On October 25, 2019, Riverside librarian Ms. Susan Henderson received a BCTLA Teacher Librarian Award. Henderson, who has been a librarian at Riverside since 2014, credits Leslie Ikeda (who has previously received a lifetime achievement award) for being the spearhead in her nomination. 

“The award is meant to be an inspiration for other librarians and to highlight the innovation that’s occurring in BC libraries,” said Henderson. 

Henderson believes she received her award for her innovative efforts in the development of the new Riverside library. “Riverside is an amazing collaborative school and when I was introduced to the school, people came in believing that it was a place where students were welcome and would be supported in an innovative environment,” said Henderson. 

The role of a librarian and library has vastly changed over the years; it is now a physical space for a variety of programs and services. The role is not just to be a curator of resources; there are many components including building a physical space and an online presence, which involves curating and caring for digital resources. 

Over the last year, the Riverside library has gone through major constructive changes, with new spaces being built where students can productively work in an exploratory and creative environment.  

“When we worked with the design team to create the Makerspace, we envisioned something that would support students moving into their next level of technological innovation and needs,” said Henderson. 

Riverside is ahead of other schools in this aspect, as the school is already teaching using digital methods and resources. The Makerspace is the next step in leveraging student’s connection to the community and giving them a voice in making positive change. “We knew this space was going to be utilized for collaboration and the use of advanced tools and prototyping, such as Microbits and 3-D printers,” said Henderson. 

Currently, the Riverside Secondary library is one of the few that facilitates this level of innovation.