Celebrating Our Library: Books & Beyond 2022 Library Endowment Tribute Campaign

Celebrating Our Library: Books & Beyond  2022 Library Endowment Tribute Campaign

The 2022 Library Endowment Tribute and our Campaign Champions are asking the community to help us build sustainability for the future of the Library by contributing to the Canmore Public Library Endowment Fund. We invite you to contribute to the fund, big or small, and share your fondest library memory on your social media channels using hashtags:

  • #canmorepubliclibrary
  • #libraryendowmentBCCF
  • #librarymemories
  • #librarychampions

Celebrating our Library: Books & Beyond 2022 Library Endowment Tribute Campaign will run from November 1st to December 10th. To make a contribution online visit the Banff Canmore Community Foundation website

During the month of November, celebrity community library members are personally championing our 2022 Canmore Library Endowment Campaign. We'll be updating this page on our website when new champions are announced - so check back often! 

MEET LIBRARY CHAMPION ABIGAIL WRAGG

As the 'newest' Canadian Champion of the Canmore Library, Abigail Wragg has found the library a key source of knowledge and history.

Abigail's mother noted,  "The Library was hugely important to Abigail and our whole family as part of our transition when we moved to Canada and continues to be important today." Abigail joined the Junior Librarian with enthusiasm, establishing strong relationships with staff and her fellow junior librarians.

Our new Canadians - just one more reason to ensure the stability of the library today and into the future

Read Abigails Full Interview

Please share your favourite library story.

My favourite library story is when, a few summers ago, I was doing the Junior Librarian program. Each kid participating in the program was only allowed to do one week of the program, but I was allowed to do the entire summer! On the last day of Junior Librarians, one of the instructors actually cried when I was leaving. That instructor has moved out of Canmore now, but we still try and keep in contact with them. 

How important is the library to you?

The library is very important to me. I love the amazing environment in the library, and whenever I come in the library there is almost always a librarian who I could spend ages talking to. 

What role do you see libraries playing in the future?

I think that libraries will continue to be a great place for learning and fun, but I think it will grow more digitally. Who is your favourite author(s)?Suzanne Collins - The Hunger GamesSharon M. Draper - Out of My Mind 

What writers would you recommend to our readers right now?

I would recommend John Green and Angie Thomas.   

Why do you think it is important to tell stories?

I think it is important to share knowledge and history, and I think that it is important for people to relax and just lose themselves in a good book!

MEET LIBRARY CHAMPION SHARON WOOD

Sharon Wood made history in 1986 when she became the first woman from North America to climb Mount Everest. The epic story of her all-Canadian team prevailing over extreme conditions and seemingly impossible odds catapulted her into a professional speaking career. She wrote her memoir Rising in 2019.

Her champion library story is almost as inspirational as her conquering Everest. Sharon's aging mother, marvelled by libraries, used them diligently to the very end of her ninety-five years enabled by a very dedicated librarian. A legacy passed to her, Sharon sees libraries continuing to be a true sanctuary "where we can sit in silence and let the words light up our imagination". 

Sharon Wood on the Importance of Libraries

Please share your favourite library story.

My late mom often marvelled over how she could go anywhere and learn most anything in the world she desired from books, which she'd borrow by the dozen from the library.  As her mobility and sight deteriorated her selection narrowed to large print editions. A special human being by the name of Kelly, with Assistive Services at Mom's local library, began visiting Mom at home home twice a month to keep her well stocked with books.  She took the time to get to know Mom by learning what subjects and genres she enjoyed most.  I believe a mutual love of books opens doors to one another's hearts and minds.  Because of this and although their time together was brief, I got the sense that Kelly got to know my introverted ninety-five year-old mom more intimately than most others did in a lifetime. Mom's mind was sharp in her last week of life and she spent her limited energy writing personal notes of farewell and appreciation to a select few individuals. As a testament to how her librarian impacted the quality of my mom's life, Kelly was included among those few. 

How important is the library to you?

Ever increasing communication platforms expedite our connection and acquisition of knowledge yet dilute our attention and sensibilities.  I see our libraries as temples for the preservation of books and the cultivation of knowledge.

What role do see libraries playing in the future? 

I see the library as being one of the rare sanctuaries left to us where we can sit in silence and let the words, be they on the page, an e-reader or audio light up our imagination. 

Writing Advice from Sharon Wood

What led you to start writing?

I started writing because I had a story that begged to be told and wouldn't let me put it down despite my trying.  

What is the best investment you ever made in your writing?

