Welcome to BC SRC 2021

Welcome to the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club!

The SRC Contact at your library should have received an email in late January (Subject: PLEASE READ & CONFIRM RECEIPT: BC SRC 2021 Core Materials Package & Completion Medals) outlining the quantities of Core Materials your library will be receiving. If for any reason your contact did not receive this email, please let me know ASAP! We anticipate beginning to ship Core Materials by late April (with medals arriving in late June).

Please note: Core Print Materials (poster, reading records, stickers, and bookmarks) and an allotment of Completion Medals are provided at no cost to BC Public Libraries. If you would also like to order extra medals, we have a small allotment set aside. Please contact me at bcsrc[at]bcla.bc.ca for the link to order medals. Additional items such as tattoos, t-shirts, and limited run baseball caps are available to purchase. Please be sure to order sufficient quantities for your library’s needs!

Ordering for t-shirts, tattoos, and hats will open next week and close April 19th. A separate email will go out this week with the ordering link. In the meantime, you can view the t-shirts and tattoos on our blog. I appreciate some of you won’t know the sizes of your summer students for a while and so we will endeavour to have some extra stock on hand!

Please note, we are launching a new bcsrc.ca website in the upcoming weeks that will host both the staff and kids/public site. The new website will include printable versions of all the print material, manual, and other staff resources. Later this week, the old staff site (kidssrc.libraries.coop) will have some of this year’s graphics and fonts available for download as I know many of you are beginning to start your SRC promotional materials. We’re very excited about the new website’s design and can’t wait for you all to see it!

There are lots of exciting things happening as we get ready to launch the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club and Crack the Case! Here’s a quick guide to the contents of this email:

  1. Crack the Case! Description of 2021 Materials
  2. Thanks to Our Funders!
  3. Partnership with Green Thumb Theatre
  4. The Manual & Our Content Creation Team
  5. Resources for your Outreach and Promotion
  6. Bonjour BC SRC!
  7. Increasing Inclusion and Accessibility
  8. Call for BC SRC Co-Chair!
  9. It takes a Province!

Please considering flagging and sharing this email with any of your summer programming staff. Be sure, too, that they are subscribed to the YAACS listserv [here’s how to register]— that’s where I post general SRC updates! I will also post this content on the new website for easy reference. It’s easy to lose track once summer begins!

1. Crack the Case! Description of 2021 Materials


Artist & Summer Visits

This year, we are so excited to be working with the incredible talented Zoe Si, a Vancouver-based cartoonist and illustrator. Filled with delightful humour, beautiful representation, and touch of mystery, Zoe was able to bring the spirit of SRC to life.

Her works include a number of children’s books including the Wolfie & Fly series (2018), The Sorry Plane (2019), and the upcoming picture book The Sorry Life of Timothy Shmoe to be released in the spring of 2021. In addition to books, Zoe regularly contributes cartoons to The New Yorker and other publications, and still regularly shares comics on her Instagram.

Growing up, Zoe participated in the SRC at her local library, Surrey Libraries, and recently shared this gem with us: I wanted to share this with you – I was looking through a huge binder full of childhood drawings and worksheets for some presentation material, and found a real physical activity sheet from the 1995 BC Summer Reading Club!! 😭 So nice to come full circle! (I hadn’t completed the sheet but I had drawn something on the back, haha.) 

Here are some details if you’d like to book a virtual workshop with Zoe this summer. Please note that you will need to contact Zoe directly.

Draw Your Own Adventure with Zoe Si

“Zoe will share her journey from art-loving kid, to lawyer, to professional illustrator, and the role that autobiographical cartooning can play in learning about yourself and creating your own adventures. Zoe will guide participants in designing and drawing detective characters that reflect their own unique personalities and traits, or whatever else is in their imagination.”

Platform: Zoom, MS Teams (Can be flexible and will work with what your library has)

Length: 1 hour (with opportunity to spill over for questions, etc.)

