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Library Awards

About the Awards

Since 2007, the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards have recognized and rewarded the most innovative and effective TD Summer Reading Club programs in local libraries across Canada. Separate awards are presented for the English and French summer reading programs.

The TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards are sponsored by TD Bank Group, which is a committed and generous supporter of children’s literacy across Canada. 

The Awards were established to promote excellence in summer reading programs by

  • celebrating creative library staff who engage children in the joy of reading through their TD Summer Reading Club program
  • promoting community partnerships that strengthen children's reading skills 
  • facilitating the sharing of information among public libraries across Canada so that they can further develop exemplary summer reading programs 

Libraries on the participating library list for 2023 are eligible to apply for this year’s TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards.

Prizes and honours

TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards

First-prize winners in each language will receive:

  • $8,000 to be invested in the children’s section of their public library branch
  • an honorary plaque
  • national recognition through a press release
  • the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony

Second-prize winners in each language will receive:

  • $4,000 to be invested in the children’s section of their public library branch
  • an honorary plaque
  • national recognition through a press release
  • the opportunity to attend the awards ceremony

Third-prize winners in each language will receive: 

  • $2,000 to be invested in the children’s section of their public library branch 
  • an honorary plaque 
  • national recognition through a press release

Winners will be announced at public library related conferences.

2023 Library Awards

Deadline for applications: November 10, 2023

To apply, complete the 2023 Application Form.

Who is eligible to apply for the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards?

To apply, you must   

  • be a public library (or a public library branch) that participated in the TD Summer Reading Club in 2023 for at least 6 weeks
  • be prepared to promote your TD Summer Reading Club program and share your strategies and successes through workshops or on the program website 
  • have completed the TD Summer Reading Club Statistics and Evaluation Form before September 29 using the link that will be provided when the survey is sent out. Failure to do so will result in your application being rejected.

Please note: The winners from any given year will not be eligible for prizes for three years following their win.

Participating libraries may submit one application per year and must choose either the English or the French stream.

How to apply

  1. Review the Evaluation criteria for the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards
  2. Complete the 2023 Application Form
  3. Add a text that presents your 2023 TD Summer Reading Club program (maximum 2,000 words).
  4. Include supporting documentation (photos/images or a short video).
  5. Send this package to by December 10, 2023.

Evaluation criteria

Applicants will be evaluated according to the criteria outlined in the Evaluation criteria PowerPoint.

For more information, please contact your provincial or territorial coordinator or Ashley-Ann Brooks:

Selection committees

  • Library and Archives Canada will supervise an independent administrator who will coordinate two selection committees, one committee for each language. 
  • The administrator will select a nationally recognized panel of at least three judges for each selection committee. 
  • The judges will be chosen from the fields of children's literature and librarianship, literacy or education.

2023 Library Awards

Library and Archives Canada, together with the Toronto Public Library and TD Bank Group, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) Library Awards.

Since 2007, the Library Awards have recognized and rewarded the most innovative and effective TDSRC programs run by public libraries across the country, in both English and French.

First prize ($8,000)

English program

The jury was amazed with the Gananoque Public Library (Ontario), which offered an all-encompassing program that connected reading with fun experiences. It was inventive, effective, creative and inclusive. With Monday Meet-Ups, Tuesday Maker Workshops and Wow Wednesday events, plus Thursday Make’n’Take Kits and Literacy Kits, these library experiences were above and beyond the required criteria for an engaging presentation of the 2023 TDSRC. Using materials suitable for people with autism, dyslexia and neurodivergence, as well as materials for people who use sign language or speak English as a second language, was an extra special feature that made this presentation from the Gananoque Public Library stand out and shine!

(See Gananoque Public Library’s video)

French program

The jury chose to award first prize to the Bibliothèque de Brossard Georgette-Lepage (Quebec). The jury wanted to reward the enthusiasm and creativity of the library team in motivating and inspiring children to read for pleasure through original activities, thematic links and an inclusive invitation to read in any format: paper books, games, e-books and audiobooks. The “cabinet of curiosity” setting enchanted the kids.

The presentation, video and assessment of the Reading Club’s success were impeccable: statistics on attendance, reading hours and increased registrations, as well as comments from parents and children. A great success!

