Bruce County Public Library’s TD Summer Reading Club Continues to Break Records

Bruce County Public Library (BCPL) is thrilled to announce the outstanding success of its 2023 Summer Reading Club, which shattered all previous years’ records with an incredible 280,142 minutes of reading logged.

BCPL held their annual Summer Reading Club kick-off event at the Lucknow Branch on June 17 this year. This much-anticipated event started with the always entertaining Magic of Scott Dietrich and author readings with Dorothy Ladd and Doug Archer. Throughout the day, families could experience science through STEAM activities with NII while being transformed into mythical creatures through the face-painting talents of Wyllow’s Whimsies. It was a perfect way to start summer.

Branches hosted weekly Summer Reading Club meetings all summer long based on a theme that fell under the summer heading of ‘Check It Out!’ Each meeting included staff-created programs with literacy-focused activities, games, and Story Times. There were also many special programs and visits to the Branches all through the summer. Canadian Raptor Conservatory brought their Birds of Prey show to Tobermory and Port Elgin Branches, and an incredible 173 people came out to visit the Scales Nature Reserve’s reptiles and amphibians presentation at Chesley Park.

This year, the Summer Reading Club introduced BINGO through the online reading challenge platform Beanstack. Beanstack auto-filled the reader’s card as they earned virtual reading and activity badges. Kids who finished the entire card by completing 40 hours of reading and all eight activities received an additional book prize. Forty-four children across Bruce County reached this milestone!

‘The response from the community has been truly heartwarming, as we all worked together to combat the summer slide. We couldn’t be prouder of our readers for their enthusiasm and our Library staff who promoted the magic of reading weekly through their Summer Reading Club meetings,’ said Program Coordinator Nancy Kuhl.

You can participate in reading challenges all year long online through Beanstack. Beanstack is a free service provided by the Bruce County Public Library. It is a fun way to track your reading, complete challenges, and win prizes!

Summer Reading Club Kick-Off at the Lucknow Branch
A very excited SRC prize winner from our Teeswater Branch

NWMO Donates New Hydroponic Unit to BCPL’s Teeswater Branch Seed Library

Bruce County Public Library is thrilled to announce the generous donation from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) of a cutting-edge hydroponic unit. The Teeswater Branch will permanently display the unit, where it will be available for patrons to help themselves to herbs and leafy greens that will be grown there.

The hydroponic unit is an indoor garden with a built-in watering system and LED lights. Watering and lights are on a timer system that ensures plants have everything they need to produce an array of healthy herbs and vegetables indoors, with little supervision. This is a valuable addition to the BCPL’s Seed Libraries, launched earlier this year. The Seed Libraries have been an astounding success, with over 600 packages picked up from the Library. This has offered library patrons a unique opportunity to learn and engage in sustainable gardening practices.

The NWMO is a not-for-profit organization responsible for designing and implementing Canada’s plan for safe, long-term nuclear fuel management. NWMO has been an active supporter of Bruce County Public Library as a major contributor to their Bookmobile project, and purchasing a 3D printer in the fall of 2020.

“We are immensely grateful to NWMO for their ongoing support and donation of the hydroponics unit; this addition to our Seed Library program aligns perfectly with the program’s goal to provide educational resources and empower Bruce County residents to embrace food sustainability. We look forward to seeing its positive impact on our patrons,” said Library Director Brooke McLean.

Seed Libraries can be found at the following BCPL Branches:

Seed Libraries are free to use with your BCPL card. Getting a card is easy, and there is no charge. You can visit your local Branch to register or sign up online at Donating back to the Seed Library is not a requirement, but there are labelled envelopes for patrons to return harvested seeds. New to gardening? Bruce County Public Library carries a large selection of books and other resources to help get you started, as well as in-person and online events to help patrons learn about planting and harvesting seeds.

Visit their website at: to find event dates and links to resources like the BCPL YouTube page, which contains many educational videos.

