West Vancouver, B.C.—The West Vancouver Memorial Library received the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) Eureka Award for their innovative climate work on Friday, April 14.
The provincial award—which is given to individuals or organizations that have demonstrated innovation, insightfulness, or originality in the library field—recognizes the Library’s Climate Future initiative. This initiative has grown out of the Library’s longstanding record of climate action, from a staff-led Green Team starting in 2006 to a Green Building Operations Policy in 2009, and has led to projects such as the 2022 Climate Writer in Residence program featuring Katłįà Lafferty and the creation of a community demonstration garden.
Lafferty’s residency supported the Library’s ongoing work and strategic focus on building climate awareness in the community, while also helping community members develop and amplify their creative voices. She ran programs for all ages, published blog posts, and collaborated with community partners during her residency. More than 800 people participated in Lafferty’s programs.
In her last blog post of her residency, Lafferty wrote: “Libraries are in a great position to be able to do the work of building bridges between community because they are a safe haven of trust and knowledge, and although an unassuming place for loudly changing the world outside of a book, the West Vancouver Memorial Library is doing just that.”
Another major Climate Future project for the Library involved transforming its rooftop parking lot into a community demonstration garden, which aims to showcase a commitment to environmental education and stewardship, to provide learning opportunities around climate action and sustainable living, and to create a peaceful place for community members to gather. In October 2022, Chepximiya Siyam’ Chief Janice George of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) honoured the community demonstration garden with a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh sníchim name: Swáy̓wi Temíxw. This space has hosted kids concerts, book chats, garden programs, and more.
WVML Librarian Kendra Sakamoto accepted the award at the BCLA conference on behalf of the Library and says, “I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this Library that holds sustainability as a core value. It’s been an incredible honour to lead some of the Climate Future projects including the Climate Writer in Residence program with Northern Dene author and activist, Katłįà Lafferty, as well as our community demonstration garden, Swáy̓wi Temíxw. It truly is a privilege to be able to do this work, where meaningful climate action and reconciliation intersect.”