(See Bibliothèque municipale et scolaire de Bromont’s video—in French only)

Second prize ($3,000 for the English winners and $4,000 for the French winner)

English program

Please note that this year, two libraries tied for second place in the English program. They are splitting the prize money for second and third places.

The jury was impressed by the wide range of activities promoting reading and literacy that Cambridge Public Library (Ontario) offered at all four of its locations, each set up with a dedicated TDSRC desk where young readers could chat with the library’s summer reading assistants. The jury also noted the strong focus on access and inclusion, such as Cambridge’s TDSRC Mobile program—which every week delivered books and facilitated fun reading-related activities for community centres in lower-income areas of Cambridge—and their Multi-Sensory Room, a softly lit area for members with sensory processing needs, equipped with decodable books and portable scanning pens that read printed text out loud. The jury also appreciated the library’s emphasis on the joy of reading, tracking the number of visits to the library over the number of books read or reading time. The testimonials from patrons were numerous and extremely positive, highlighting the significant impact of Cambridge’s outstanding summer program.

(See Cambridge Public Library’s video)

Congratulations to the Winnipeg Public Library (Manitoba) for their exciting and innovative TDSRC programming! They interpreted the theme “Check this out” as being curious about the world, other people and other languages and cultures, and involved many diverse members of the community—like the symphony, a baseball team and local storytellers—in their programming. The jury appreciated their creative and thoughtful approach to outreach, like the Newcomer Fair and Welcome to the Library for Newborns and their Families—a great way to create a community hub at the library! With a 17% growth rate in participation from the previous year, Winnipeg proved that they know how to motivate kids to keep reading by fostering enthusiasm and curiosity. Very inspiring!

(See Winnipeg Public Library’s video)

French program

The jury would like to highlight the rich program offered by the Bibliothèque municipale et scolaire de Bromont (Quebec). Throughout the TDSRC program, participants were able to combine fun and reading. Creative activities and games were linked to reading. What’s more, the library offered a cute “literary buffet” where snacks and books could be enjoyed together. The story hour with drag queen Barbada de Barbades was a testament to the creativity, inclusion and courage of the team from the Bibliothèque municipale et scolaire de Bromont.

(See Bibliothèque municipale et scolaire de Bromont’s video—in French only)

Third prize ($2,000)

French program

The Bibliothèque de Saint-Lambert (Quebec) impressed the jury with their original presentation of the theme and the colourful, coherent logistics and remarkable visuals (invitation, calendar). The library staff made exceptional use of all its technological and human resources to create interesting activities that fostered learning, vocabulary enrichment, intellectual curiosity and scientific discovery (guests, exhibitions, notebooks, storytimes, partnerships, cabinet of curiosities, StoryWalk®). For 10 weeks, participants in the TD Summer Reading Club program took part in a fabulous journey both inside and outside the library.

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the library staff, kids were able to travel the world!

(See Bibliothèque de Saint-Lambert’s video—in French only)

Small but Mighty prize ($1,000)

This year, the members of the jury were so impressed with what a very small library did with two part-time staff and zero budget that they wanted to reward them for offering such an incredible TD Summer Reading Club program. After much deliberation, the Small but Mighty Award was created. This award will only be given out in exceptional circumstances to very deserving libraries. 

The Bay Roberts Library (Newfoundland and Labrador) blew the jury away with their approach to the Summer Reading Club. This small but mighty library came up with terrific reading challenges for young readers. The jury admired how playful they were with decorating onsite, using “scoops” of paper ice cream and a giant bookworm that grew with the number of books read. In the end, Miles the Bookworm was over 250 feet long (averaging 10 books/reader). The appearance of Logan the Newfoundland Dog at the Toutons, Tunes and a Tale! event also made a special impression on the jury. The clever and engaging “Get Caught Reading” virtual challenge—in which parents posted pictures of their kids reading at home, outdoors and around town—was a great way to motivate kids to read anywhere and at any time.  

The jury would like to compliment, recognize and shine a spotlight on the Bay Roberts Library as a wonderful example of the inventive, effective and creative literary youth programming that is possible on a shoestring budget when produced by hearts full of literary passion.  

(See Bay Roberts Public Library's video)

In addition, the following libraries received honourable mentions:

English program

Burk’s Falls Armour & Ryerson Union Public Library (Ontario) embraced its importance as a hub for summer activities for local kids and families and as a promoter of reading and literacy in this small town. They offered a diverse range of programming despite their small staff and budget, including weekly “booktivities” for children aged 0–12. Their “Library Detectives” program was especially fun, and the idea of kids practicing their literacy skills by writing to seniors was touching.