Carolyn O’Rourke – BCPL Teeswater and Mildmay Branch Supervisor, Amanda Monaghan – NWMO Community Engagement and Nancy Kuhl – BCPL Program Coordinator

New Coding Tools Come to Bruce County Public Library Thanks to The Society of United Professionals

Bruce County Public Library has refreshed its Ozobots collection thanks to a generous donation from the Society of United Professionals. The Society has been a long-running supporter of Bruce County Public Library with past donations towards one of their 3D Printers, the Bookmobile project, and the first round of Ozobots in 2015.

Ozobots are small robots that integrate coding and play using a hands-on approach. They do not require an app or device and respond to their colour-coded markers. The Ozobots follow the line drawn on printer paper and change their behaviour depending on the line’s colour. Due to the simplicity of their nature and the lack of additional technology required to run them, Ozobots are the most accessible introduction to coding for children. 

“Ozobots enrich and grow our STEAM programs and help inspire patrons through a fun and interactive introduction to coding and problem-solving. We are incredibly grateful to the Society of United Professionals for their continued generosity and ongoing support of tech-based Library programming,’ said Digital Initiatives Coordinator Jeremy Clark.

The previous collection of Ozobots has been added to BCPL’s non-traditional items for patrons to check out and learn at home, while the 12 new robots will be used for in Branch programs and special events throughout Bruce County. Interested in learning more about STEAM-based items available for borrowing with your BCPL Library Card? Visit their website at for the most up-to-date list and to reserve yours for pick up at your local Branch. 

Bruce County Public Library Kincardine Branch Temporary Closure for Renovations

Bruce County Public Library will temporarily close its Kincardine Branch for scheduled renovations. Starting Monday, June 26, and continuing until Friday, July 7, the Library Branch will be closed to the public while the Municipality of Kincardine updates the flooring, and a new circulation desk is installed.

These updates aim to enhance the overall Branch experience for their patrons. The new flooring will provide a fresh look and ensure improved durability and ease of maintenance. Additionally, a new circulation desk will help with the overall efficiency of the Kincardine Branch.

During the closure, Library patrons are encouraged to visit nearby Branches throughout Bruce County, where you can continue to access an extensive collection of books and choose from an ever-growing selection of non-traditional items, including board games, Ukuleles, tech kits and much more. The Library’s online resources remain available 24/7, allowing patrons to continue to borrow eBooks and eAudiobooks, and stream online movies and shows through apps like Kanopy and CBC Corner. 

Bruce County Public Library apologizes to the public for any inconvenience this closure may cause. They look forward to welcoming everyone back on Saturday, July 8, when the Branch reopens. You can visit the Bruce County Public Library website for more information and updates regarding the Kincardine Branch closure or find hours and information for alternate Branches nearby.

Chantry Island Chambettes Support BCPL’s Me, You, and a Book Too

Chantry Island Chambettes helped propel early literacy with Bruce County Public Library (BCPL) through a generous donation to their ongoing Me, You, and a Book Too initiative. 

Me, You and a Book Too is a free baby bag that has been running since 2016. It has been one of the Library’s more popular programs and is very close to reaching an incredible milestone of 1,500 bags given to Bruce County families. These bags contain literacy materials like books, posters, and baby’s first library card inside reusable bags. 

Chantry Island Chambette’s donation of $1,000 will help Bruce County Public Library keep up with the bags’ ongoing popularity. This generous donation will be used to purchase new board books to include in the bags. Library staff carefully choose books to ensure that parents receive quality literacy materials. 

“Literacy begins at birth, and Bruce County Public Library wants to give Bruce County babies the necessary building blocks to help literacy flourish. We are always so happy to hear from families who have found this initiative to positively impact their growing families,” says Program Coordinator Nancy Kuhl. 

Me, You and a Book Too bags can be picked up from your local Library Branch. To learn more, visit our website at

BCPL Program Coordinator Nancy Kuhl and Chambette Gay Ashdown with one of BCPL’s littlest patrons. Port Elgin Branch.

Bruce County Public Library’s Summer Reading Club Kick-Off Event

The TD Summer Reading Club is back at Bruce County Public Library!  Join us for our kick-off party taking place Saturday, June 17, from 10 am to 3 pm, at the Lucknow Branch.

