Thank you to all of you who submitted entries to the Summer Reading Club Community Story Award. We received some wonderful submissions this year that captured the deep impact of the BC SRC program, and the commitment and care that library workers bring to their communities.

We are delighted to announce that Miranda Mallinson of the Vancouver Public Library is the winner of the 2015 BC SRC Community Story Award!

Our judges were deeply affected by Miranda’s story about handing out SRC medals. This is what they had to say: “This story is a wonderful example of not only how the passion and enthusiasm that library workers have is passed along to SRC participants, but also how the accomplishments of each child matter to us, and make an impact on our lives, too.”

Miranda will attend this year’s BCLA Conference as a guest of RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). She’ll also be joining us at the SRC Conference booth. Please come by and say hello, and congratulate her!

BCLA, in partnership with RBC, introduced the SRC Community Story Award at the 2013 BCLA Conference. Each year, the BC Summer Reading  Club will present this award to an individual whose story best demonstrates the impact of the SRC within their community.

We look forward to hearing your SRC stories!

The 2015 SRC Community Story Award Winner

About Miranda Mallinson

Miranda was born in Toronto and grew up on
Vancouver’s North Shore, near the ocean. Before she worked in libraries, she worked mostly in child care, where she honed her storytelling skills. At university, she studied  painting and printmaking. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and their three cats.

As a child, Miranda’s favourite relationship with books was having them read-aloud to her by her mother. She loved this time together. She especially loved the illustrations and would pore over them, in a state she describes as “close to bliss”. She would prefer a world where all the books were illustrated! These days, Miranda favourite authors include Mo Willems, Jeremy Tankard, Nicholson Baker, and Naomi Shihab Nye.

It makes perfect sense that she has ended up in the Children’s Library at VPL, surrounded by gorgeously illustrated books, welcoming children, reading to them, and sharing with them her love of pictures and of art. She tells kids that the best thing about books is that anything can happen. For Miranda, the most important thing to have happen is when someone arrives at the library, they feel welcomed, safe and significant.

Miranda’s Story: Summer Reading Club Medals

I’m a Library Technician in the Children’s Library at the Vancouver Public Library. I get to do a lot of amazing and profound things in my job, but honestly, one of the most inspiring and happy things I do all year is give out Summer Reading Club medals.

As a kid, “completion” was always an issue for me, so when a kid comes in with a Reading Record full of books that they’ve read, I go all out making a fuss over it.  In that moment, nothing else exists. I look the kid in the eye, and express in the most heartfelt way I can, how proud and impressed I am at what they have done. What I want them to feel, in that moment, is that we, as grownups, as role models, think that what they have accomplished is fantastic. Yes, reading should be, and is, its own pleasure; but athletic kids, math kids, they get tangible rewards all the time for what they are good at. I want the kids who are into reading, and the kids who struggle with it, too, to know that we think they are awesome, just for doing what they do.

Today I had two kids come in, brothers, to collect their medals. I pored over their reading records, asked them about what they had read and told them how proud I was. I wrote up their certificates, and then I came around the desk to give them their medals. When I do this, I always envision the Olympics Medal Ceremony in my head… that’s what it is for me “…on behalf of the Vancouver Public Library, it is my great honour to bestow upon you this medal for the completion of the Summer Reading Club of 2014. Congratulations.”

I shook their hands and applauded. And just at that moment, a gang from the Book and Writing Camp were going by.  I called out to them, “Hey guys, these kids just got their medals for Summer Reading Club!”

“Wow,” said the campers, “that’s great!” and they applauded, too.

Maybe the young brothers will remember it, maybe they won’t, but they are readers, they love books, they told me so, and today a whole bunch of big kids and one goofy adult told them that that was very cool.