The jury would like to make special mention to Clarence-Rockland Public Library (Ontario) and their amazing volunteers: 58 people donated 1032.75 hours of their time! The summer students also greatly contributed to the success of the 2023 TDSRC. The energy, enthusiasm and experiences generated by these fresh eyes from the next generation really made the program at Clarence-Rockland Public Library into a special one. The members of the jury also made note of “watching the full circle moment as it was happening” as the attendees evolved into leaders in the library. The creation of the Summerween and Weirdmageddon events demonstrated how the library staff put great effort into their original programming. Keep up the fantastic work!

French program

The jury would like to highlight the efforts of the Champlain Library (Ontario), which not only offered bilingual programming but also organized a wide variety of fun and enriching activities related to reading and vocabulary. Participants were encouraged to read works based on each week’s theme, create their own stories, play games like charades and more. In addition, the library offered online and in-person activities, allowing more participants to have fun.

Jury members wanted to give a special mention to the TD Summer Reading Club at the Bibliothèque Linette-Jutras-Laperle (Quebec), which implemented truly original and inspiring projects and offered inclusive activities adapted for children of all ages and reading levels. The enthusiasm, inventiveness and dynamic, humorous participation of the library staff were exceptional. An invitation to the community to come and read for pleasure and interest. A great team effort!

2022 Library Awards

Library and Archives Canada, together with the Toronto Public Library and TD Bank Group, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) Library Awards.

Since 2007, the Library Awards have recognized and rewarded the most innovative and effective TDSRC programs run by public libraries across the country, in both English and French.

First prize ($8,000)

English program

The jury was unanimous in awarding the first prize to Springwater Township Public Library. The jury was impressed with the wide variety of activities that took place during the Summer Reading Club. Activities such as the Alphabet Walk, short story writing, kids’ book reviews and much more let kids have fun while discovering the joy of reading and developing literacy skills. A mixture of indoor, outdoor, in-person and virtual activities catered to the needs of many participants during the ongoing pandemic.

(See Springwater Township Public Library’s video)

French program

The jury was unanimous in awarding the first prize in the French program to Médiathèque maskoutaine, located in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec. Médiathèque staff offered an impressive array of individual and group activities that motivated children of all ages to read and write during the summer, regardless of their reading level.

The jury was particularly impressed with an ingenious system of collectable badges for books read. This initiative helped make the TD Summer Reading Club an exciting and popular destination for over 400 children and their families.

The jury also highlighted the extraordinary collaborative creation activity that Médiathèque offered. Guided by an author and a renowned illustrator, the children were able to invent and write down a group story inspired by the theme of myths and legends. A fun and creative time was had by all!

(See Médiathèque Maskoutaine’s video [French only])

Second prize ($4,000)

English program

The jury was quite impressed with the organization of the TDSRC by the Clearview Public Library and the strong statistics and photographs included with their report. They presented engaging, fun-filled, accessible and flexible programming that went above and beyond to provide both in-person and take-home activities. By adding no-tech days, take-home kits and instant gratification into their Club, they were able to achieve their goals, including countering the dreaded summer reading slump and instead helping their users develop healthy daily reading habits.

(See Clearview Public Library's video)

French program

The members of the jury commended the 2022 TD Summer Reading Club at the Sainte-Julie Library (Quebec). During the eight weeks of programming, the Library registered over 19,500 visits, a success reflected in the Club’s summer statistics.

From making a herbarium to conducting science experiments, each activity created ties to reading to spark the children’s curiosity and encourage them to explore new areas of interest. Each child also received a participation prize and a diploma.

The jury especially liked the Reading Squad, which visited six different parks so children could access books in their neighbourhood. It was flexible to accommodate all children, even those at day camp.

The jury also applauded the inclusion efforts of the Library, which offered time-strapped parents travel bags to take with them. They contained books and audio recordings to keep children occupied while travelling, a nice touch that also met the needs of children with learning disabilities or vision problems.