This free, full-day party will feature the Magic of Scott Dietrich and in-person interactions and readings with local authors Doug Archer and Dorothy Ladd. You can get your face painted by Wyllow’s Whimsies or enjoy an immersive story told through music with Mystic Drumz. Family favourites NII, EarlyON, and the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Center will also return. Plus, crafts and activities to engage kids and adults alike all day. 

The kick-off party signifies the first registration day for the 2023 TD Summer Reading Club season. BCPL will bring back Beanstack this year, a web and mobile app that tracks reading. For those unable to make it to the kick-off, or their local Branch, registration can be done 100% online through Beanstack. 

BCPL will keep the fun going all summer, with branches hosting weekly themed programs. Each program will have corresponding badges to earn for attending. The more badges you win and minutes you log, the better your chances to win prizes throughout July and August. 

TD Summer Reading Club was officially launched in 1996 and is now Canada’s largest bilingual children’s summer reading program. This free club is currently run in over 2,000 public libraries across Canada and works to celebrate Canadian authors, illustrators, and stories. SRC is a large part of the Bruce County Public Libraries’ summer programming. In 2022 they reported that their registration doubled from 2021. Patrons logged over 215,000 minutes read, resulting in over 2500 badges and 1200 rewards handed out to Bruce County kids.

“Summer reading clubs have proved essential in encouraging reading in children and bridging the summer slide that many students experience during summer break, ” said Program Coordinator Nancy Kuhl.

You can visit: to view the 2023 SRC brochure for the Branch closest to you. 

Friends of the Library Groups Support Bookmobile

Bruce County Public Library has found true friendship in their local Friends of the Library groups. Friends of the Library consist of volunteers organized independently of the Library. Their purposes are to promote and publicize library services, fundraise, raise awareness and advocate when requested by the Library and Library Board. They can be traced back to 1922 in North America and are an invaluable help to the libraries and communities they work with. 

Bruce County’s Friends of the Library groups have been around for 25 years, with the Tobermory group having just celebrated its silver anniversary in April and the Chesley Friends of the Library volunteered together for over two decades. We have been happy to welcome our newest group, the Friends of the Lion’s Head Library, who are already positively impacting their area and throughout Bruce County.

While Friends groups have helped raise funds for remodels, new collections, shelving, furniture, programs and more, in these most recent years, they have been generously supporting the Bookmobile project. BCPL has received generous donations from Friends groups in Lion’s Head, Tobermory, and Chesley, with a combined total of $9,500.  

“Bruce County Public Library greatly appreciates the financial support of our Friends groups in bringing mobile library services through Bruce County. These dedicated volunteers have always seen the value in improving library services in our communities, and they have done it again with their donations to the Bookmobile” says Library Director Brooke McLean. 

If you would like to learn more about the Bookmobile project and how you can support it, you can visit the Bookmobile page on the Library website. 

Saugeen First Nation Public Library Partners with BCPL and BCM&CC to Raise Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Melissa Root from the Saugeen Nation Public Library and Resource Centre has been working hard the past month organizing family and community from Saugeen for an important project. Together they have designed and sewn 20 ribbon skirts to be displayed at all seventeen Bruce County Public Library Branches and in the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre for May and June. The mission behind this project is to bring awareness to the estimated 4,000 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the continued risk they still face today. Melissa, her daughters, Eden and Courage Root, and community members Letitia Thompson, Jocelyn Roote, Tania Ritchie, Julie Brown, Michelle Puddester, Holly Fontaine, Theresa Root, Melissa Root, and Melanie Cameron, came together to sew these skirts in honour of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Each ribbon skirt was created to represent a different story of their stolen sisters. It resulted in 20 unique designs that will be displayed with honour for residents and visitors to view. Before delivering the skirts to BCPL and BCM&CC, Melissa and her family performed a smudging ceremony to purify the skirts for their journey.

