By Nikki Jamieson
The Taber Public Library has won a program award from Chinook Arch Regional Library Systems — and on their first try, too.
In their first entry into the Chinook Arch Rewards of Excellence and Distinction (READ) award competition, the Taber Library was pleased to find out that they received an award for a science fair program.
“Last March, we had put on a science fair for the Hope Christian School Homeschooling System, so for the kids around this area,” said Heather Martin-Detka, library manager for the Taber Library. “It basically hit all their criteria, so in regard to excellence and service, it was one of our most popular programs, we had 80 students or participants as well, and that didn’t include the public who came in and viewed them (the experiments).
“Future focus was kind of the big thing I think, because knowledge economy; we’re heading toward a knowledge economy, and part of that is jobs in the STEM field — so science, technology, engineering ad math. So by having these kids put on their science experiments, not only was it helping with their creativity and showing off the scientific method and everything, it was also helping prepare for jobs in the STEM field.”
The staff at the Taber Library didn’t find out if they had won anything until the Southern Alberta Library Conference (SALC) the first weekend of March. After showing off all the different programs that had been nominated, they began announcing the winners — that was when the Taber Library’s named was called and they received their plaque.
“Shock and awe; it felt good,” said Martin-Detka. “It was definitely very nice to see that we were acknowledged in our service over all these years.”
“It was awesome, because we were encouraged to apply for these awards before and we never did, and the first time that we did, was cool to be recognized,” said Dawn Kondas, program coordinator for the Taber Library, adding that they will definitely go for another award next year, and are planning to do more music, community and cultural programming at the library. “The future is bright.”
The library will host a second science fair with the Hope Christian students to take place on Tuesday, April 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Chinook Arch READ awards honour the staff and services of member libraries for programs or actions that have bettered the service and community. The awards are decided based on excellence of service, collaboration, innovation and community benefit.