(See Sainte-Julie Library's video [French only])

Third prize ($2,000)

English program

The members of the jury were impressed with the way that Grimsby Public Library carried out their Summer Reading Club programming: visiting two dozen classes in five schools, dropping off bookmarks and tracking the impact of the visits through signups on those days, as well as setting up a regular booth at their local farmer’s market. Those efforts seemed to have paid off in the library’s significant registration and weekly participation numbers. The jury also noted the clear link between most of the Reading Club activities and reading/literacy along with the creative strategies used to motivate children to read, such as writing circles, quizzes and contests and a storyboard scavenger hunt. Overall, the jury found Grimsby’s Summer Reading Club to be creative and engaging, inspiring many children to reconnect with their library and with reading. 

(See Grimsby Public Library's video)

French program

The Dollard-des-Ormeaux Public Library (Quebec) stood out to the jury because of its exciting programming. The importance of reading was central to all its activities.

Among other things, it created an UNO-inspired card game, a literary bingo and a Secret Library Quest. Reading challenges that offered rewards were able to bring in a large number of children and motivate them to read. The inclusive approach adopted for all these activities achieved results that far exceeded expectations in terms of originality and creativity.

The varied and fun programming along with greater efforts to promote the Club in the community paid off: the Library increased new Club registrations by 70% and saw a high participation rate in its activities. Well done!

(See Dollard-des-Ormeaux Library's video [French only])

In addition, the following libraries received honourable mentions:

English program

The jury was impressed by the efforts of Champlain Public Library to encourage readers of multiple reading levels, as well as readers in both English and French, to feel included in the Summer Reading Club. The trilingual presentation by an Indigenous storyteller seemed an especially excellent addition to the programming. The jury also noted the high degree of creativity in Champlain Library’s Summer Reading Club activities, such as putting a science spin on animal legends.

The jury liked that Burk’s Falls Public Library’s Summer Reading Club catered to both younger and older kids with activities such as story time and D&D. The activities gave kids the opportunity to have fun while reading and writing. 

French program

Special mention to the Mercier Library (Quebec) for the 11th edition of its TD Summer Reading Club, which saw the number of children registered increase by 81% compared with 2021. Of the activities offered, there was a lot of interest in the four villains who escaped from their books. The programming attracted nearly 400 children, including 240 who joined the Club for the first time.

The jury would also like to applaud the outstanding efforts of the small team at the Georgette-Lepage branch of the Brossard Library (Quebec). With few resources, this library managed to offer more than 50 activities to over 300 children. The programming was offered both inside the branch and outdoors. This first-time participation in the Club bodes extremely well!

Lastly, the Libraries of Montréal-Nord (Quebec) impressed the jury with their varied programming and magical decorations. The jury also appreciated their effort to be inclusive, especially with regard to families. In short, the Library’s four branches offered the Club’s children a summer full of fun and excitement.

2021 Library Awards

Library and Archives Canada, together with the Toronto Public Library and TD Bank Group, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC) Library Awards.

Since 2007, the Library Awards have recognized and rewarded the most innovative and effective TDSRC programs run by public libraries across the country, in both English and French.

First prize ($8,000)

English program

The jury was unanimous in awarding the first prize to Penhold & District Library. This library went above and beyond to ensure that patrons could continue to develop their literacy skills during the summer months in spite of COVID restrictions. Under its Mobile Summer Reading Program, a coordinator brought a library program directly to 33 registered families, on their front lawns. This included a story time and games. In addition, each child received a mystery craft.

Also of note was Penhold & District Library’s unique One-on-One Reading Program, where twice a week kids aged 6 to 11 could spend 30 minutes with a librarian, who would read with them as well as help them pick out age-appropriate books to borrow from the Library.

The Library recruited 155 new participants for the TDSRC and held creative activities for every age group, including teens.

(See Penhold & District Library's video)

French program

Jury members would like to acknowledge the exceptional organization of the very first edition of the Donnacona Municipal Library TD Summer Reading Club (TDSRC). This small team’s efforts attracted about one-hundred young readers, who read nearly 900 books over the summer. Individual and group reading goals meant the children could go at their own pace while feeling a sense of belonging. This no doubt contributed to the TDSRC’s success.

Duo-Tangs with suggested subjects, a mosaic showing the children’s favourites, and an educational lounge area also motivated the youngsters to achieve their goals. 

Donnacona Library staff were incredibly flexible in accommodating all age groups and types of readers. The jury applauds the implementation of one exceptional feature: an effective reading workshop that suggested tailored books and strategies, in addition to providing parents with advice and tools.

