Category Archives: Community Story Award


We are delighted to announce that Selina Powszedny of the Squamish Public Library is the winner of the 2017 BC SRC Community Story Award!

Our judges loved Selina’s story “because it really showcases a very typical user group of the BC SRC and how the program helps keep kids coming to the library as they get older”.
Selina will attend this year’s BCLA Conference as a guest of RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). She’ll also be joining us at the SRC Conference booth. Please come by and say hello, and congratulate her!

BCLA, in partnership with RBC, introduced the SRC Community Story Award at the 2013 BCLA Conference. Each year, the BC Summer Reading Club will present this award to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community.
We look forward to hearing your SRC stories!

The 2017 SRC Community Story Award Winner

About Selina Powszedny

Selina’s three main passions since a young age have been animals, the environment, and, of course, reading. She tries to combine these three passions often, by reading books about the environment and animals, and encouraging others to do so as well. She was a Summer Reading Club Coordinator at the Squamish Public Library this past summer, and enjoyed coming up with ideas for the “Book A Trip” theme, and reading stories to the kids.

Selina is in her third year at the University of Victoria, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Geography. She tries to find time to read for joy regularly. Her favourite series is Harry Potter, and she doesn’t have a favourite book, as there are way too many. You can catch Selina hiking through the woods, swimming in lakes, and camping on regular occasions. She also loves to travel, and would love to travel more once university is finished, and maybe even write a book or two along the way.

Selina’s Story

“Selina and Cassie, all the boys are cheating on their reading records!” Arlene opens the door of the Squamish Public Library meeting room and yells in. I hear giggles as she lets the door slam shut after announcing this news. Cassie and I look at each other and roll our eyes. We have had our suspicions about this specific group of boys and their reading records before, but in all honesty, we do not mind so much.

It’s not that the boys don’t read. I am sure they do. They listen to the stories attentively while we read them during the programs, laughing along, and if one of them finishes the craft before all the others, they will usually grab a book and read. However, they do seem to ‘finish’ their week of reading before the week has finished each week. But they are a keen group of boys and they love the programs.

Each week, the boys interact with the library multiple times and in multiple ways. On Fridays, the boys will call in. There are about six boys in this group in total. Five of them are in the older kids group, all either eleven or twelve, and one is in the younger kids group, being eight. He sometimes stands outside the meeting room during the older kids group and stares in through the window. Anyways, on Fridays, all of them either call or come into the Squamish Public Library to register for the next weeks programs. Their parents never seem to participate in their registration, which, in turn, helps them learn independence.

When one of the boys call in, they seem to also register their younger sibling, their cousin, and their best friend as well, usually all for different programs on different days of the week. However, the boys in the group always register for Wednesday afternoons. The ones who don’t phone in physically come into the library to register within the first hour the library has opened on a Friday, also registering siblings, cousins and friends. On Mondays or Tuesdays, the boys will usually roll up to the library on their bikes, come into the library to hang out, look around, and update their reading records. They will all look for books together, and spend at least an hour in here. The library has become their meeting ground. And on Wednesdays, they come in for the program, arriving half an hour early to hang out in the library, and usually spending half an hour in the library once the program is finished.

All of the boys have been participating in the BC Summer Reading Club for a few summers now, and they all enjoy it. The BC Summer Reading Club has given them all an opportunity to get out in their community, expand their mindsets, given them motivation to read, and enjoy their summer. Sure, they are not the best listeners, and they goof off a bit in the programs, but the library has become a special place for them, and I hope it continues to be as they continue to grow older and enter middle school.

Walking on the Wild Side at the 2017 BCLA Conference!

What a great time we had at the BCLA Conference! As always, it was a treat to see old friends and put faces to email addresses. Although this year’s chair, TNRD’s Emily Olsen, was unfortunately unable to attend Conference, Incoming Chair, VPL’s Jennifer Lee and Outgoing Chair, RPL’s Kate Adams were on hand to welcome conference delegates to the 2017 BC SRC: Walk on the Wild Side!

VPL’s Jennifer Lee and RPL’s Kate Adams

On display was this year’s gorgeous artwork by  Darlene Gait! Jenn Lee’s stunning cut-outs of BC foliage added a wonderful wild-ness to the SRC booth!

