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Kimberley Foundation

Kimberley Foundation Announces Recipients of the Pat Morris Communities Matter Grant

May 27, 2020

Earlier this year, the Kimberley Foundation launched the of Pat Morris Communities Matter Initiative, offering grants to Canadian libraries serving small communities to support acquisitions, programming, and outreach activities.

Established in 2003 by Dr. Hugh Morris in recognition of his late wife Pat, “the Kimberley Foundation actively works to stimulate self-directed learning and curiosity, to support initiatives to strengthen local communities, and to support activities and pursuits that inspire, impact, and facilitate positive, environmentally responsible change in the world.”

The Pat Morris Communities Matter Initiative celebrates Pat Morris’ love of ideas and learning. Her commitment to service and community creation inspired the focus of the initiative toward supporting the the life-force of small communities: libraries.

Over the course of three weeks in late March and early April, the recipients of the Pat Morris Communities Matter grant were announced on Twitter.



Carstairs Public Library (Carstairs AB) – Collection Diversification & Development

The Carstairs Public Library will be diversifying and further developing its collection through the addition of new print/dvd materials targeted to diversifying its collections to support materials acquisitions dedicated to men, LGBTQ+, minority perspectives and Indigenous knowledge. So important to have materials appealing to all members of our distinct and diverse communities.

Didsbury Public Library (Didsbury AB) – Reading with Royalty

The Didsbury Public Library will offer a family friendly Reading with Royalty program with the aim of increasing LGBTQIA awareness and celebrating inclusion and diversity. In partnership with Calgary Pride and the Calgary Queer Arts Society, the Library will host a family-friendly story time program, led by drag queen/king performers. This program helps children develop empathy, learn about gender diversity,and encourages play, imagination, and creativity.  In addition, the Didsbury Public Library will also enhance its e-book collection to increase accessibility to library materials and diversify their collection.

Lac La Biche County Libraries (Lac La Biche AB) – Musical Instrument Lending Library

With no close access to music stores, the Lac La Biche Library will develop a Musical Instrument Lending Library to allow community members to borrow an instrument and bring music into their life. The new library will feature a wide range of instruments ranging from violins to xylophones, guitars to keyboards. We can’t wait to hear the sounds of joy throughout Lac La Biche.

Lakeland Regional Library (Killarney MB) – Increasing Accessibility and Reaching out to the Filipino Community

The Lakeland Regional Library will use its’ Pat Morris Communities Matter grant to stay responsive to its changing community. The grant will be directed towards we increasing its Large Print and Audio collections as well as adding books in Tagalog for its children’s section to support the growing number of residents with Filipino origins or connections.

Stettler Public Libary (Stettler AB) – Creating Cognitive Care Kits

Stettler Public Library is creating a small collection of early development and cognitive care grab and go kits aimed towards two target audiences: parents of young children (including children with autistic spectrum disorders) and caregivers of adults in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and/or dementia. The kits will pair books with equipment, games and activities, shown to be valuable in supporting children in reaching developmental milestones , as well as kits pairing dementia friendly books with tools aimed at bringing pleasure, comfort and/or a sense of control to adults in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Such an important project. Congratulations!

Tofield Municipal Library (Tofield AB) – Mental Health Awareness

The Tofield Municipal Library will develop a physical collection of materials for mental health awareness. This collection will include resources on wellness, suicide, stress,compassion, and grief. The collection will include materials for all ages and reading levels. In addition, the Library will host a series of speaker presentations (once the collection is in place) to bring more awareness about the resources available on the topic of mental health to the public.

British Columbia

Mackenzie Public Library (Mackenzie BC) – Literacy Across Mackenzie: A Health Partnership

The Mackenzie Library will further invigorate its partnership with the local public health unit. The health unit currently lends book bags filled with ten picture books and board books appropriate for infants and children up to age one. As incentive for the program, parents receive free, one new book every time they return a book bag. This program complements the library’s mission for literacy in the community and is another point of contact for parents to learn about supporting literacy in their children. This innovative outreach program provides access to the library’s resources through unique non-traditional ways.