Jury members also commend the outstanding inclusivity of the program, which provided families with suggestions for material tailored to children with reading difficulties. In Donnacona, young readers who have dyslexia, autism, or a visual or hearing impairment were able to take part in the activities and have fun reading.

(See Donnacona Municipal Library's video [French only])

Second prize ($4,000)

English program

Melville Public Library stood out this year for the strong connection to literacy in all of its weekly themes and for delivering a diverse, inclusive and engaging TD Summer Reading Club program.

Melville Public Library’s lively interactive weekly activities, which involved both outings and visits from community organizations, connected to a range of literary genres, from fantasy to non-fiction, as well as to a series of thoughtful topics, including healthy use of technology, Black women in sports, living with disabilities, and the history of residential schools.

The Library also fulfilled one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s calls to action, related to telling “the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history.” It hosted a ‘Metawewin’ week (the Plains Cree word for games and sports, chosen out of respect for the nêhiyawak people of Treaty 4, on whose lands Melville Public Library is situated), complete with a visit from a local Tribal Council member.

The Library maintained a healthy percentage of its pre-pandemic attendance, issued new library cards, and even surpassed the number of program events it held before the pandemic!

(See Melville Public Library's video)

French program

The jury was very impressed with the wide range of activities that Kirkland Library thought up and offered. Despite a summer full of challenges and changing health restrictions, the organizers managed to make the TD Summer Reading Club a unifying and dynamic event. The result: loans of children’s books doubled!

In addition to creating a number of partnerships with the community, the Library showed how resourceful it is, brilliantly adapting its activities to make them available online. Participants’ reading efforts were rewarded with an impressive outdoor wrap-up party. At that event, Kirkland Library had the wonderful idea of offering workshops with an author and an illustrator from the region. From the kick-off to the closing celebrations, it managed to make reading an activity for everyone!  

(See Kirkland Library's video [French only])

Third prize ($2,000)

English program

The members of the jury were impressed with the way that Pembroke Public Library chose to integrate technology and social media into its TD Summer Reading Club program. As well, the Library made literacy an integral part of the program through activities that fostered vocabulary building (such as crafting) as well as virtual and outdoor story times that focused on representing diversity and encouraging bilingualism.

The Library's staff also collaborated with members of the community to promote summer reading and to develop an in-person interactive learning event jointly with First Nations members. Pembroke Public Library’s program was both educational and fun!

(See Pembroke Public Library's video)

French program

Chambly Municipal Library charmed jury members with its original ideas: a marble machine and a photo booth. TD Summer Reading Club participants collected 543 marbles in the machine, for a total of 2,715 books read over the summer. 

A local artist painted a work of art containing a hidden word on the Library’s windows, and the youngsters could take a picture of themselves in front of it.

In addition to story time, the staff created some 30 activities for various age groups to encourage the children to develop their creativity, logical thinking and language skills. Finally, participants were treated to a circus show to wrap up this great summer of reading. The jury was impressed by how successful it was: participation increased by 400%!

(See Chambly Municipal Library's video [French only])

In addition, the following libraries received honourable mentions:

English program

Oxford Public Library designed a very creative eight-week virtual video series, dubbed “The Library Olympics,” hosted by “totally official” librarian sports reporters. This series encouraged children to set reading goals, explore new titles, and engage with weekly challenges and the Club kids’ site. The library staff themselves competed in the events featured in the videos, showing kids and parents how much fun reading can be. The videos garnered an impressive viewership.

As well, Oxford Public Library librarians were selected to present their Library Olympics program at the 2022 Ontario Library Association Superconference. 

Despite limited resources and the COVID restrictions in place, Six Nations Public Library managed to offer an interesting and fun program for the region’s youth. Its original take-home kits, for kids to make their own mini books, and the time capsule were creative and eco-friendly word-based activities. To celebrate the end of the TD Summer Reading Club, the Library had a special First Nation guest sing traditional hand drum songs.

Thunder Bay Public Library adopted an imaginative way for children to reach weekly reading goals: a sports-themed scoring system that allowed kids to earn ballots. The response to the challenge was overwhelming—the total number of books (or chapters) reported for the duration of the 2021 TD Summer Reading Club was 10,288… and a total of 4,617 ballots were earned!

To properly celebrate the accomplishments of their young readers, the library staff hosted a virtual wrap-up party similar in structure to what participants had experienced in the past. The party bags were chock-full of items that proved a hit with the kids.

