May 25th, 2024

Libraries building communities

By Sulz, Dave on March 31, 2020.

READ Awards recognize outstanding library initiatives

Submitted by Chinook Arch

Regional Library System

Libraries are making valuable contributions to their communities all year long and Chinook Arch Regional Library System loves to celebrate this fact. The Rewards for Excellence and Distinction (READ) are awarded every year as part of the Southern Alberta Library Conference (SALC).

Nominations are accepted beginning in December and winners are chosen by the Chinook Arch Marketing and Communications Committee. The committee judges the nominations in the areas of: service, collaboration, innovation, and community benefit. This year four libraries were recognized during a dinner held on Friday, March 6 at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge.

We would like to congratulate the below recipients of the 2020 READ Awards:

Jim and Mary Kearl Library of Cardston: SOCKTOBER Event

In September, Donna Beazer the Library Manager sent out a letter describing the SOCKTOBER Event to other library managers – a sock drive to collect a much-needed article of clothing which would then be donated between Blood Tribe FCSS, Lavern FCSS, Streets Alive, and Lethbridge United Way. Many fun ideas were given, including holding a crazy sock day, hosting a sock hop, planning a sock walk, or having a sock hunt.

Cardston provided other participating libraries with everything needed for a successful program including: a box with clear signage, beautiful posters complete with participating library’s name and address, and press releases to forward to local media.

Claresholm Public Library: Teen Advisory Group (TAG)

TAG was formed in April 2019. The group started small with three teens, and has grown into approximately twelve 11-16-year-olds who meet once a month to plan and execute their own programs and events. Events that TAG has created include Teen Movie Nights, Teen Water Balloon Battle Royale, and Escape the Haunted Library. Fundraising initiatives to run these programs have included button sales, candy jar giveaways, and cookie grams. TAG members also help library staff and Friends of the Library volunteers with various tasks and events, which has created opportunities to bring together seniors and teens within the community.

Vulcan Municipal Library: The Garden Project

The Garden Project (Gardening with Elaine) was an eight-month-long project, where a group of Prairieview Elementary School students joined local senior Elaine once a week to grow flowers and vegetables within the library. The program engaged community members and kept them coming back to the library.

Carmangay & District Municipal Library: Special Community Programming for Children and Youth

The Carmangay Library, led by manager Kelsey Chic, focussed on Special Programs for children and youth in the Carmangay community during 2019. Attention was given to providing youth with life-skills and experiences in the categories of: physical literacy, nature and environment, self-care and independence, and arts and culture. Programs included rollerblading lessons, interactive presentations from The Birds of Prey Centre, Cooking classes, and Live History workshops and theatrical performances.

Find out more about Chinook Arch programs and member libraries online at

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