is in partnership with Northern Haven Support Society Outreach, which raises awareness about family violence. It runs four Wednesdays in August, starting August 3.

The library has lots of activities throughout the summer, including Book Bike in the Park on Tuesdays, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Schurter Park.

“There’s programs running every day of the week, except Saturday, that’s reserved for special events,” says Hettesheimer.

One special event in August is a Mini Art Display. People can come out on August 6 and 13th, to paint a mini canvas. These will be included in a display which will be up until September. There’s also a colouring contest.

In the fall, the after-school program and some events for adults will start back up.

Kaila Hettesheimer finds program coordinating at the Slave Lake Public Library a ‘perfect fit.’