The Thelma Fanning Memorial Library in Nanton has received a reward that recognizes their excellent service to their community.

The Nanton Library is part of the Chinook Arch Library System, and they were nominated for a R.E.A.D award.

R.E.A.D stands for Rewards for Excellence And Distinction, it was presented to recognize innovation and excellence in library service.

Nanton Library Manager, Gloria MacGowan, says the Nanton Library won the award based on a new program they offer, called Tales From Home.

"Part of the criteria was excellence in service, collaboration, innovation and future focus or community benefit." MacGowan says "We think, of course, that our program meets all of that criteria."

Many don't know what the Tales From Home program is, MacGowan says it's a safe place for people to gather and learn about other countries or cultures, they even include food.

"The goal of the program is to empower immigrant community members to tell about their country and to engage in our community as a cultural experience." MacGowan adds "We learn about another culture and experience it's traditions and foods through the lenses of these people."

This program is put on with partnership from the Foothills Community Immigrant services and Project Read.

The idea behind Tales From Home was actually adopted from the Okotoks Public Library, who's Tales From Home program hasn't seen as much success as Nanton's.

Lara Grunow with the Okotoks Public Library says their program was started nearly 3 years ago, but the numbers just aren't there.

"We've had discussions about Ukraine and the Philippines, last week we had one about Iran. I would love to say that it's gotten a better reception than it has but it's been hit and miss."

Grunow says their program is on hiatus for the summer while they re-vamp the program, but Tales From Home in Okotoks will be picking up again in the fall.

Questions, comments, or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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