Behind the Scenes: Filming BC SRC welcome video in American Sign Language

Early one morning in August, as part of our initiative to increase language accessibility to the BC Summer Reading Club, a small crew of people gathered at a BC library to film a “welcome” video in American Sign Language (ASL).  This video will be a permanent feature on the BC SRC staff website, and each year will be linked to the kid’s site. The experience was both fascinating and a tremendous learning opportunity. I thought you might enjoy a behind-the-scenes peak!

Through Tess Prendergast (our Consultant, Inclusion Review Team), we were put in touch with ASL signer, Zoée Montpetit. 

Meet Zoée Montpetit, our ASL signer

Zoée is a self-professed “grammar nerd” and took painstaking efforts to understand what we were trying to communicate about the BC SRC. Text messages and emails flew back and forth as she worked to determine the best way to say things in American Sign Language. As ASL has no official written form, she used English gloss to represent certain signs to help me understand the process. Glossing is not a translation, but rather a description of what is being signed, including important body language. And because ASL and English are very different languages, complete with different grammars, the English gloss script Zoée showed me was a fascinating “view” into some of those differences. 

Here’s an example:

English and ASL GLoss

Our welcome video also includes captions in English. I learned that as part of Bilingual-Bicultural education, this gives Deaf children a chance to learn English as they watch ASL. Very cool!

Zoée signing “Hello!”

On the day of the shoot, interpreter Denise Sedran arrived. Her first job was to facilitate communication between Zoée, myself, and the crew. I learned that when Denise spoke directly to me in English, she was typically “in” Zoée’s voice. So a simple request from Denise, such as “May I have a glass of water?”, was in fact a request from Zoée.

Denise’s second job was to do a voiceover in English. Syncing an audio recording to someone signing can be challenging, especially if you are trying to capture nuance and tone. It was decided that from the sidelines, with the camera “rolling”,  Denise would read the English script aloud, while carefully watching Zoée sign, in order to match her pacing. It was very cool to observe the dynamic connection between Zoée and Denise. 

Zoée and Denise working out timing and phrasing. Samuel on sound. TJ at the camera.

Our film crew was made up of Samuel Wong and TJ Galmut.  Their calm and friendly demeanour, along with plenty of reassurances that we would be able to do as many takes as necessary, made it a fun experience for everyone. 

Gathered around the camera to watch the footage. Of particular concern, was to ensure that none of Zoée’s signs had been cut off in the frame.

What an amazing experience to work with this group of people! Can’t wait for you to see the video. I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as it is up!

Many thanks to Julie Iannacone and Erie Maestro and the staff at Vancouver Public Library’s Kensington branch for letting us “borrow” their children’s department early one morning! And an extra big thanks to  Ministry of Education, Libraries Branch, for their funding to increase language accessibility to the BC Sumemr Reading Club!

In case you’d like to learn more:

Zoée Montpetit has been an American Sign Language educator for a decade and is passionate about introducing ASL and Deaf Culture with an emphasis on social justice. She created Queer ASL, an ASL & Deaf Culture program, which focuses on creating a more accessible, affordable, and safer space for queer & transgender folk and their allies who want to learn ASL in Vancouver, BC. She has been currently expanding Queer ASL to include workshops, event promotions in ASL, and is excited to collaborate with organizations on projects. To contact Zoée, please email her at and more information about Queer ASL can be found at

Denise Sedran is a certified interpreter who has been working in the field for over thirty years. She is passionate about fostering capacity and competence in interpreters to ensure the highest quality of service provision. Throughout her career she has been a practitioner, mentor, educator, consultant and leader. She currently works full-time as a Professional Development Specialist with Sorenson Communications and when time permits, she enjoys interpreting in the community.  She can be reached at or 604-616-9007. 

Samuel Wong  is a graphic designer who specializes in motion graphics, illustration, packaging and film. To contact Samuel or to see more of his work please visit

TJ Galmut is a cinematographer from Chilliwack, BC. As a freelance filmmaker he films promos, commercials, and live events. On his free time he journeys into the outdoors to abandoned places and mountain peaks.

RBC donates $50,000 to the BC Summer Reading Club!

