Saskatchewan Libraries Matter Contest


The Saskatchewan Libraries Matter Contest was sponsored by the Saskatchewan Library Trustees' Association and ran from October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. It was open to all residents of Saskatchewan library regions. SLTA was extremely pleased with the amazing submissions they received. Deciding on winners proved a daunting task. Thank you to all entrants. Your support of Saskatchewan libraries is very much appreciated.

Category A - Written Essays - Winning Submissions

Saskatchewan Libraries Matter

By Vaidehee Lanke

If you were to ask me what was one place that defined my childhood, without a moment’s hesitation, my answer would be the library. Every Saturday morning as a family, we would venture to the Francis Morrison Public Library, there I was introduced to the fascinating world of literature, where I learnt to read with Amelia Bedelia and found my closest family friends, the Berenstain Bears. We would return home from the library, smiling, with dozens of books in tow, only to go back again, next Saturday. And so, my journey in literature began and as I grew older nothing about these Saturday trips changed. Today, when I look back into my 16 years of life, the most important life lessons, and values I have learned, have been from a Saskatchewan library.

One of the first lessons I learnt from the library was the importance of sharing knowledge with everyone. As a citizen of this library community, I learned that the only the requirement to access the wealth of knowledge the library provided, was a passion to learn. The library is a reminder that we must share our knowledge, and the ideas they bring, with all people.

Secondly, I learnt the library is a portal into the world of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In the library, I learnt about the existence of world issues, like global warming and the solutions available. This knowledge has made me a more aware and informed citizen of my community and world. For example, by learning about diseases like cancer and the great suffering they have caused, I was inspired to become involved in the fight against cancer and contribute through research. Every trip to the library is a learning opportunity into who I am and can be and into who the world was and can be.

Lastly, the most important value the library has taught me, is the power of words. Libraries are building that store wonderful treasures created by words. Each book, CD or video recording I have come across has used words to send a powerful message to the reader. These messages have filled me awe, when I learn about the great depths of seas the remain to be explored, joy, when I see Shirley Temple dance, and renew my belief in humanity, when I read of great movements of freedoms. These messages have taught me the power words have and how we can use them to create the positive change.

At age 16, these are the life lessons libraries have taught me, and as I grow older, I am sure the list will lengthen. If you had to ask me what are the treasures of Saskatchewan’s, I would, without a moment’s hesitation, tell you: the library. Because libraries are a promise, that I, and any other person, who has the courage to pick up the book, can change this world and thus, this world changing institution must be supported, because put simply, Saskatchewan libraries matter.

- Vaidehee is a 16 year old in the International Baccalaureat Program. She is a lover of literature - both English and Marathis. She loves reading and writing.

Saskatchewan Libraries Matter

By Agata Gawron

Saskatchewan Libraries are vital to the health of our minds. In an age where physical books are becoming less and less desirable, we all need to know our roots and how our digital advancement has evolved over the years.

At a time where financial burden is a common trait in many households, and some parents hold multiple jobs just to make ends meet, a library serves as refuge and escape to the everyday hassles and commotion.

Where else can one learn to draw, learn a language, get tips on home repair, discover a new culture, find a cure to their ailment, mend a broken heart…the list is endless!

Libraries are a place of gathering, where everyone is equal and can share their life experience with others. A library is a kinship within a community, and is always there with open arms even when the temperature outside is extreme.

the reality today is that many individuals have underdeveloped writing and reading skills. This is a sad realism of our dependence on electronics and gadgets that are meant to make our lives easier.

Knowledge is priceless, it cannot be purchased nor can it be sold. It is only acquired through genuine curiosity and new experiences. It is something that can push one ahead in life and success.

Saskatchewan is beautiful and we need to preserve our history and heritage so that next generations can see where they came from and can learn from our mistakes. Yes we can lock all the historical data in a vault, but what good will it do if there is no one there to read and see it with their own eyes. The past has shaped us to who we are today, it is a gift to be cherished and shared with others.

There is no need to feel alone in this world when you can visit a Saskatchewan Library and feel a sense of belonging.

The potential for Saskatchewan Libraries is endless just like the imagination of a growing child. Let’s all make our Libraries jungles for the curious minds, retreats for the lonely, and workshops for the handy folk.

Everyone equal to the base…we are all human and want to thrive in this world…not just survive!

- Agata is a single 36 year old female who as a result of job loss in Alberta, decided to take the risk and permanetnly relocate to Regina. It has been just four months since she arrived here.


By Darshana Lanke

Walking into a library, what do you see? You will probably see books, computers and cheery librarians. I see all those things as well but I also see inspiration, lessons taught, knowledge gained and minds wandering. Libraries matter because they are not just a place where thousands of amazing
books are stored, but they are also a place where memories are made and remembered.