Nanoose Library (Nanoose Bay BC) – Canadian Books and Authors Initiative

The Nanoose Library Centre on Vancouver Island will be developing its collection of books by Canadian authors and those with rich Canadian content.  Oh Canada!


Erickson District Library (Erickson MB) – Creative Hands Create Community

The Erickson District Library (Erickson, Manitoba) have created an amazing Creative Hands Create Community project which brings an Artist in Residence into the library on a weekly basis to deliver arts and crafts programming for children. The craft projects will use a combination of purchased and nature-found objects to stimulate the creative imagination.

Siglunes District Library (Ashern MB) – Future Writers of History

Siglunes District Library “Future Writers of History” project is an initiative to develop not only an interest in local history but an interest also in the expansion and preservation of its current written records. The Library will feature local authors and show and inspire another generation to tell the stories of themselves, their children, and their ancestors. Through this initiative the Siglunes library will not only be the keeper of our knowledge, but have a hand in its creation as well.


Asphodel-Norwood Public Library (Norwood ON) – Teen Makerspace

The Asphodel-Norwood Public Library in Ontario plans to create a “Teen Makerspace” and provide youth from its small, rural community with the ability to explore a variety of tools and equipment to foster their creativity, inspire collaboration, support their education, and develop relevant skills. Not only is it the Library’s goal to provide programming which meets their current needs and interests, but it also hopes to open a dialogue to discover ways to ensure teens will continue to use the Library and have a passion for literacy throughout their lives.

Athens Public Library (Athens ON) – A Place for All

Ensuring that reading and library collections remain accessible to all in their community, especially seniors,  the Athens Public Library program – A Place for All – will see the addition of new large print and audio materials to their collections.

Augusta Township Public Library (Brockville ON) – Expanding Accessibility for Seniors

The Augusta Township Public Library will improve access to materials and technology for its senior residents, many of whom face challenges with limited income, declining vision and social isolation. The grant will help the library improve its large print collection and provide programming to introduce seniors to devices such as tablets and e-readers, or improve their skills. This will allow them to participate more fully in the online community, stay in communication with family and friends, and make better use of the resources the library provide such as online databases and E-books to encourage life-long learning. Programming will also provide seniors with increased opportunities to engage in the local community.


Hemmingford Community Library (Hemmingford QC) – Seniors Write Stories for Children

In response to the seniors in their community, the Hemmingford Community Library has created an exciting new program to engage seniors, unleash their creativity and connect them with other generations. The “Seniors Write Stories for Children” initiative will provide seniors with lessons on children’s story writing and will then mentor them to write their own stories and share these at the library.  The Hemmingford Community Library will also use the Pat Morris Communities Matter grant to enhance their bilingual print collection.


Shellbrook Public Library (Shellbrook SK) – Reading Club with a Twist

The Shellbrook Public Library “Summer Reading club” encourages reading, language, art and community. THe Pat Morris Communities Matter Grant will be used to expand and enhance the current Reading Club to include preschool children, families, and teens. It will also diversify programming beyond books,  providing opportunities for art, drama and music. In addition, new acquisitions for the program will be developed to enhance the Library’s yearly theme, and add to its permanent collection, especially the junior and teen areas, providing more reading materials for this age group.

Tisdale Public Library (Tisdake SK) – 1000 Books Before Kindergarten

The Tisdale Community Library will be delivering the amazing “1000 Books Before Kindergarten” program. The free early literacy program encourages parents and caregivers to read 1000 books with their children before they start kindergarten. Through this program the  Library wants to expose our children to a variety of stories and vocabulary to open their minds to the world of books and reading. Instilling a love of reading in children, the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program will provide  young children with a lifetime of imagination and learning. It will not only help improve literacy but will encourage families to spend quality time together reading. Tisdale Community Library is the center of its community. It is more than books. It is the place where the members of the community gather to explore, interact and imagine. This program will have long and short term impact as we give parents and caregivers the tools to help their children, our future citizens, become readers.

(Via Kimberley Foundation)

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