The BCLA Summer Reading Club (BC SRC) has been a uniquely provincial program for over 25 years. Jointly funded by the BC Ministry of Education, Libraries Branch, and RBC, the BC SRC offers children across the province the opportunity to maintain their literacy skills throughout the summer and take part in a variety of fun activities at their public library. RBC has been an important and valued partner in this program since 2001 and we gratefully acknowledge their generous support to the 2017 BC SRC.

Here we are at the RBC, Georgia & Burrard branch, with manager Sonya Reginato and her staff, to express our appreciation and to receive the cheque! Very exciting!

From left to right: Kate Adams (BC SRC Committee Past Chair), Michelle Rachmata (RBC staff) Stephanie Kripps (BCLA Board),Sonya Reginato (RBC Branch Manager), above: Cassie McFadden (BCLA Office Manager)  below: Cynthia Ford (BC SRC Provincial Co-ordinator), Henna Dua (RBC staff)


Thanks to RBC’s generous support, participating libraries are able to award children who complete the program with a specially designed medal to honour their reading accomplishments.

BC SRC medal (back), featuring RBC logo

BC SRC medal (front), 2017 theme Walk on the Wild Side!

Many libraries hold public ceremonies, attended by hundreds of eager Summer Readers and their families, at which RBC representatives, and other local dignitaries personally present each child with a medal.This is the time of year children throughout BC are proudly displaying their BC Summer Reading Club medal. Often, children will keep their medals year after year, as evidence of their significant personal accomplishments.

Via Twitter @gvpl shared a picture of a BC SRC member who collected this jaw-dropping collection of seven years of medals!

In 2013, BCLA partnered with RBC, to introduce the BC SRC Community Story Award. Each year, this award is presented to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community. To read the winning stories and for more details on how to enter, please see:

Each library is encouraged to design and and deliver programs that best meet the unique needs of their community. Thanks to the enthusiasm and deep commitment of library staff, the BC SRC is featured at parades, weekly farmer’s markets, and community days throughout the summer. Not only does the BC SRC program make it fun for children to maintain their reading skills over the summer, it creates opportunities for them to make new friends, develop a lifelong love of reading, learn about the many things their local library has to offer, and feel a sense of belonging within their community. The BC SRC program currently reaches over 172,000 children and their families throughout the province. 

This would not be possible without RBC’s incredible generosity, support, and community perspective. Thank you, RBC!


SRC Display at VPL’s Central Branch

Staff at the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch sent along some pictures of their SRC display. Fun!

Be sure to send us yours, too!


A giant octopus floats above the registration desk.


Amidst the trees, colourful flowers mark each child’s registration.

A log cabin in the woods,  just right for summer camping and reading!

Take the 2017 BC SRC Quiz and win!

This past spring, Randi Robin, BC SRC’s esteemed quiztress, put together yet another fabulous quiz for the BCLA Conference.

Didn’t make it to Conference? Well, we sure missed you, and now’s your chance to take the quiz and win some prizes! Enter as an individual, enter as a team!

We have a small quantity of gorgeous Darlene Gate art cards to be awarded as prizes. Each card is a quality reproduction of Darlene Gait’s original paintings and comes individually packaged with its own envelope. Gorgeous!

To enter, simply include the number of the question and the letter of the answer you think is correct, ie. 9:z (there is no question 9 or answer z — this is just an example!) DO NOT post your answers to the blog! 😉 Please send your entry directly to with the subject line “SRC Quiz + Your Library Name”. 

Good luck!

BC SRC Conference Quiz 2017

Unlimited downloads of Joseph Bruchac’s Bearwalker for BC SRC readers!

Thanks to our friends at BC Libraries Co-op, OverDrive, and HarperCollins, BC Summer Reading kids can check out the e-book version of Bearwalker by Joseph Bruchac. (Any kids with access to the BC Libraries Library2Go will also have access to this title. )

Bearwalker is on our Week One Booklist , for ages 9-12. Activated on July 27, the e-book already has over 155 checkouts! Pretty cool!

Many thanks, too, to Chetwynd Public Library’s Ana Peasgood for suggesting we explore ways to increase both digital literacy and access to books, from the SRC weekly booklists.

Bearwalker is available for unlimited downloads till September 12!