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Congratulations to the 2024 BCLA Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2024 BCLA Award Winners!

May 13, 2024

In late April, the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) awards were presented during the 2024 BC Library Conference.

Each year, BCLA presents three overarching awards for outstanding work in libraries and four awards with a specific topic focus:

  • BCLA Building Better Communities Award
  • BCLA Eureka Award
  • BC Academic Libraries Section Outstanding Contribution Award
  • BCCATS J. McRee Elrod Leadership Award
  • Young Adult and Children’s Services Section Award

BCLA Building Better Communities Award

2024 Recipient: Salt Spring Island Public Library

The BCLA Building Better Communities Award recognizes an individual or organization responsible for increasing the relevancy and impact of library service through partnership, collaboration, and building trust where little has previously existed.

Salt Spring Island Public Library formally began doing Truth & Reconciliation work in 2018, with an UNDRIP series, Indigenous author readings and Indigenous displays, and expanded in 2019 with the formation of their Reconciliation Reading Circle, which continues to this day. Most recently, in January they opened ITOTELNEW̱ HÁUTW̱ Tatul’ utew’t-hw, their new Indigenous Learning Area.

The Awards Committee was impressed by the ongoing commitment and leadership Salt Spring Island Public Library has demonstrated to Truth & Reconciliation, and what they have been able to achieve as a relatively small library.

BCLA Eureka Award

2024 Recipient: Samantha Wink

The BCLA Eureka Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have created an innovative approach to address a barrier, solve a problem, provide a powerful new insight, or introduce an original idea in the library world.

This year’s recipient is Samantha Wink for her work advancing library communications, particularly crisis communications supporting libraries facing opposition to Drag Storytimes.

This work started in January 2023 when Coquitlam Public Library hosted a Drag Storytime that attracted a lot of attention and opposition. As an experienced marketing and communications professional, Sam quickly pivoted into crisis communications mode. Her coworkers said that they felt safe and supported as Sam dealt with communications and consistently conveyed a professional message of how public libraries support diversity, inclusion, and a love of learning. That led to many other libraries reaching out to her as they dealt with similar issues or started to plan for their own events and anticipate opposition, and Sam shared her toolkit and offered other communications support to them.

Most recently, Sam is working with Abigail Saxton and Michelle Collyer to start and cochair the new BCLA Library Communicators Interest Group, building communications capacity in all BC public libraries.

The Awards Committee was impressed by the reach of Sam’s work, and her commitment to supporting library workers throughout BC as they face unprecedented challenges.

BC Academic Libraries Section Outstanding Contribution Award

2024 Recipient: Stephanie Savage (UBC) and Jennier Zerkee (SFU)

The BC Academic Libraries Section (BCALS) Outstanding Contribution Award is presented to an individual who works in an academic library (or team of academic library personnel) whose professional achievements have made a difference to students, faculty, or colleagues in British Columbia.

Stephanie and Jennifer collaborated with each other on a research project supported by CARL Research in Librarianship Grant where they undertook a Qualitative analysis of 192 briefs in 2017. Their research project is looking at the key issues and recommendations from the 2017 parliamentary review of Canada’s Copyright Act, with a focus on using these findings to support future advocacy for copyright and user rights in higher education and libraries. They also actively contribute to a network of college and university employees with copyright responsibilities that includes larger and smaller post-secondaries. Through their research and contribution, Stephanie and Jennifer have undertaken has empowered post-secondary specialists provincial and nationally.

J. McRee Elrod Leadership Award

2024 Recipient: KPU Library Technical Services Team

The BC Cataloguing and Technical Services J. McRee Elrod Leadership Award recognizes an individual or team currently working in the area of Technical Services in British Columbia that demonstrates excellence and/or had a positive impact on users and colleagues in the province, and who best represents the principles of patron-centered values, social justice, and intellectual freedom that Mac Elrod upheld throughout his life and career.

Young Adult and Children’s Services Section Award

2024 Recipient: Ginny Dunnill

The YAACS Award recognizes exceptional service by librarians, library technicians, teacher-librarians, and others who have, as individuals or teams, demonstrated exceptional dedication and service in children’s or teen library services.

Ginny has been a librarian with Richmond Public Library since 2019, having started as an auxiliary librarian while still in library school and finishing her MLIS in the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is passionate about creating accessible, inclusive spaces for all community members, and is currently working on the launch of RPL’s mobile library. Outside of librarianship, she enjoys teaching spin classes, spending time with her two cats, and honing the art of the perfect challah braid. As a children’s librarian and part of the Community Services Team at RPL, the award committee felt that Ginny’s work in reaching out and connecting to marginalized youth, children, and related organizations was particularly deserving of recognition.

(Via British Columbia Library Association)

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