Availability: Between July and August (excluding August 13-21)

Workshop rate: $300 (in line with Writer’s Union rates)

Booking Deadline: end of June

To Book: email Zoe at zoeseescartoons[at]gmail.com


The Poster

For this year’s poster we wanted to showcase and highlight the children who will be trying to Crack the Case all across the province. We hope that children and their families feel seen and represented in the artwork and can relate to the various activities they get up to. Zoe captured the landscape and environment that many experience in BC from urban centres to our beautiful mountains.

New Reading Record Design

This year, the Reading Record went through another redesign to showcase the artwork with an interactive component and to work in tandem with our online reading tracker. The Reading Record is now 4 panels across and features circles for participants to check off as they meet their reading goals and “earn” a sticker to reveal the mystery similar to how the online reading tracker allows participants to collect digital badges.

For participants who would still like to write or draw their reading materials over the summer, a supplement sheet will be available to print and staple to the reading record.

The Stickers

Inside the new reading record are various scenes depicting mini mysteries of various sizes. This year, the stickers will reveal the mysteries and help crack the case for the scene. All eight stickers now interact with the artwork with the inclusion of an additional bonus week of reading.


PLEASE NOTE: each library is intentionally provided with an additional 5% of stickers. This allows you to give them freely to visiting children and not have to worry about running out!

T-shirts, Tattoos, Hats, and Medals

As part of our ongoing effort to streamline the BC SRC program, we are working with Fairware once again to produce t-shirts, tattoos, and hats. This should significantly improve production and delivery for our novelty items (t-shirts, tattoos, and hats) as well as ensure we are working with a company that is serious about sustainability.

This year’s t-shirt colour is heather grey, to coordinate with all your summer outfits and allow the artwork to standout. T-shirts come in Adult, “Ladies”, and Youth styles. All t-shirts are 100% cotton.

Tattoos come in a “bundle” of 200. Each bundle includes 100 tattoos x 2 designs.

This year, we are also offering a very limited run of baseball caps. Since there may be opportunities for outdoor programming, we thought it would be nice for the warm weather and still be able to rep BC SRC.

The ribbon colour for this year’s medal is teal.

2. Thank to Our Funders!

The British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) is pleased and honoured to announce our second year partnering with CUPE BC.

CUPE BC has given $50,000 to ensure that the BC Summer Reading Club continues to award medals to children across the province who participate in this successful, inclusive and much loved program. With this contribution, CUPE BC ensures that children and families across the province will continue to see a high level of programming and participation including the exciting awards ceremonies that many BC public libraries mount at the end of the summer. CUPE BC’s contribution allows BCLA to continue this quality program at the high standards that libraries across the province expect.

CUPE BC’s logo appears on the BC SRC medal.

The BC SRC gratefully acknowledges the continued financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Public Libraries Branch.

Be sure to recognize our funders in your SRC promotional materials and advertisements. Thanks to their support, public libraries throughout the province are able to connect with children and their families with the BC SRC. Please consider inviting local politicians, CUPE BC representatives, and members of your Library Board to medal ceremonies and other events. Let them know their support is greatly appreciated!

3. Partnership with Green Thumb Theatre

The BC Library Association is pleased to announce that the BC Summer Reading Club (BC SRC) is partnering with Green Thumb Theatre this summer. This is a perfect partnership to support the 2021 BC SRC mystery theme: Crack the Case! Green Thumb Theatre is supporting the program in a number of ways:

    • a playwrighting contest for participants to complete the ending to a script written by an award-winning Canadian playwright. The selected participants will then have their play endings read by professional actors through a virtual reading event in August
    • and a set design and art contest for participants to help draw out the script’s scene. The selected participants will have their art shown at the virtual reading event in August

4. The Manual & Our Content Creation Team

Our amazing Co-Chairs, Laura Zaytsoff (Castlegar & District) and Alicia Dobbs (New Westminster), along with our fantastic team of Content Creators: Mehjabeen Ali and Surrey Libraries, Gina Gaudet and Vancouver Public Library, Wiena Groenewold and Fraser Valley Regional Library, and Corene Maret Brown and Port Moody Public Library, have worked hard to put together 7 weeks’ worth of fun ways to Crack the Case!

