Canadian Libraries Spotlight: Conception Bay South Public Library, Newfoundland

In January we put a call out for Canadian Youth Services Library content, and we have been overjoyed at the response! This post is the second in our guest post series highlighting the amazing work being done in Canadian libraries to serve children and families. Join us as guest blogger this week Rebecca Stone, Library Technician II at the Conception Bay South Public Library, talks about Family Literacy Day her community!


Our Community:

Conception Bay South (CBS), Newfoundland is situated on the Northeast Avalon Peninsula, approximately 20 kilometers from St. John’s. It is one of the province’s newest Towns made up of some of Newfoundland’s oldest settlements. The Town of CBS is one of the fastest growing communities in the province with over 20,000 residents. Incorporated in 1973, Conception Bay South consists of nine communities (Topsail, Chamberlains, Manuels, Long Pond, Foxtrap, Kelligrews, Upper Gullies, Lawrence Pond and Seal Cove) all of which follow the coastline of Conception Bay.

This is our beautiful coastline community.

Our Library:

The CBS Public Library has been part of the community since 1975. Although we’re a small space (at just over 2000 square feet) we offer thousands of books, DVDs and Periodicals to our patrons. We run anywhere from three to four weekly programs for children (newborn to age five) during the school year and add a teen book club during the summer months. We offer free computer/Wi-Fi access to the citizens of CBS and once a year (with the help of a grant from the Department of Education) we host a Community Access Program – Youth Intern who offers free computer training to our residents. We currently have 5600 current and active patrons at the CBS Public Library.

Here’s an outside view of the CBS Public Library (during the summer of course).

Our Event:

One of the things we strive to do here at the CBS Public Library is encourage parents and adults to read more Young Adult and Juvenile fiction. We like to show kids that we, as adults, are reading the same books as them. As librarians we all know it’s impossible to read every book on the shelves, we rely on our young patrons to tell us what they liked so we can then in turn recommend it to other patrons with similar interests. This year for Family Literacy Day we wanted to host a fun activity that would get parents and kids talking about the books and series that they’ve all read. We needed an activity that families could do together that would promote discussions about books and a shared love of reading.

The activity we chose to host this year was a Pictorial Book Quiz. We pasted twenty pictures of objects or characters from popular and classic children’s, juvenile, and young adult books/series onto a piece of Bristol board. Every picture was of a book that was in our library so if they weren’t sure of an answer they could wander around and look for clues. We encouraged the contestants to help each other out and talk about what they thought each symbol was from and why.

We ran the contest for ten days and had well over a hundred entries. We were very grateful that our local library board was able to supply us with three Chapters/Indigo gift cards to give out as prizes. The entries were divided into two categories; those who successfully identified all of the objects and characters and then everyone else. We picked our top prize from the first group and then combined the leftover ballots to choose our other two winners.

Our first prize winner had been in the night before the draw with his Mom and they worked together to complete his entry. Dan was especially thrilled to win because he and his Mom had spent several minutes debating the answer to number twelve. His Mom thought the character was from the ‘Splat the Cat’ series but Dan knew better. He spent almost fifteen minutes scouring the shelves until he found a ‘Pete the Cat’ book to show her. They had such a fun time working on the project together which was exactly the outcome we were looking for.

Another one of our winners, Amanda, came into the library a few weeks after the contest to show me what she had purchased with her gift card. She was so excited to show off her “Dork Diaries OMG!: All About Me Diary!”. It was something she had wanted but was unable to get from the library as it’s a personalized book that the owner can write in.

Below is a picture of the contest board. After Family Literacy Day we filled in the answers and displayed it in the library for a week so patrons could come in and see which ones they had gotten right and which ones they couldn’t figure out. Do you think you could have gotten them all right?

rebecca We had such a good time creating and running the contest. We hope you enjoyed reading about it!

5 thoughts on “Canadian Libraries Spotlight: Conception Bay South Public Library, Newfoundland

  1. What fun! I may have to borrow this idea for next year. It is a really easy-to-replicate idea & one that I think would go over well in our libraries.
    Waving hello from Nova Scotia!

  2. Thanks Angela. Glad you liked the idea 🙂

  3. Wonderful idea! We’re always looking for good things to do for Family Literacy Day (which always seems to be the coldest day of the year, and so hard to get people to come out, at least down south in southern Ontario)! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. We love this idea and think we will use it this summer with our summer fun readers. My assistant is from Perry’s Cove (the Budden family) and she was really proud to read this.

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