Smithers Public Library Wins Provincial Library Award
Smithers Public Library is the recipient of the inaugural British Columbia Library Association’s (BCLA) Building Better Communities Award for its extensive work building a relationship with the local First Nation (Wet’suwet’en) community. This included promoting the library as a community hub and safe space and partnering with outside organizations to extend services beyond the library’s walls.
Just a few such examples of this included the library working with the local Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre for National Aboriginal Day and a career week event, providing a VolunTeen Program that empowers youth to participate in planning programming for the broader community, and sending a BC Summer Reading Club Mobile Literacy Tent to the nearby Wet’suwet’en community of Moricetown. As a nomination submitted in support of the Smithers library noted, ‘’Since establishing and maintaining this cross-cultural relationship there has been an increase in local First Nation community members accessing the library and realizing it as a place that is open, equitable, and inclusive.’’
Each year, the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) invites the library community, partners, and stakeholders to nominate individuals and organizations for awards recognizing outstanding work in libraries throughout BC. The BCLA Building Better Communities Award was developed to recognize 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.
Both Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach and Library Director Wendy Wright attended the awards ceremony in Vancouver to accept their award.