You’ll find the programs, activities, and booklists in the upcoming weeks in our 2021 manual. We are so incredibly fortunate to have these talented, hardworking, (and really nice!) people on our team.

To get to know them a little better, please Meet our 2021 Content Creators!

5. Resources for Your Outreach and Promotion

A full list of resources will be available in upcoming weeks on the new bcsrc.ca, but later this week some graphics for promotional items and the fonts will be available for download. If there’s anything you are looking for in particular, please let me know and I can try my best to help in the meantime.

6. Bonjour BC SRC!

Thanks to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, Public Libraries Branch, children and their families are able to join in and “Perce le Mystère” (i.e. “Crack the Case!”) We are once again delighted to tell you that the BC SRC Core Print materials will be available in English and French.

As well, we have a thematic French booklist and French downloadable letters for parents, schools, media, etc. that will be available on the website. You’ll want to be sure to advise the French Immersion families and teachers in your community!

7. Increasing Inclusion and Accessibility

The BC SRC welcomes the participation of all children and their families and we continue to seek ways to provide an accessible and fully inclusive program:

  • Core Print Materials are produced with a minimum of text in order to support the participation of children of any language and any reading ability.
  • A video in (American Sign Language) with English subtitles, on both staff and kids’ websites, welcomes children with hearing impairment to the BC SRC.
  • Annotated book lists are produced each year, indicating titles available in audio formats (commercially, and through NNELS and CELA), making it convenient for anyone with a perceptual or print impairment to find theme-related titles to listen to.
  • Each year the Program Manual is reviewed by Dr. Tess Prendergast (Inclusive Early Literacy) to ensure programs and activities include adaptations for different needs. With the assistance of Dr. Prendergast, general guidelines for Summer Programming Staff, on how to increase inclusion, are provided as part of the Program Manual (Please see below for more details)
  • A Caregiver Page provides general information on the program, as well as explanations on how to join the program. Currently, it is available in English and French with information available in multiple languages in 2020. NOTE: This page also provides a dropdown menu with links to BC libraries, making it easy for families to find a library in their community!
  • Customizable “Parent Letters” are available on the staff site for libraries to download and send to their local schools. These letters include language that explicitly supports children reading in whatever language they feel most comfortable. As well, the letters specifically express support for cultures that emphasize oral storytelling.
  • Support materials are available for parents and librarians, including The Value of Summer Reading, (available in nearly 40 languages). The staff site also includes a Google translate plug-in so visitors can readily translate any page.

A special thanks to our Consultant, Dr. Tess Prendergast (Inclusive Early Literacy) who is reviewing the 2021 Manual and plans to offer ideas and suggestions to increase the accessibility and inclusion of the programs and activities. In addition, Dr. Prendergast, provided us with some excellent general guidelines to be mindful of:

  • Be aware that your audience will always include children of varying abilities.
  • Recognize that it is the responsibility of each facilitator to make adjustments and accommodations to best suit the needs of their participants.
  • Ensure all program promotions make it clear that these programs are welcoming and inclusive, and that program content should be adaptable.
  • Feel comfortable to mix ’n match activities based on the needs and abilities of the children participating.
  • Let Summer Students and/or Volunteers know it’s OK to adapt a program/activity.
  • Make sure your room set-up allows space for kids using wheelchairs and walkers
  • When possible, include (good!) books that feature children of different abilities and backgrounds.
  • Normalize accommodations and/or participation of a child’s caregiver with phrases such as “You can do this activity by yourself or with a partner”.
  • If an activity includes the use of plants (or a substance that may cause an allergic reaction), you may wish to include this info ahead of Mme to give people advance notice

8. Call for BC SRC Co-Chair!

The BC Summer Reading Club is seeking a Co-Chair for the 2022 BC SRC. (This is a volunteer position with a three-year cycle, beginning June 2021.)