The members of the jury were impressed with Victoria Municipal Library. With a staff of one, the Library organized a Survivor-themed TD Summer Reading Club, where participants were encouraged to write, read, and take on a variety of challenges. Participants devoured books and tried to outread one another! They were also encouraged to peruse the Library's collection in person in order to accumulate rewards. 

French program

This year, Mercier Library focused on the theatrical aspect of reading by offering an impressive array of activities related to show business and reading aloud.
In addition to a very original dubbing workshop, it organized three contests, one of which asked participants to write something inspired by the character of the unicorn, a prominent figure at the Library. Participation increased by 85%—these initiatives were clearly successful!

Sainte-Julie Library managed to make reading interesting and enjoyable. It offered a wide range of fun activities, such as reading aloud, creating herbariums, concocting recipes and conducting science experiments. Undeterred by the health restrictions in place, library staff travelled to city parks every week, with the Reading Squad, holding story times and enabling children to access books in their neighbourhood.

2020 Library Awards

Library and Archives Canada, together with the Toronto Public Library and TD Bank Group, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 TD Summer Reading Club (TD SRC) Library Awards.

Since 2007, the Library Awards have been given to recognize and reward the most innovative and effective TD SRC programs run by public libraries across the country, in both English and French.

First prize ($8,000)

English program

We were impressed with all that Westmount Public Library managed to put in place for the Club in 2020, despite a reduced budget, very limited planning time, and a summer that would be drastically different due to COVID-19.

The extensive participation they garnered resulted from their commitment to having a large variety of activities (such as local author visits and a StoryWalk®), offering Canadian content and putting in place efficient communications, such as numerous e-newsletters.

This Montréal neighborhood library was able to provide an experience of community solidarity during a difficult time. They made great use of the TDSRC promotional and programming materials, and even created their own emoji characters to go with the Club artwork.

French program

The Bibliothèque L’Octogone brilliantly achieved the objectives it set out for itself, despite a difficult year. It managed to maintain connections with its clientele through its many online resources, namely its website, Facebook group and newsletter.

Faced with the circumstances we are all too familiar with, the library implemented digital activities. Its website, which was constantly updated, captured the attention of young people throughout the summer, encouraging them to actively participate in weekly challenges and lightning rounds.

The library clearly stated the objectives of the TD Summer Reading Club in its activities. Additionally, the results related to these objectives were clear, precise and convincing. Finally, we should mention the creation of a simple but innovative activity: the promotion of books by Quebec children’s literature authors, an addition that perfectly matches the Club’s core principles.

Second prize ($4,000)

English program

Orillia Public Library delivered a positive and engaging TDSRC program this year. At a time when personal interactions with others were so limited, the library provided opportunities for children of all ages to safely interact with staff, one-on-one. 

 It was impressive how this public library kept a long-term view in how they delivered the Club program in 2020. Their efforts were not only focused on promoting reading during that particular summer, but on a long-term goal of building a lifelong love of reading and libraries. They included the children’s picture reports and the teens’ book reviews in a weekly newsletter sent to families.

Even when the library doors were closed, Orillia residents could see a tree blooming in the library window, with leaves being added each time a child reported their reading. This simple and creative idea had a positive impact on the community during the pandemic.  

French program

The Lachine Libraries (specifically, the Saul-Bellow and Saint-Pierre libraries) stood out due to their resources and originality. Notably, they engaged community partners to create challenges for kids and provide reading suggestions.  

The libraries successfully demonstrated their originality during a year that was atypical, to say the least. Their fantastic website captured the imagination of kids and gave them a sense of belonging. Quite the virtual feat!

But the most impressive feature was undoubtedly the creation of an entirely new avatar system: kids could create gender-neutral avatars for themselves and see these avatars evolve throughout the summer. This initiative showed that the libraries considered their target audience and their interests.

Third prize ($2,000)

English program

Pickering Public Library promoted family engagement and community wellness. Their Book Bash, launch of Canadian authors, book prizes, and flexibility for online “drop ins” were wonderful ways to engage kids and develop literacy skills.  

The library’s transition into a virtual program for the Club in 2020 was impressive. Their Club launch party demonstrated the importance the library places on literacy skills: the children received free books by Canadian authors/illustrators and learned how to register for the Club.

