2016 Ontario Public Library Service Awards Short List Nominees

The 2016 short list nominees for the Minister’s Award for Innovation and the Angus Mowat Award of Excellence are:

Brighton Public Library

Tech Help One on One

Brighton Public Library’s Tech Help One on One project responds directly to an illustrated need for more focused, cost effective Tech Help for community members. The first iteration of this program was made possible through OLCF, and has continued in a modified format ever since. This program empowers individuals to develop skills necessary for participation in the ever changing digital world through half hour Tech Help One on One sessions in a comfortable and supportive environment. Brighton Public Library provides approximately 200 half hour sessions to community members annually.

Burlington Public Library

BookArts Program

Burlington Public Library’s BookArts program offers customers the opportunity to learn the art of bookbinding and creating bound books. The project began as part of our makerspace initiative in 2015. The library’s goal was to provide the community with the skills to bind and create their own books, but the project has turned into much more. Along with workshops to promote book making skills for hobbyists and entrepreneurs, the library provides open studio time for individual creation, the opportunity for community members to share their skills and give back to other community residents and for all participants to socialize in a supportive environment.

Community-Led Youth Service Model

Burlington Public Library’s community-led model is transforming how teens interact with the library. Moving from a top down model, the library has embraced a teen-led philosophy which places teens into positions of power, enabling them to co-create programs and initiatives that enrich their lives. Focused on providing empowering leadership and growth opportunities, centred around key community needs of connect, create, innovate, and iterate, the library works with teens to develop initiatives. These include co-planned programs, teen-run Instagram and Tumblr accounts, student art displays in library branches and maker-based high school co-op placements.

Caledon Public Library

Click-Create-Celebrate Initiative

Caledon Public Library recognizes the inherent value of building a culture of creativity and the library’s Click-Create-Celebrate Initiative offers the tools to create and cultivate, rather than simply consume the work of others. Click-Create-Celebrate provides a forum to recognize and highlight the talent of local authors, poets, photographers and filmmakers in Caledon’s community. It is a four month long annual contest that encourages the submission of short stories, poetry and photography from all age groups. The program culminates in a celebration of creativity, culture and literacy – in all their unique forms.

Carleton Place Public Library

Carleton Place Writes

Carleton Place Writes (CPW) is a series of ongoing workshops, writing challenges and seminars designed to empower and engage aspiring writers in the Town of Carleton Place. It has had overwhelming success creating a supportive community of active writers of all ages in Carleton Place. Participants have published, entered contests, completed novels and have credited much of their success to the support provided by Carleton Place Public Library writer’s programs.

Halton Hills Public Library

Naturally Sustainable Cards Project

Halton Hills Public Library became the first library in Canada to create a sustainable library card made from 100% birch. Reaction from the community was tremendous with 58% increase of new patron registrations, a 39.5% increase of in-branch visits and a 20.5% increase in program registrations. The cards generated considerable media attention and public interest. Other libraries have shown great enthusiasm for the project and are considering similar sustainable and cost-effective cards as an alternative to industry standard PVC cards.

Hamilton Public Library

Shakespeare Library Visit Program

The program leads students through the creation of a Shakespeare mini movie through freeze-frame style tableau using green screen technology, and overlaid by choral reading. It demonstrates excellence by positioning public libraries as relevant and responsive partners supporting 21st century literacies, Ontario curriculum and student achievement.

Hastings Highlands Public Library

Crazy for Community Hubs! – Building Community Capacity

Crazy for Community Hubs! is Hastings Highlands Public Library’s recipe for success. It is all about the “C’s”… Communication, Connections, and Collaboration, and about the “P’s”… People, Partnerships, and Public Service. These lead to the “A’s”… Accreditation, Acknowledgment and Adoration of the few of the “T’s”… Trials, Trust, and Triumphs. For flavour, add the “M’s”… Municipalities, and Ministries. It is a recipe that anyone can follow and each mixture is as unique as its ingredients. Even better, Crazy for Community Hubs! can be served alone or it makes a great appetizer for economic growth.