Below is a general idea of the Chair’s responsibilities:
Working with the BC SRC Provincial Coordinator, and the BC SRC Committee, the Co-Chair will:

  • Select annual artist
  • Develop theme
  • Create seven weekly themes
  • Meet with illustrator to discuss and develop design direction (can be done via Zoom)
  • Review, provide feedback on, and select from artwork using online project management tool
  • Announce theme, artist, etc. to listservs
  • Recruit/coordinate Content Creators and assign content tasks; recruit future co-chair
  • Oversee creation of manual content (review and edit as necessary)
  • Provide book lists to ULS, CELA, NNELS
  • Support Coordinator in surveying participating libraries about use of, and feedback on, the program, future themes, etc., as needed
  • Read SRC Community Story Award submissions and select winner
  • Attend the BCLA conference (registration is paid for BC SRC) to assist the SRC Coordinator with booth/promote BC
  • SRC during Tradeshow; welcome Story Award Winner
  • Attend photo opps as needed/as able
  • Present the BC SRC Community Award to the winner


  • You love the BC SRC and have 3-5 years personal experience working with the BC SRC program
  • You appreciate the way each library system in the province develops the BC SRC to best suit the needs of their community
  • You have the support of your library management team
  • You are technically capable and comfortable with online tools (project management, Skype, etc)
  • You are highly organized and able to meet deadlines
  • You have excellent communication skills
  • You are a strong facilitator, comfortable working with differing opinions and building consensus
  • You are able to work collaboratively towards an ultimate goal
  • You are excited by the idea of continuing to grow and evolve the BC SRC

You are able to commit to the following cycle:

  • 2022-23 SRC Co-Chair (begin June 2021)
  • 2024 SRC Past Chair (with light support to Co-Chairs)

If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you! Please send your expression of interest by email (bcsrc[at]bcla.bc.ca) with three paragraphs describing:

  • your experience working with BC SRC
  • a time you have worked collaboratively
  • a time you have facilitated differing opinions

Deadline: to be considered for the 2022-2023 cycle, please submit your expression of interest by May 31, 2021 to bcsrc@bcla.bc.ca. Co-Chair to be announced end of May.

9. It takes a Province!

The BC Summer Reading Club is immensely grateful for the incredible talents and hard work of some amazing people:

  • Laura Zaytsoff of Castlegar and District Public Library (Committee Co-Chair)
  • Alicia Dobbs and New Westminster Public Library (Committee Co-Chair and Content Creator)
  • Mehjabeen Ali and Surrey Public Library (Content Creator)
  • Gina Gaudet and Vancouver Public Library (Content Creator)
  • Wiena Groenewold and Fraser Valley Regional Library (Content Creator)
  • Corene Maret Brown and Port Moody Public Library (Content Creator)
  • Tess Prendergast, Inclusive Early Literacy (Consultant)
  • Michal Utko, Utko Creative (Graphic Design, Web Design)
  • Neil Firkins, (Web Design)
  • Mari Martin, Director, Public Libraries Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs
  • Scott Leslie and Jonathan Schatz, BC Libraries Cooperative
  • Michael Burris and the staff at InterLINK
  • Angie Ayupova, Manager, BCLA
  • Annette DeFaveri, Executive Director, BCLA
  • Cynthia Ford, Project Coordinator, BCLA

The BC Summer Reading Club is sponsored by the British Columbia Library Association and public libraries throughout British Columbia. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Province of British Columbia, through Public Libraries Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs, and CUPE BC.

In addition, a huge thank you goes to every single library staff person and volunteer who contributes to the BC SRC. Your enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication to the children of BC shows up in every email, every survey response, every Community Story Award entry. Thank you for everything that you do! You ensure that BC kids “Crack the Case!” not only in 2021, but every summer!


Leave a Reply