The best thing I did for the advancement of my writing was to find readers who would tell me the truth about my writing rather than flatter me.  I would give them no more than ten pages at a time and a set of questions to elicit specific feedback:

  • What do you think this section is about?
  • Where in these pages does the story get boring?
  • Am I telling too little or too much?
  • What is your favourite sentence or section in these pages and why?
  • Is there anywhere in these pages that you don't trust or believe the narrator? 

Do you have any advice for emerging writers?  What question would you ask of an experienced/published writer/author?

I would urge new writers to value process over product; to engage wholeheartedly in the process of learning the craft and finding one's voice. 

Why do you feel it is important to tell and share stories?

I believe it is important to share stories to learn that we are not alone in navigating the vicissitudes of our humanity.

MEET LIBRARY CHAMPION KEVIN VAN TIGHEM

Growing up in Calgary, Kevin discovered libraries as a child, searching out his favourite authors and inspired by the poetic voice of Freddy the Pig. Now as an author of fifteen books on wildlife and conservation, Kevin finds libraries essential to his research, not only for hidden gems and new insights, but also because librarians are trained researchers themselves. For this and for the sheer enjoyment of reading, Kevin was only too happy to lend his voice to the Canmore Library’s future and the importance of the Canmore Library Endowment Fund to this future.

“As a child in search of more stories by my favourite authors, I found the downtown main branch of the Calgary Public Library. It was huge. Their whole bottom floor was the children’s section. It felt like a treasure trove but after a few months I had exhausted its possibilities. I remember going upstairs instead of down, one day when I was eleven or so, and venturing furtively into the grownups section. Not a kid in sight. I wasn’t sure if I was even allowed there. A kindly librarian asked me what I was looking for and when I asked if kids were allowed to withdraw the books in the grownup library, she said of course we were, and she took me over and showed me how to use the card catalogue. It was sheer magic — all those books suddenly available to an aspiring naturalist, traveler and writer. For free. Every imaginable subject and style, and many I had never imagined…half a century later, I’m still blown away.”

Kevin Van Tighem on the Importance of Libraries

Please share your favourite library story.

As a child in search of more stories by my favourite authors, I found the downtown main branch of the Calgary Public Library.  It was huge. Their whole bottom floor was the children’s section.  It felt like a treasure trove but after a few months I had exhausted its possibilities.  I remember going upstairs instead of down, one day when I was eleven or so, and venturing furtively into the grownups section.  Not a kid in sight. I wasn’t sure if I was even allowed there.  A kindly librarian asked me what I was looking for and when I asked if kids were allowed to withdraw the books in the grownup library she said of course we were, and she took me over and showed me how to use the card catalogue.  It was sheer magic — all those books suddenly available to an aspiring naturalist, traveler and writer.  For free.  Every imaginable subject and style, and many I had never imagined…half a century later, I’m still blown away.

How important is the library to you?

My wife and I are in the library almost weekly, searching for new fiction we’ve not read before.  There are many fiction authors whose books we don’t have room for, but we can still devour their works because of the library.  And when I have a non-fiction writing project on the go, libraries are absolutely essential to my research — both for poring through the relevant sections of the library to find hidden gems and new insights, but also because librarians are trained researchers and can help me find resources I might have missed on my own.

What role do see libraries playing in the future?

Libraries are among the only truly democratic public spaces in our society, and they will become increasingly important in a future where information is becoming commoditized and misinformation has become weaponized.  Everyone has equal access to library holdings, and unlike the internet there is always an assurance of quality; their lawyers won’t usually let publishers put out work that hasn’t been fact-checked and reviewed for libel and hate.  In that sense, the role of libraries in defending freedom of thought and access to knowledge will only become important as the political and social information wars become nastier.

Writing Advice from Kevin Van Tighem

What led you to start writing?

Freddy the Pig.  I found the Freddy books in the south Calgary branch of the Calgary Public Library when I was eight or nine, and was soon addicted to that poetic pig and his adventures.  When I reached the end of the series I didn’t want to stop, so I started trying to write my own.  Like Freddy, my poems were awful.  But I was writing.

What advice would you give to any committed writer?

Just write.  Too many people don’t start, or don’t continue, because they think their work is awful or they can’t come up with a good idea.  Face it: most first drafts are awful.  Magic takes work.  So write, write, write… and then rework it until you like it.  Or set it aside and write something else.  But you’ll never be a writer unless you write, and you’ll never produce anything good until you’ve produced lots of stuff that wasn’t.

What is the best investment you ever made in your writing?

