Library Stories Contest Winners Announced

Thank you to everyone who entered our Library Stories contest. We heard from more than 100 people who shared powerful stories about the difference the Library has made in their lives.

Many people told us how the Library felt inviting and comforting as they adjusted to life in a new city. The Library’s staff, free programs, and services — especially free computer access and printing — helped make the transition a little easier.

Others described the Library as a longtime friend and a good neighbour. Some people told multigenerational stories, starting with childhood visits to the Library or Bookmobile, then sharing the special spot with their own children, and now passing the joy of a Library visit on to grandchildren.

People shared stories about the Library’s value as a safe community hub and place to meet new friends. We heard again and again that the bonds formed at the Library have helped people feel a sense of belonging and connection in a bustling city, and that kindness and patience from staff have made a difference.  

Whether you’re playing with your children in an Early Learning Centre, seeking help to find a job, studying in a quiet spot, learning to play an instrument, escaping into fiction, discovering a new hobby, or accessing eBooks, audiobooks, and other resources from home, the Library is there for you.

People described the Library in many ways: as a truly magical place, a sanctuary, a haven, an escape, a building full of possibilities and opportunities, a place of pure joy, and the best thing on this planet!

Congratulations to our two contest winners: Anisha Mawji, a new teacher, and Eda Czarnecki, coordinator of the TD Read With Me Program at the Library. Both won a gift card to Lukes Drug Mart and a Library Store prize pack.

Read their winning entries below, watch for more stories, and remember you can submit your own story at any time here.

Anisha’s Entry

Growing up, my mom always took us to the Library. Our Library cards were full and they almost always still are! It was like an addiction, when I returned a book, I was always eager to get another one.

After completing my university education, I wasn’t sure of what career I wanted to pursue. By volunteering for Read With Me and “checking” out some wise souls from the living Library, I was able to realize that I wanted to become a teacher.

As a new teacher, I am grateful to have access to picture books, lesson plan materials, as well as free online courses for my professional development. The musical instrument lending Library has also given me access to learning new instruments so I can still keep my passion for music alive and share that with my young learners!

I thank the Library for guiding me on a journey to finding a career that works for me, for connecting me to my community, and for enriching my life with countless opportunities for education

Eda’s Entry

The Library's one-on-one volunteer-based programs have positively impacted four members of a family. I recently ran into the parents of a TD Read With Me learner at a community Library — they were bursting with genuine appreciation of what the Library has done for them. It turns out that I had recently matched their daughter with a volunteer who had helped their son in the program more than 10 years ago. The father said it was like a family reunion and that they were blessed to have this same volunteer — who they believe is a miracle worker — help another one of their children. Three of their children have now been involved in the program.

Moreover, when I first interviewed their daughter, the mom had quietly asked me if the Library had any programs that could help her — as an adult — learn to read in English. After more than a decade in Canada and finally seeing all of her kids into school, she was ready to give herself the gift of literacy. She thanked me for the referral and proudly told me that she herself is now a learner in Learning Advantage.

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