Friday, June 29, 2012

Tammy Reynolds is 2012's BC New Teacher-Librarian of the Year

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that Tammy Reynolds is the 2012 recipient of the BC New Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award.  

Tammy is the teacher-librarian at Coal Tyee Elementary School in Nanaimo, BC and is a student in the Master of Education (Teacher-Librarian) program at the University of Alberta.  She is, "a leader, a facilitator, and an exceptional teacher with the school library at the centre" and has "not only set the bar high but she has catapulted over it and gone beyond".   

Within her school library program, Tammy has been implementing inquiry-based learning, introducing and implementing technology, and providing opportunities for students to become engaged with reading and more (she organized a whole school math challenge through the month of February 2012).  She is also the staff representative, professional development representative, and leader of her staff's Professional Learning Network.  She administers the school's website and the staff blog.  For the past year, she has been the district leader in piloting the use of iPads and iPods.      

Her colleague writes: "Tammy has made the library the heart and hub of our school.  Students know that the library is a safe place where they can go.  They are always welcomed.  They know Mrs. Reynolds is there for them when they need a place to do research, help to find that perfect book or series that will interest them or a place to check in and say how their day is going". 

At the district level, Tammy provides mentoring and workshops and is also the leader of the district Teacher-Librarian Professional Learning Network, and is a leader within the district's Project Success initiative.  She is an author of a number of popular literacy resources available through SD68 Nanaimo-Ladysmith's District Resource Centre and of an article published in the district's magazine for families.  At the provincial level, Tammy is a member of the BC Teacher-Librarians' Association and will present on using iPods and iPads in the elementary classroom and library at the 2012 BCTLA conference.

Tammy is a key player in the district's efforts to ensure their school libraries are hubs of "teaching and learning, of collaboration, of research, discovery -- and play -- for students, educators and the community".  She, "embraces literacy in the same way that she embraces her children: with love".  

Tammy has been a teacher-librarian, formally, for only three years.  Her phenomenal efforts and talents are evidence of the magic that a passionate and well-supported teacher-librarian can bring to a school, district, and profession.          

BCTLA will be honoured to recognize Tammy Reynolds as the 2012 recipient of the BC New Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award at the 2012 BCTLA Conference on Friday, October 19, 2012 at Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam, BC.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pat Parungao is the 2012 Recipient of the Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that Pat Parungao is the 2012 recipient of the Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant. 

Pat is currently a teacher-librarian at Gladstone Secondary in Vancouver and previously originated the role of Teacher-Librarian Consultant for the Vancouver School Board.  Pat is an exceptional teacher-librarian and is a phenomenal leader in our profession. At the school level, her amazing work, including the transformation of Gladstone’s school library into a learning commons, resulted in her being honoured with the 2010 Follett International Teacher-Librarian of the Year award. At the district, provincial and national level, Pat’s work on initiatives such as being a co-author of Students' Information Literacy Needs in the 21st Century: Competencies for Teacher-Librarians and Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific Multicultural Bibliography (recently updated and revised) was just one of the reasons that she was the 1998 recipient of the BCTLA’s highest honour, the Diana Poole Memorial Award of Merit.  Pat is a Past President of BCTLA.

With support from the Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant, Pat participated in the 2nd biannual Treasure Mountain Canada symposium, which was held on June 2-3 in Ottawa.  The symposium theme was, "Learning for the Future" and the focus was on beginning the redevelopment of national standards for school libraries.  Pat was interested both in learning what outstanding teacher-librarians have to say about the topic and in participating in discussion with them to revise Achieving Information Literacy: Standards for School Libraries in Canada.

The BCTLA was pleased to recognize Pat Parungao as the 2012 recipient of the BCTLA Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant at the 2012 BCTLA AGM on April 14 in Vancouver.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Donald Hamilton Receives the 2012 BCTLA Honorary Life Membership Award

BCTLA is honoured to recognize Donald Hamilton as a 2012 recipient of the BCTLA Honourary Life Membership Award.

From 1971 to 2000, Donald was the Education Librarian at the University of Victoria, a position which “involved him in the preparation of teacher-librarians at UVic and in extensive in-service work for teacher-librarians in Canada”.  He created and hosted the five Pearson Programs that drew over 400 qualified teacher-librarians to Pearson College for a week long immersion in-service program from 1978 through 1987. He served as President of the Canadian School Library Association (CSLA) in 1972 and for many years acted as managing editor of its journal, School Libraries in Canada.  In 1987 he was awarded the Margaret B. Scott Award of Merit by CSLA.  In 1995 he was a co-recipient of BCTLA’s Alan Knight Memorial Award for a publication in The Bookmark.  His publications are famous; the “greatest hits” are available online at  He was the Chair of the Forging Forward Symposium held in Ottawa in 1997.  Following his retirement, he was honoured with the BCTLA Distinguished Service Award for his continuing advocacy work for school libraries including holding the Chair of the BC Coalition for School Libraries from 2001-2 (  In 2001 he became a trustee for Victoria on the Greater Victoria Public Library, a position he held for 8 years.

