Making a Difference Awards: Archives

Marigold's Making a Difference Awards are presented each year, during the Member Libraries' Workshop. These awards recognize and celebrate excellence and innovation in library service and acknowledge a library which has demonstrated achievement in areas such as programming, outreach, advocacy and public relations. Congratulations to all of the winners of the Marigold Making a Difference Awards.

To apply for this year's Making a Difference Awards, click here.

Past Award Winners:


Category: Large Library

Winner: Canmore Public Library for Community Benefit

Honourable Mention: Chestermere Public Library

Pictured: Canmore Public Library staff member, Karen Scriven, with Michelle Toombs

Category: Mid-sized Library

Winner: Sheep River Library for Future Focus

Honourable Mention: Irricana and Rural Municipal Library

Pictured: Sheep River Library staff with Michelle Toombs

Category: Small Library

Winner: Delia Municipal Library for Innovation

Honourable Mention: Hussar Municipal Library

Pictured: Delia Municipla Library Manager, Leah Hunter, with Michelle Toombs




Bighorn Library, category:  Future Focus

In 2010 Bighorn Library began a series of YouTube videos about early literacy programming for people who work with children.  Since that time the program has grown far beyond anything the library imagined when they made that first video, which has now been viewed 1350 times! Today, Bighorn has posted 123 videos which have been viewed over 63,000 times. 
Bighorn also uses Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. Neil Gaiman has retweeted Bighorn’s videos of his children's books and posted them on his own webpage and so have many other authors. Bighorn’s channel is featured on several other crafting and recycling sites.

Strathmore Library, category:  Community Benefit

In 2013, Strathmore Library began hosting Telehealth Sessions from the Community Education Service. In the past, access to these programs was dependent on room availability at the Strathmore Hospital. The library identified a gap and set out to fill it!
The initiative has helped health professionals and the public see the library as a hub for learning and an organization that is willing to provide what its patrons needs.

High River Library, category:  Excellence in Service

After the flood in 2013 it became imperative that High River library initiate some activity to ensure their presence in the town. Staff operated from their homes with their personal computers and meetings were conducted in the living room or dining room of the librarian’s home – board meetings, architect meeting, and program planning over lunch.  

When their temporary Sprung facility opened in November, the library hosted Storytimes, Movies, Literacy for Life programs, ‘Coat High River with Love’ program and staff helped with the distribution of quilts as part of a program to ensure that every flood victim received a ’warm hug’.

Honourable mentions:

Okotoks Public Library and Sheep River Library for their walking programs, which have brought the community together and promoted healthy living.



Sheep River Library: Innovative Programming

Sheep River has approximately 100 volunteers who cover a variety of tasks – (shelving, shelf reading, holds list), special projects ( construction, repairs), special events (food prep, greeters, decorating, set up and clean up), garden group, program instructors, art co-ordinating and website development. The Volunteer Engagement program involved the intentional engagement, training, and appreciation of community volunteers in a variety of roles.

The project has had wide reaching and measurable benefits for employees, library patrons, library operations and even more importantly the community at large. It has enhanced library services and engaged community members by using their individual and unique talents.

Irricana & District Library: Community Partnership

Early in 2012 Rocky View County Fire Service, Station108 (the Eastside Crew in Irricana), approached the Library about creating a literacy program where firefighters would come into the library to interact with children and youth in literacy activities. The Library incorporated the firefighters literacy program idea into its 2012 Winter Reading Program. Over 83 children participated in 7 program days. This project also expanded the library’s Winter Reading Program so that it could be hosted on Saturdays – not just Wednesday nights.

The past Fire Chief of Station 108 became an Irricana Library Board member and in November 2012 took on the role of the Library Board Chair. With the success both sides of this partnership has seen, the library is looking to continue and grow the program into the rest of 2013. 



Irricana Library

Irricana Library’s Public Relations campaign increased cardholders by 40%, doubled volunteers within the library, encouraged 678 individuals to take part in over 100 programs, and established and nurtured strong relationships with community organizations, schools, local media and residents.

Cereal Library

Cereal Library’s Celebration of the Arts and 30thAnniversary event attracted people who had not visited the library since they were children. They were pleasantly surprised to see the transformation of the Library. The entire community collaborated to make this celebration a success.