Lambton County Public Library

eLibrary eVerywhere

eLibrary eVerywhere is a series of programs and services developed by an eLibrary Team that allows the Lambton Public Library to satisfy robust community demand for eResources and ePlatforms, offer cutting-edge services, engage all residents, ensure equal access to digital technology and information for all ages and income profiles, and attract new users. Each year, the team reviews eLibrary eVerywhere needs and plans new programs, services and strategies for collections, Wi-Fi accessibility and bandwidth, technology and eDevices, training, outreach/awareness initiatives and programming, partnerships and promotions and marketing.

Laurentian Hills Public Library

Chalk River Branch Revitalization

Chalk River Branch Revitalization is an ongoing project that has and continues to revamp the branch’s quality of service in every way. From our circulation desk practices to our programming to the layout and services provided the library is striving to become a focal point of the community. Before this project, the branch was hardly used and sadly neglected. A year on it is a lively place, meeting the needs of the area, hopefully with excellence.

Milton Public Library

One Book, One Milton

2016 is the third year that Milton Public Library (MPL) will be hosting its increasingly popular One Book, One Milton community read. Since its inception, MPL has secured the support of high profile authors including Don Gilmor, Gail Vaz Oxlade, Chris Hadfield and Margaret Atwood to get as many Miltonians as possible connecting with MPL and reading the same book. Our 2016 title ‘The Heart Goes Last’ by Margaret Atwood was chosen in order to continue this trend by resonating with avid readers and those looking to connect with MPL for the first time.

Thunder Bay Public Library

The World War I Thunder Bay Centennial Project

The World War I Thunder Bay Centennial Project redefines the library’s potential for building partnerships, developing legacy and community engagement. The project breaks new ground and sets new standards of research practices that bring together academic, public, and personal perspectives around a shared experience. This project has removed barriers to access and supported the strong relationships that exist within the local history and genealogical community. This is a project that could easily be rebranded and modeled to suit the experience and history of any community across Ontario, Canada or the world.

Toronto Public Library

Pan Am Host City Project

The Toronto Public Library Pan Am Host City Project provided an opportunity for thousands of residents to be part of the Pan Am Games, deepened customer and community engagement, promoted artist and stff-led program development, promoted jobs in the sports and arts sector, and offered vibrant and meaningful programming outside of library walls. TPL staff expertise in programming and producing large scale events has expanded and the initiatives which were part of the Pan Am legacy can be scaled and used for other projects and library systems.

Trent Hills Public Library

Co-Author Short Story Contest

The Trent Hills Co-Author Writing Contest was initiated to encourage young adults to work with older adults in the community, to create mentors, encourage writing, friendships, communication, work and life skills, storytelling and above all share the love of writing. All stories were published on the Trent Hills library website. It was the expectation that both age groups would see themselves as a vital part of the library community with a great deal to contribute.

Vaughan Public Libraries

Vaughan Poetry Map

The Vaughan Poetry Map is a collaborative project for and by library staff, the local literary community, schools, local government, and the community at large. Through offering an innovative e-publishing opportunity for local poets, VPL has created a platform for poets and poetry lovers to express their appreciation of their local culture and surroundings.

Waterloo Public Library

The Summer Reading Club Community Roll Out Initiative

The WPL Summer Reading Club Community Roll Out Initiative works with the Ontario Early Years Centre in an innovative partnership arrangement to ensure as many children as possible learn about and participate in the Summer Reading Club each year. Participants are able to register for the club and check in at an WPL or OEYC location through a simple multi-location check in program created in house and a collaboratively rolled out SRC program.

Wellington County Public Library

Move the Needle

The project demonstrates best practices with regard to partnerships, readers’ advisory and encouraging library use through effective promotion of library materials. The partnership between Wellington County and Whitehots Inc. shows how libraries and library vendors can work together effectively and at low cost to have positive impacts on library services. Move the Needle allows patrons to directly reap the benefits of the library and the library vendors’ industry insights to find books they want to read.

And we have some WINNERS!

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Burlington Library receives Angus Mowat Award of Excellence

Halton Hills Public Library earns Minister’s Award for Innovation for wooden cards