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. 

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. 

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 Releases 2022 Annual Report

Bruce County Public Library has wrapped up 2022 with the release of its Annual Report. The report opens with a message from Luke Charbonneau, who held the position of Board Chair from 2019 to 2022. He recounts how Bruce County Public Library successfully implemented its strategic priorities over the past year. Brooke Mclean, BCPL Library Director, followed up and expressed her excitement over the return to in-person programs and Branch services.

Bruce County Public Library released a new Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 that outlined three main strategic priorities: to be your trusted community connector, digital community facilitator, and community sharing place. These were the guiding principles for 2022.

Bruce County Public Library’s 2022 Annual Report features several notable moments broken down by community, programming, and collection headings. BCPL has also been working to diversify their catalogue and bring exciting and informative materials to all our Bruce County patrons.

Library Director Brooke McLean shares her enthusiasm over the Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) initiative. “It is important to ensure that Bruce County Public Library is for everybody by offering collection materials that represent all the different races, cultures, and identities residing in Bruce County.”

BCPL’s infographic ‘By the Numbers’ showed growth in website visits, social media followers, and the number of borrowed collection items. It was a successful year at BCPL.

March Break with Bruce County Public Library

March Break is upon us, and you will want to take advantage of everything Bruce County Public Library has to offer this week.

This year’s theme is Great Big World – Travel Through Books! All 17 Branches across Bruce County will be celebrating a different country from around the world each day during March Break. Pop in and pick up your special passport, and then drop by for a Library program or activity and collect your passport stickers. Visit Antarctica, Scotland, Mexico, Ghana, and Australia. Once you have completed your passport, enter your name to win prizes.

Each Branch will be hosting a different staff-led program throughout the week. Visit the BCPL Online Calendar to find what day your local Branch will host theirs. Some programs include making a Scottish tartan placemat in Tobermory or an Australian Rain Stick in Mildmay and Teeswater. Want to participate from home? There will be a daily video on the BCPL YouTube page representing a different county each day that you can follow along with.

Looking for more? Several Branches will be hosting special March Break activities. Port Elgin and Kincardine Branches will host Family movies starting in Port Elgin with Ferdinand on Tuesday at 1pm. Kincardine will show DC League of Super Pets on Friday at 1pm.

On Tuesday, March 14 at 11am, Scott Dietrich will bring his Magic to Port Elgin! Pre-registration is required for this free 35-minute magic show. You can book your spot by calling the Branch at 519-832-2201.

Branches will continue to run special Story Times, Teen and Tween Club meetings, Book Clubs, Adult programming, and so much more! Learn about 3D Printers in Port Elgin, Chesley and Walkerton. Try a Cricut craft in Ripley, Kincardine, and Tara. With all the fun to be had you will find something for everyone.

Thank you, Chesley Area Friends of the Library

Bruce County Public Library received a thoughtful donation of $7,680 towards the Bookmobile campaign from the Chesley Area Friends of the Library.

The Friends have been volunteering in Chesley for close to two decades. In 2007 we saw them receive the much-deserved Gabriele Schrieber Friends of the Year Award by Friends of Canadian Libraries after they showcased amazing efforts in helping Chesley secure a fresh, new library and raised over $50,000 to support these efforts.

Friends of the Library is a group of volunteers organized independently from the Library. Their purposes are to promote and publicize library services, fundraise, raise awareness and advocate when requested by the Library and Library Board. 

Unfortunately, 2022 will be The Chesley Area Friends’ final year, as they have decided to disband. They have shown insurmountable generosity since their beginning and will be greatly missed.

This final donation will aid the Bruce County Public Library Bookmobile project in its goal to serve the under-serviced communities in Bruce County. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the Chesley Area Friends from the Bruce County Public Library and Library Board.

To learn more about Bruce County Public Library visit their website at

Assistant Branch Supervisor, Brandy with Chesley Area Friends of the Library members Barb Young and Doug Walsh

Food for Fines Returns to Bruce County Public Library

Bruce County Public Library is bringing back its annual Food for Fines program for its seventh year to each of its 17 branches in Bruce County.

From November 28 to December 11, patrons can clear some overdue fines and help support local food banks simultaneously! Every donated non-perishable, unexpired food item will clear $5.00 from your library fines, an increase from the $2.00 seen in previous years. Another significant change to the Foods for Fines program is the removal of the $10 maximum clearance seen in previous years. This year saw an increase in grocery costs, and BCPL wanted to adjust accordingly. Those without fines are welcome to donate as well.  

Bruce County Public Library started this successful program in 2015 and it has continued to be one of our most valued programs. In 2021 BCPL received over 180 donations to local food banks while clearing $135 in fines. This year, we hope to surpass that record, as we have seen an increase in demand on food banks. 

Library director, Brooke McLean, is hopeful that the Food for Fines program will continue to affect the communities it serves positively. ‘By removing the cap on how much in fines a patron can clear, our main goal is to get more donations to the food banks and help Bruce County residents this holiday season.’

To learn more about how you can participate in Food for Fines, you can contact your local Library Branch or visit the Bruce County Public Library website.