The library showed resourcefulness in adapting their program to an online environment. (Normally they focused on book reporting, which was quite successful.) Using video conferencing tools, library staff were able to provide a fun book reporting experience to children, asking them questions about what they had read and also breaking the isolation.

French program

The two branches of the Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie Libraries clearly demonstrated how they achieved their objectives. All summer long, the focus was on accessibility: they invited a drag queen, provided gender-neutral audio books, and offered kids online and print activities.

In addition, their “What are you doing this summer?” clips and comprehensive website enabled the libraries to maintain connections with their clientele.

We found all the objectives to be excellent. The Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie Libraries made admirable efforts to initiate and maintain contact with children, notably by creating a conversation page that brought together librarians and children in the community.

In addition, the following libraries received honourable mentions:

English program

Orangeville Public Library set itself a unique objective: teaching families how to support their children’s early literacy development.

To do this, the library featured interactive online storytimes in which a librarian read to her 7-year-old child. Families could use curbside pick up to collect craft bags that complemented the storytimes.

Their approach showed the special relationship that a parent and child could develop by reading together.

Cochrane Public Library continued to support their community by ensuring that their collection included English, French and Cree materials, as well as documents for people with visual impairment or those without Internet access.

The staff created varied opportunities for kids to participate despite unreliable or non-existent Internet connectivity, the remoteness of access, and the challenges of curbside pickup. 

The library showed resourcefulness in adapting their program to all members of their community, including the area’s large Cree community. 

Beaumont Library accomplished a lot with a small budget, showing resourcefulness in their creation of no less than 67 videos!

They also created a beautiful reading nook that featured a literacy quote, and read the first chapter of various school-aged titles, thus encouraging literacy in a fun and engaging manner throughout the summer.

The library’s focus on variety to encourage literacy was impressive. 

Champlain Township Public Library tapped into their community network of farmers to pique the interest of young and future readers. Storytimes for sheep, dogs, cows, etc. provided an entertaining and humorous interaction between the library staff member, the wildly distracted listener, and the audience (the child viewing the video). 

Their Facebook Live storytime events were popular as well as educational with the books read or presented being about the animals that were walking around the storyteller. 

This bilingual program series was outstanding!

French program

The Ville de Laval Libraries were creative in using catchy themes―mystery and knowledge―to target children aged 8 to 12, a group that is sometimes difficult to integrate into youth programming.

Their concept of video clips was very well thought-out, and the quality of the product, magnificent.

The libraries also had the great idea of hiring female actors from their community.

The Varennes Library had a simple goal: encourage children to read whenever, wherever and however they wanted.

It offered a variety of activities, including videos and webisodes that kept the children entertained throughout the summer.

The Verdun Libraries offered the kids beautiful bingo cards! There were some for every age group, and the variety of challenges they presented was a great way to get kids excited about reading while having fun. 

The libraries also posted several resources and videos on their website that encouraged children’s participation during the unusual summer.

2019 Library Awards

Library and Archives Canada, together with the Toronto Public Library and TD Bank Group, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 TD Summer Reading Club (TD SRC) Library Awards.

Since 2007, the Library Awards have been given to recognize and reward the most innovative and effective TD SRC programs run by public libraries across the country, in both English and French.

The first prize ($8,000) winners in English and French are:

Shelburne Public Library (Ontario) developed a program to promote reading and books. The creative activities designed for the Club emphasized the joys of reading and supported literacy goals to encourage children to explore their interests, be curious and embrace discovery.

Employees prepared activities for everyone—infants, parents and children—and organized various clubs based on different themes, like LEGO blocks, cooking and glue making. 

Thanks to the quality and variety of its programming, the library hosted a large number of children eager to participate in the Club week after week.

Pointe-Claire Public Library (Quebec) stood out thanks to a creative and innovative program that took advantage of opportunities available in its region. In addition to promoting reading among children, the branch created challenges for the entire family to encourage everyone to participate in the Club.

By creating a reading brigade, the library was able to reach the broader community: one employee on a bicycle distributed books at day camps and other locations, and handed out raffle tickets to passersby.

Special attention was also given to children with reading difficulties, who were able to read to a therapy dog.

The library’s wide-ranging activities made the Club a hit with children and their families. 

The second prize ($4,000) winners in English and French are:

Timmins Public Library (Ontario) offered an exceptional summer program, as shown by parents’ comments.