Sixty-three percent of Indigenous women have experienced violence, and nearly half have experienced sexual assault, as reported by Statistics Canada in 2022. While the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s research shows that Indigenous Women and Girls accounted for 10% of all female homicides since 1980 while only making up 4% of the population. This year the House of Commons has declared the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous Women and Girls a Nationwide emergency.

Make sure to stop into your local Bruce County Public Library Branch or visit the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre to see these one of kind skirts and learn about what they represent. To learn more, please visit: to read the final report of the National Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Ribbon Skirt displayed at the BCPL Port Elgin Branch

Bruce County Public Library Introduces Seed Libraries

Bruce County Public Library (BCPL) is excited to offer new Seed Libraries – one in every municipality in Bruce County! These seed libraries offer access to seeds free of charge to anyone interested in growing. By cultivating a collection of seeds locally adapted to the region these libraries can help preserve local Bruce County strains of plants and provide seeds that are more resilient to weather, soil nutrients, and local pests. This helps communities address food sustainability while building on the Library’s role as a community sharing place.

Seed Libraries can be found at the following BCPL Branches:

There will also be a hydroponic unit coming to the Teeswater Branch shortly. The hydroponic unit will grow herbs, which patrons may come in and snip or grab a pre-cut bunch from staff. This offers a unique way to try some fresh herbs in your recipes.

While working on this initiative, Program Coordinator Nancy Kuhl experienced outstanding community support. “Putting the seed libraries together has truly been a community connection project. The generosity of local businesses in donating funds and supplies, local youth building the boxes to house the seed packages, and local community members donating extra and unused seeds has brought the libraries from idea to reality,” said Kuhl. Support received consisted of a $3,000 donation from NWMO toward the new hydroponic unit, seeds, and materials. The Saugeen Shores Senior School’s grade 11 construction class made building the boxes to contain the seeds part of their curriculum for this term, building 37 boxes. There were also donations from Ontario-based seed companies Bruce Botanical Food Gardens, The Secret Garden, Ontario Seed Company, and contributions from BCPL patrons.

Seed Libraries are free to use with your BCPL card. Getting a card is easy, and there is no charge. You can visit your local Branch to register, or sign up online at Donating back to the Seed Library is not a requirement, but there are labelled envelopes for patrons to return harvested seeds. New to gardening? Bruce County Public Library carries a large selection of books and other resources to help get you started, as well as in person and online events to help patrons learn about planting and harvesting seeds.

Visit their website at: to find event dates and links to resources like the BCPL YouTube page, which contains many educational videos.

Bruce County Public Library Hosts ‘A Place to Belong’ Panel Event

A Place to Belong: Stories from Newcomers is a compilation of 19 stories of the experiences of immigrants and former refugees as they became new residents of Grey-Bruce. The Ginger Press out of Owen Sound published this beautifully written collection in 2021. 

On Saturday, April 22, Bruce County Public Library will host a panel consisting of ‘A Place to Belong’ editors Joan Beecroft, Dana Benson, Donna Jansen, and several new to Grey-Bruce residents.  

Joan, a daughter of immigrants, is also a collector of stories. She is currently publishing her third collection of local stories. Donna spends her retirement volunteering in refugee settlement activities and is an author of children’s books. Joining them will be Sharon Safra, Raquell Yang, and Muna Shrestha. Sharon is currently the Financial Literacy Program Coordinator with United Way of Bruce Grey and is a passionate advocate for vulnerable and marginalized populations. Raquell moved to Owen Sound from Taiwan in 2018 with her husband and is a local artist that has completed the large mural on the side of the Grey Gallery in downtown Owen Sound. Muna emigrated to Canada from Nepal and is on the board of directors for Welcoming Communities Grey Bruce. Each of these incredible panel members will bring an array of stories and share insight into the services currently available in Grey Bruce.

Open to the public, the event will start at 1pm, at the Port Elgin Branch, 708 Goderich St. Refreshments will be available. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about Grey-Bruce, and hear our neighbours stories.

Copies of A Place to Belong will be made available for purchase during the event. Or you can place a hold on a copy through the online Library Catalogue