I was in a bookstore one day in my late teens and found some hard-covered lined notebooks that I really liked, so I bought four.  They became journals in which I wrote about my hikes, nature discoveries and (to my later embarrassment) lost loves and moments of angst. Ultimately I filled twelve of them before I stopped because I simply couldn’t keep up. Years later, they held memories my brain had lost. Many of my published articles began as reflections on the writings I found in those journals. 

What aspect of writing have you most improved in over time? What resources helped you most in this area?

I would say I write with fewer adjectives and adverbs than I used to, and have learned to illustrate with anecdotes or with sentences that refer to sensual impressions — scent, touch, sounds, sightings — when I need to capture the things for which I once relied on word modifiers. I’ve also come close to rendering the passive voice extinct in my writing. What helped me most in both regards was having my work professionally edited once I started publishing books.  Lynn Zwicky, in particular, stands out for me as an editor who helped me to confront my bad habits and move past them.

Do you have any advice for emerging writers?  What question would you ask of an experienced/published writer/author?

Write what you want to write, not what you think a publisher will buy.  Make writing a passion, not a profession.  And manage your ego:  what is important is not the writer; it’s the writing.  With regard to managing one’s ego: welcome any opportunity to work with an editor.  If you think you’re too special to let someone else critique your work and suggest changes, there’s a good chance you’ll never write as well as you could.

MEET LIBRARY CHAMPION MATILDA WHELAN

Matilda IS THE FUTURE of the Library. Matilda is the Canmore Public Library's youngest Campaign Champion. As a black cat connoisseur, with three cats of her own, she finds it important to share her love of animals with others. Currently, she is in third grade and working her way through Tui Sutherland's Wings of Fire series. The library is important to Matilda because “I can read all the books I want for free.” These are the future generations of the library - the generations that your contributions to a healthy and growing Canmore Library Endowment Fund will be there to support.

Matilda loves to read after school cozied up in the luxury of the fireplace and comfy chairs at the very back of the library. When asked about her fondest memory, “When we had a pizza party for the Summer Reading Program girls. They were awesome, I hope they come back next year. Not just for pizza, but for the Summer Reading Program,” Matilda notes, “Aside from reading, our library does other fun programs like the Summer Reading Game, Teddy Bear Picnics, Clothing Swaps, the Children's Holiday Market and so much more!

Read Matilda's Full Interview

My Favorite Library Story:

When we had a pizza party for the SRP girls. They were awesome, I hope they come back next year. Not just for pizza, but for the Summer Reading Program.

How Important Is The Library to Me:

I like the library a lot. I love reading in the library after school and love to sit at the very back where the fireplace is. The library is important because I can read all the books I want for free!

What Role Do You See Libraries Playing in the Future?

Aside from reading, our library does other fun programs like the Summer Reading Game, Teddy Bear Picnics, Clothing Swaps, the Children's Holiday Market and so much more!

My Favorite Authors:

1. My mom.

2. Neil Gaiman (I read Sandman with my dad and Fortunately the Milk to my dad)

3. Tui T. Sutherland

4. Katy Farina

What Question Would I Ask An Experienced/Published Author?

I would ask them what their favorite animal is, obviously.

Why is it important to tell and share stories?

It is important to tell and share stories to teach lessons in a fun way. Recently, we had Indigious Elders come to our class to tell us stories and the lesson of my favorite story was to never trust an evil sorcerer.

Do you have any advice for an aspiring author?

You don't have to rush your process!

What led you to start writing?

I was in grade two and I had no choice because if I didn't write my story, I wouldn't get my free time.

YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL BE MATCHED UP TO $20,000.

The Library Endowment Fund was established in 2019 with strong initial contributions including seed sponsors, Elliott & Margie Bingham, and the Friends of the Canmore Library leading the way. This year a group of generous donors are collaborating to provide matching donations for the first $20,000 raised during the campaign.

“We are a group of people who believe in the importance of a vibrant library in Canmore. We are committed to providing additional support now and want to do all that we can to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Library in our community,” declared Linda Korsbrek, President, Friends of the Canmore Library.

SECURING YOUR TRIBUTE THROUGH THE BANFF CANMORE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

The Banff Canmore Community Foundation (BCCF) allows the Library Board to harness BCCF’s administrative and financial investment management power. It also helps both organizations strengthen relationships with a wider network of community-minded people. Working together, it can only get stronger.

To contribute online: Banff Canmore Community Foundation – Canmore Library Endowment Your contribution will be Matched up to $20,000.

To learn more about our Endowment Fund and how it works, visit this page on our website.

We appreciate your support!