We were thrilled when Darlene generously donated the original painting of the poster for the Conference. In recent years, our SRC artists have worked digitally so it was pretty exciting to see the artwork IRL!

VPL’s Jenn Lee beside original painting for 2017 BC SRC poster by Darlene Gait. Done in ink, coloured Pantone pencil, and gauche; measures 12 x 24″.

Everyone was invited to try the SRC Quiz Conference Edition, created once again by our brilliant Quiztress, Randi Robin. Prizes included a bottle of BC wine and an adorable thematically-correct Folkmanis Raccoon puppet. Stay tuned later this summer, when the SRC Quiz Conference Edition will appear here on this blog, for you to try!

An oversized reading record and some crayons provided an opportunity to explore drawing skills with the Draw Yourself in Nature Activity cards. (Most of us decided we’d best stick with our day jobs! 😉 )

A ballot box invited people to vote for their favourite theme for 2019. They were asked to choose from a shortlist (the top contenders from last year’s poll). 

The possible 2019 themes include:

  1. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
  2. Mysteries
  3. Imagination/Art

If you haven’t yet voted, please do so here! (So far, it’s a very close race!) Voting is open till Monday, June 19th.

If you didn’t make it to Conference this year, we missed you, and hope you’ll send us news and updates about the SRC goings on at your library.

Be sure to tell us your stories, too! We are now accepting submissions for the 2018 Community Story Award! Please see here for more details!

Looking forward to A Walk on the Wild Side with you this summer!


We are delighted to announce that Lise Kreps of the Burnaby Public Library is the winner of the 2016 BC SRC Community Story Award!

Our judges loved Lise’s story about an ESL mum and her two daughters signing up for the BC SRC, together! Said one judge: “I think the story really captures what SRC is all about.”

Lise will attend this year’s BCLA Conference as a guest of RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). She’ll also be joining us at the SRC Conference booth. Please come by and say hello, and congratulate her!

BCLA, in partnership with RBC, introduced the SRC Community Story Award at the 2013 BCLA Conference. Each year, the BC Summer Reading Club will present this award to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community.
We look forward to hearing your SRC stories!

The 2016 SRC Community Story Award Winner

About Lise Kreps:

Lise earned her MLS in the Dark Ages just before the Internet was invented, when we still consulted printed indices and scried in inkwells. She has started and run three madrigal choirs, as well as designed sound for theatrical productions, which led her into twenty years as a software documentation and usability consultant in Seattle, as well as teaching at the University of Washington’s iSchool, and back to librarianship at Cornish College of the Arts. In 2007 she returned to Canada and began working at Burnaby Public Library, where she enjoys helping
patrons of all ages and backgrounds at the McGill Branch.

Lise’s Story:

Margaret, an ESL mum, just signed up not only her two daughters for SRC but herself as well. She told me her daughters want her to read in English every day, so they all sit on the couch and read their own books. Her daughter times it to make sure they read at least a half hour. Last year they all joined the SRC, and Margaret got a medal along with her daughters at the medal ceremony at Metrotown Library. Margaret described the experience as, “We stand in line. Very happy! Very proud.”

She asked about the robot, and I explained the Build-It theme, and pointed out the SRC activities we have coming up, like the kick-off party this Saturday, the Lego, and the Marshmallow Building event. Margaret was thrilled, and exclaimed, “We love library!”

This Year’s Winner

We are delighted to announce that Ardie Burnham of the Okanagan Regional Library is the winner of the 2018 BC SRC Community Story Award!


About Ardie

Ardie is currently the Youth Services Librarian at the Salmon Arm Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library system (ORL). Prior to working for the ORL, she taught grade one at a private school and ran her own music studio.  Ardie says she has the “best job in the world”! When she isn’t telling stories or carting her big gym bag (a.k.a her Mary Poppins bag!) to an outreach program, Ardie loves to be in motion. She can be found hiking, kayaking, biking, snowshoeing, waterskiing, rock climbing, and walking around her hometown.

“SRC Sanctuary”

Every summer, the youth in our community rush down to the library to sign up for Summer Reading Club. It thrills us that the parents and young people of Salmon Arm see the importance of reading over the summer and are excited to do it. This year, however, was particularly moving for us.