I love books and reading them. The reason is they are the key to inspiring, being someone else and expanding imagination. When I was younger, my mom would read to me. One of our classics was Clifford the Big Red Dog books. I remember we would laugh at all the trouble that Clifford would get

Into. Whenever I pass through the kids section in the library and spot Clifford the Big Red Dog books, I remember all the good times I had with my mom reading children story books.

The library not only is a great place to find books but a great way to be involved in your community. Last summer I was part of Ready, Set, Read Program. I volunteered at the Cliff Wright Branch. I would love reading with the kids and watching them grow as readers. The staff would organize fun and creative games each time we went, some of them even challenged me to become a better reader and community leader. I made some really good friends there. I go to the library every week and always when I walk pass the room that Ready, Set, Read would be in, I think about all the good memories that I had there and all the good friends I made. Libraries are a place where everyone benefits; we all gain something every time we walk through the library entrance. The library is like a second home, your escape from reality or your “this is the only quiet place to study for my exams”.

The library means something to everyone. I know I would not have these memories if we didn’t have libraries. I can’t imagine what it would be like growing up without libraries because they were such an important part of my childhood and are vital to so many people. But the biggest reason why I can’t imagine a world without libraries, because all those memories that I have and so many people have would never have been made. Libraries matter because my memories and the memories of thousands of others are in libraries and from them. A memory is not a something thing that you can throw away, instead it lives inside the library and us. Our memories matter and our libraries matter.

- Darshana is 13 years old. She is in the Sciencetrek program. Some of her hobbies are listening to music, knitting, playing the guitar and saxophone, singing, puzzles, reading and math. She loves to learn new things.

Saskatchewan Libraries Matter

By Rachel Manzon

Have you ever been to a Saskatchewan library? If you have then you will agree that it is a wonderful place. From providing books to everyone and anyone to offering a plethora of fun and educational programs to merely providing a quiet sanctuary for studying and relaxation, the library is the place to be.

Saskatchewan libraries provide a service to people all across the province. It gives everyone a chance to experience the joy of reading. I remember, as a little kid, loving to go to the library. There were so many books, and taking them out on my library card made me feel like a big kid. Libraries bring the joy of reading to people of all ages, and who can argue that reading is an important life skill. But Saskatchewan libraries have so much more than just books to offer, they also have tons of cool programs.

Many people think libraries are just for books, well, not in Saskatchewan! Saskatchewan libraries offer a wide variety of programs for all ages. Whether you are as young as a kindergartener enrolled in a story or craft session, a student getting some tutoring, or an immigrant learning to speak English, the library has what you need. With all the amazing programs there truly is something for everyone.

We have all met that person who says, “We don’t need libraries, reading is boring.” Well, they are wrong - Saskatchewan libraries matter! Besides providing books and programs for the general public, libraries are a safe haven. A quiet place for anyone who wants to read, work, study, or just relax. Libraries are the perfect place to escape from reality, even if it is only for a few minutes. Saskatchewan libraries truly are wonderful places.

With all the books, programs, and the great atmosphere Saskatchewan libraries are the place to be. And if you have any questions the helpful librarians will answer them for you. So pull out your calendar and plan your next visit to a Saskatchewan library.

- Rachel is in the eighth grade at St. Matthew Elementary School. She is a competitive swimmer and enjoys reading, writing, crochet, and playing the flute.

Category B - Video Essays - Winning Submission

Saskatchewan Libraries Matter

By Morgan Jones

- Morgan is from Estevan and has worked at the Estevan Public Library for the past three years.. She currently attends the University of Regina majoring in Film Production. 

Category C - Children's Drawings - Winning Submissions

Category D - Children's Essays - Winning Submissions

I love Books

By Logan Weiman                  

I like to look for books
Do you know where to look for books? 
Books are somewhere very special
Where your friends are
Where your favorite characters are
Where you learn
Where you play.
It's called a Library!
This is what my Library means to me.

- Logan is eight years old and attends Bruno School. She loves to dance, read and be with friends and family.

Libraries are "Readiculous"

By Kaden Schmidt

Libraries the place with books
The place with excitement
And things for cooks
They are good, even great
So step right up to the plate.

Libraries are ridiculous
Exotic and fastidious
You can teach
You can learn
But you must take your turn.

Libraries are off the hook
The place with excitement
The place with books.

- Kaden is a winner in both Category C (Children's Drawings) and Category D. Kaden is 11 years old and lives in Ogema. He likes art and physical education. Kaden also likes playing video games. His favourite colour is purple.


By Chloe Thideman

Libraries are important because they have books that can help people read, cook, draw, build and much much more. They are a place where people can go and study. They are a quiet place. There are all different kinds of books, so anyone can find any type of book they like. People like to go to libraries to relax and get their mind off of things. Sometimes people go there for the computers becuase most libraries have computers. People who like to read love librarie smost. Libraries are important.

- Chloe is 12 years old from Ogema. She is in the seventh grade. She likes to dance and read. Her favourite type of dance is jazz. Chloe likes to read drama books. Her favourite subject is art.

Remaining Contest Submissions:

Category A:

Category C and D: