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Four Surrey teacher-librarians awarded provincial honours

BCTLA%202023%20Winners.pngWinners of this year's BCTLA awards. From left to right: Angela Monk, Andrea LaPointe, Beverly Bunker and Nicole Hurtubise.Four Surrey teacher-librarians have been named winners of this year's BC Teacher-Librarian Association (BCTLA) awards, which recognize teacher-librarians for their outstanding commitment to school libraries and education.

For 2023, the following Surrey Schools employees were recognized:

“It’s really an honour to be recognized," said Monk of her lifetime achievement award. "I love teaching and really wanted to inspire kids to take up reading and enjoy it, and so it’s amazing to be recognized for that work.”

An educator for more than three decades, Monk made the switch to being a teacher-librarian after teaching French for 22 years.

“I loved working with students and teachers and reading and books had always been a passion of mine,” explained Monk. “So, I wanted to make a change and inspire kids to take up reading and really just promote the value of books.”

During her training become a teacher-librarian, the field itself was also transforming, as libraries were integrating technology in new and exciting ways.

“All of the new methods and tools were just coming down the pike, and so I was right there when libraries were making this big shift to becoming the library learning commons we see today,” she recalled, adding it put her in the unique position of being able to help other teacher-librarians with the change.

“Fraser Heights was one of the first learning commons in the district. The district really took the idea and ran with it, and other libraries started making the switch around that time.”

Monk said the most fulfilling parts of her profession are seeing students pick up new books and explore different reading materials, as well being part of the committee that founded the Surrey Teen Reads Program.

The lifetime achievement award comes as Monk prepares to finish up her final school year and retire.

“It’s been such an honour to be recognized like this at the end is such a nice surprise,” she said.

In addition to the Val Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, the President's Award recognizes the commitment and achievement of teacher-librarians who have made outstanding contributions in their field and the BC New Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award honours practicing new teacher-librarians who are making an outstanding contribution to teacher-librarianship at and beyond the school level in British Columbia.

Congratulations to all four of Surrey’s 2023 BCTLA award winners!

Last September, Surrey Schools also won a national award for its school library learning commons vision.

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