We are all aware of the terrible wildfires that ravaged our province over the summer. Like many other communities in BC, Salmon Arm provided shelter for those who were displaced from their homes due to evacuation orders. In situations like  this, a library becomes a safe place and almost a second home for those who have nowhere else to go. This summer, we also discovered that the province wide summer reading program can provide much needed consistency for displaced children.

In July, we had a family come into the library hoping to use it’s resources. We discovered they were one of the many families effected by raging fires near their town. They had to leave behind almost everything they owned in their rush to escape the fires. After helping the family set up an emergency library account with us, the staff then asked if the children would like to sign up for Summer Reading Club. One of the children looked at the reading record and said, “Mom! They have the same club as us! Am I allowed to get another reading record?” It turned out that these children had signed up for Summer Reading Club at their own library but left their reading record behind when forced to evacuate. We were so happy that we were able to provide the children with the Summer Reading Club materials they had to leave behind, and it warmed our hearts to know that even in the midst of chaos, these children were able to find something from home in our library.

Photo credit: PEA (Professional Employees Association)



We are delighted to announce that Miranda Mallinson of the Vancouver Public Library is the winner of the 2015 BC SRC Community Story Award!

Our judges were deeply affected by Miranda’s story about handing out SRC medals. This is what they had to say: “This story is a wonderful example of not only how the passion and enthusiasm that library workers have is passed along to SRC participants, but also how the accomplishments of each child matter to us, and make an impact on our lives, too.”

Miranda will attend this year’s BCLA Conference as a guest of RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). She’ll also be joining us at the SRC Conference booth. Please come by and say hello, and congratulate her!

BCLA, in partnership with RBC, introduced the SRC Community Story Award at the 2013 BCLA Conference. Each year, the BC Summer Reading  Club will present this award to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community.

We look forward to hearing your SRC stories!

The 2015 SRC Community Story Award Winner

About Miranda Mallinson

Miranda was born in Toronto and grew up on Mir_and_Lucky-270x3001Vancouver’s North Shore, near the ocean. Before she worked in libraries, she worked mostly in child care, where she honed her storytelling skills. At university, she studied  painting and printmaking. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and their three cats.

As a child, Miranda’s favourite relationship with books was having them read-aloud to her by her mother. She loved this time together. She especially loved the illustrations and would pore over them, in a state she describes as “close to bliss”. She would prefer a world where all the books were illustrated! These days, Miranda favourite authors include Mo Willems, Jeremy Tankard, Nicholson Baker, and Naomi Shihab Nye.

It makes perfect sense that she has ended up in the Children’s Library at VPL, surrounded by gorgeously illustrated books, welcoming children, reading to them, and sharing with them her love of pictures and of art. She tells kids that the best thing about books is that anything can happen. For Miranda, the most important thing to have happen is when someone arrives at the library, they feel welcomed, safe and significant.

Miranda’s Story: Summer Reading Club Medals

I’m a Library Technician in the Children’s Library at the Vancouver Public Library. I get to do a lot of amazing and profound things in my job, but honestly, one of the most inspiring and happy things I do all year is give out Summer Reading Club medals.

As a kid, “completion” was always an issue for me, so when a kid comes in with a Reading Record full of books that they’ve read, I go all out making a fuss over it.  In that moment, nothing else exists. I look the kid in the eye, and express in the most heartfelt way I can, how proud and impressed I am at what they have done. What I want them to feel, in that moment, is that we, as grownups, as role models, think that what they have accomplished is fantastic. Yes, reading should be, and is, its own pleasure; but athletic kids, math kids, they get tangible rewards all the time for what they are good at. I want the kids who are into reading, and the kids who struggle with it, too, to know that we think they are awesome, just for doing what they do.

Today I had two kids come in, brothers, to collect their medals. I pored over their reading records, asked them about what they had read and told them how proud I was. I wrote up their certificates, and then I came around the desk to give them their medals. When I do this, I always envision the Olympics Medal Ceremony in my head… that’s what it is for me “…on behalf of the Vancouver Public Library, it is my great honour to bestow upon you this medal for the completion of the Summer Reading Club of 2014. Congratulations.”

I shook their hands and applauded. And just at that moment, a gang from the Book and Writing Camp were going by.  I called out to them, “Hey guys, these kids just got their medals for Summer Reading Club!”

“Wow,” said the campers, “that’s great!” and they applauded, too.