It reached as many people as possible through extensive community promotion and creative, lively activities such as a literacy fair, an escape room and an urban pop-up library, all with the help of various regional partners. 

In addition to offering bilingual activities, staff made accessibility a priority, ensuring that children of all abilities could participate in the Club. Finally, thanks to encouragement from staff, young readers also wrote and submitted over a hundred book reports to the library! 

Sainte-Catherine Public Library (Quebec) did an outstanding job in offering a program for children of all ages, even infants. Its balanced programming combined reading with activities that encouraged the young participants to interact. The group construction of a LEGO block creation was especially effective in encouraging children to read. Each child received a block for every book they borrowed.

The library also took full advantage of the nature theme by organizing activities centred on sustainable development and the environment, both inside the branch and outdoors.

All of these efforts by staff to deliver a comprehensive program to the public were rewarded—their Club enrolment increased by almost 25%!

The third prize ($2,000) winners in English and French are:

Scugog Memorial Public Library (Ontario) offered a program based on reading and inclusivity.

Club activities encouraged children to read more, their parents noted. An activity that combined reading and jewelry making, called “Read and Bead,” was very popular among youth.

Staff made a point of offering a program open to everyone. This included giving books to children who would not have had a chance to borrow from libraries otherwise. In addition to encouraging reading in the branch and at home, the library partnered with schools and daycare centres to promote the Club.

Through these initiatives based on inclusiveness and community engagement, even more children were able to participate in the Club. The library reported a 78% increase in registrations!

Trois-Rivières Libraries (Quebec) focused their program on reading, the core of all their activities. They not only leveraged the full potential of books in their programming, but promoted all of the resources available in their branches.

The libraries worked upstream, surveying parents and children to better identify their interests. As a result, they created an accessible and attractive program for various age groups. They also allowed children go to a step further by setting personal goals.

The promotional activities generated a lot of visibility for the Club, and led to higher registration numbers in 2019. Staff engagement and interest among youth carried the day!

 In addition, the following libraries received honourable mentions:

Penhold and District Library (Alberta) matched a book with each of its program activities, making literacy one of their priorities. Staff enriched their program by incorporating the nature theme with survival activities (like in Survivor) and camping stories, and by adapting Club activities to allow children in different age groups to participate.

Staff efforts to promote the Club and reading, and to design an attractive program for all children, were rewarded: the 130 children registered read over 3,430 books!

Melville Public Library (Saskatchewan) did an outstanding job of accommodating all children with special needs and allowing them to fully participate in the Club. In collaboration with the community, staff proposed environmentally friendly activities that effectively complemented the nature theme, including planting a garden and sustainable development activities (reducing, reusing, recycling and rethinking the way we use resources).

Despite limited staff, the library organized a popular children’s program, as indicated by comments from parents who noticed the Club’s positive impact on their children.

Wawa Public Library (Ontario) hosted four major clubs throughout the summer. Children’s activities were book-based and featured reading: an escape room game was designed to find a book, and a jar of candy was filled as the children read books (“Reading is Sweet”).

Although it serves a small community, the library made a considerable effort to promote the Club throughout the region.

Mercier Library (Quebec) launched its Summer Reading Club by symbolically adopting a polar bear. In addition to “visiting” the polar climate, staff took the children on a desert expedition, a deep-sea diving adventure and a tropical excursion.

To encourage the children to read, the library planted a tree every time 150 books were read. Thanks to the children’s commitment in devouring more than 1,200 books over the summer, the library planted eight trees.

The library’s programming helped foster discoveries and fuel the children’s curiosity, both for reading and nature.

Gatineau Public Library (Quebec) promoted the Club and reading through a strong outreach effort in daycare centres, schools and community organizations. Its proactive approach extended the scope of the Club’s contact with the community. 

With a program of nearly 300 activities, children were able to explore over a dozen nature-related topics. It generated a lot of positive feedback from parents and a lot of interest among children. The proof is the library’s record participation rates!

Alfred Plantagenet Public Library (Ontario) supported reading through their Club’s play and craft activities. The creation of a book featuring the children’s crafts strengthened their artistic skills and self-confidence.

Despite limited resources and the vast rural area they cover, the libraries managed to offer a rich and interesting program for the region’s youth. As a result, the Club’s registrations doubled! 

Finally, the winner of the Centre for Equitable Library Accessibility Award:

Moose Jaw Public Library (Saskatchewan)