Congratulations, Don, and thank you!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bonnie McComb Receives the 2012 Val Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCTLA Honourary Life Membership Award

Few teacher-librarians in B.C. have ever, or will ever, make the kind of contributions
toward the profession of teacher-librarianship in BC—and toward BCTLA as an
association—as has Bonnie McComb.

As a school-based teacher-librarian, Bonnie is a legend. One example of this is that she has been a leader in her school as an organizer of professional development events for her colleagues as well as whole-school literacy events. The latter includes annually a school-wide celebration of Drop Everything and Read (featuring DEAR t-shirts which Bonnie later took province-wide) which in 2011 was made famous on YouTube, and book clubs for students and staff. The culture of reading that Bonnie inspired at Parkland Secondary is an example of one of the topics of the many BCTLA conference presentations and articles in The Bookmark that Bonnie contributed as she consistently sought to share her expertise with the teacher-librarian community at large as a professional.

At the district level, Bonnie has also been a leader and pivotal force within the Saanich
Teacher-Librarians’ Association. She has served as local president for many years, hosted a BCTLA conference at her school, revised library technician job classification language, served on the leadership committee that created the Saanich District Library Handbook (that includes qualification requirements for teacher-librarians and library technicians), been a part of countless advocacy campaigns (including such novel approaches as buying ads in papers and printing bookmarks) and mentored and supported her teacher-librarian colleagues. She is currently advocating for a district-wide transformation of school libraries to learning commons.

Bonnie has also been a force at the provincial and national level. Early in her career, she was encouraged by BCTLA President Diana Poole to become involved with the BCTLA Executive. She has been an executive member serving in various roles including Communications Officer, Vice-President Chapter Relations, President and Conference Chair for over 20 years. A key member of the BCTLA Executive, Bonnie has been involved in every provincial teacher-librarian campaign and initiative of the last quarter century. She has worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the association and its conferences.

For her efforts and exemplary work as a teacher-librarian at all levels, Bonnie has
previously been awarded the NBS Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award (2003) and the
Alan Knight Memorial Award (2010 and 2011).

BCTLA will be honoured to recognize Bonnie as the 2012 recipient of the Val Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCTLA Honourary Life Membership Award at the 2012 BCTLA Conference on Friday, October 19, 2011 at Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam, BC.

Friday, June 1, 2012

BCTLA Summer Institute: "Learning Commons in BC"

August 28 & 29
John Oliver Secondary Learning Commons, Vancouver
Cost: $85 (registration is limited)
Please bring a laptop or iPad, etc.  

Day 1) Exploring the Learning Commons Concept

August 28, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Learning Commons, John Oliver Secondary, VSB
Speaker: Carol Koechlin

The key figure in the learning commons movement in Canada, Carol Koechlin has worked as a classroom teacher, teacher-librarian, instructional leader, consultant, and university faculty member in Ontario, retiring as an award-winning Library Consultant for the Toronto District School Board.  She is the author of many articles and several books, including Build Your Own Information Literate School with Sandi Zwann and Ban Those Bird Units!: 15 Models For Teaching And Learning In Information-Rich And Technology-Rich Environments with Sandi, and Dr. David Loertscher.  Carol and David developed the learning commons concept based on the inspiration and model of the Chapman Learning Commons at UBC, which is featured in the “Learning Commons in BC” video.  The concept is most detailed in Canada in the Ontario School Library Association document, Together for Learning: School Libraries and the Emergence of the Learning Commons, which Carol co-authored.  Carol is sought after as a speaker on topics including learning commons transformation, information literacy, and inquiry-based learning. 

Description: On Day 1, Carol will lead us through a day of collaborative knowledge building to help us understand the learning commons concept.  We will explore how teacher-librarians working in a learning commons can:

  • Lead in the design of excellent learning experiences
  • Foster a collaborative school culture
  • Design and re-design physical and virtual learning environments
  • Contribute to school improvement

Social Event
August 28, 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Location: Shaughnessy Suite, Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre

Day 2) Connecting the Concept to Practice

August 29, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Location: Learning Commons, John Oliver Secondary, VSB
Facilitators: BC Teacher-Librarians 

On Day 2, we will examine how the concepts might translate into our practice.  Thinking in practical terms, how can we transform our spaces and programs here in BC?  Where does one begin?  What information needs to be considered?  What works?  What are some of the pitfalls? Participants will have an opportunity to hear from colleagues who are leading in the transformation of their libraries.