Maybe the young brothers will remember it, maybe they won’t, but they are readers, they love books, they told me so, and today a whole bunch of big kids and one goofy adult told them that that was very cool.


And the SRC Community Story Award winner is….

We are delighted to announce that Beverley Rintoul of Rossland Public Library is the winner of the first ever BC SRC Community Story Award!

BCLA, in partnership with RBC, introduced the SRC Community Story Award at the 2013 BCLA Conference. Each year, the BC Summer Reading Club will present this award to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community.

We received some wonderful submissions this year, but we think you’ll agree that Beverley’s story perfectly captures the not only the deep impact of the SRC program, but also the commitment and care that library workers bring to their communities.

Beverley will attend this year’s BCLA Conference as a guest of RBC. She’ll also be joining us at the SRC booth. Please come by and say hello, and congratulate her! Beverley will be formally presented with the SRC Community Story Award at the BCLA AGM on May 2, 2014.

About Beverley Rintoul

Beverley-RintoulBeverley Rintoul started as a volunteer at RPL 18 years ago. Two years later she was hired as part-time staff, and then last fall, became Director. A Girl Guide and early childhood educator, this lifelong Kootenay-resident has been married to the same guy for 34 years. They have three adult children, and one grandchild on the way.

They are a reading family and Beverley’s favourite authors include Bill Bryson, Michael Wood, Terry Pratchett, Jane Austen, and Shakespeare. She spends much of her free time keeping her almost 90 year-old mum in books.

Here’s Beverley’s description of the SRC in Rossland: “It’s a big deal here — 120 kids in a community of 3500. I love working with the students we hire and playing with the kids who attend. Given the ECE and Girl Guide background, I find planning programs easy and usually have more ideas than we can use in a summer. It’s such a joy to find a book or theme or activity that makes a child light up.”

The 2014 SRC Community Story Award Winner

All Summer by Beverley Rintoul

“All summer we had a delightful 8 year-old boy attend the Summer Reading Club. He came every time, took part in every thing, helped with clean-up and almost cried when told our student was going back to university.

However, he struggled to read. We spent time finding books that were interesting but not difficult to read. And still he struggled.

Last week I ran into his mum and we talked about what fun he’d had. She said she was frustrated by the lack of improvement in his reading until the day before, when suddenly, out of a clear blue sky, he read recipe instructions to his dad without stumbling or stopping to sound out words.

She believes it was because we spent the time, making him believe that there were books out there for him.”

Community Story Award

SRC Community Story Award Nomination Form

Each summer amazing things happen all across the province of BC.

Libraries start to implement the BC Summer Reading Club and creative ideas flow from Fort St. John to Sardis. There are parades, posters, picnics, parties, and programs, all specially designed to suit the needs of each community. The end result is a landscape of welcoming and encouraging environments where children have the opportunity to read for pleasure and to explore other worlds.

We do a great job of tracking statistics. Those numbers don’t tell us nearly enough about how SRC impacts you or your community. Stories are what move us, transform us. They speak to the heart of why we do what we do — and we’d like to hear your stories.

BCLA, in partnership with RBC, has introduced the SRC Community Story Award in order to recognize and honour those stories. Each year, the BC Summer Reading Club will present this award to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community.

Here are some ideas to get you started, but by all means feel free just to tell us your story:

  • Describe a time when events at a SRC program left you feeling proud of yourself and your work.
  • While chatting about his/her summer reading, have you ever met a child so in love with books, you were reminded of why you do this work? Tell us about that.
  • Were you impressed with the way a parent or caregiver helped a child choose a book? Describe what you noticed and how it made you feel.
  • When you tell your friends and family about your work and the SRC, what story do you tell?
  • Has a parent or caregiver ever told you how participating in SRC has changed the way their child feels about books and reading? Describe what they said and how that made you feel?

To submit a story for nomination for the SRC Community Story Award, please contact us with the subject line: SRC Community Story Award.

The winner of the BC SRC Community Story Award will be announced in early spring of next year and the award will be presented at the BCLA Conference Awards ceremony. The winner will attend the conference as a guest of RBC!

Stories will be accepted throughout the year and may be submitted both by an individual or about an individual. All submitted stories will be shared with our stakeholders and may be published to help demonstrate the powerful impact of the BC SRC. You may submit as many stories as you wish. Can’t wait to hear yours!