Today, the Calgary Public Library Foundation announced a new project in recognition of Jim Button, a well-known community builder in Calgary. The project comprises three components: a reading list designed by 101 local community connectors (including Arlene Dickinson, Dave Kelly, Patti Pon, and more), themed buttons to encourage kindness in the community, and Button is included as one of Calgary Public Library’s Influencers series. The project is made possible thanks to a generous donation from Avnish, Bijal and Sørin Mehta.
“Jim and his family have given so much to Calgary over the years and have played a significant role in fostering the strong sense of community our city is known for,” stated Avnish Mehta, who served on the Board of the Calgary Public Library from 2012-2021. “While living with terminal cancer, Jim continues to inspire and makes every day count. This project allows us to honour the vibrancy and spirit of the Button Family and their ongoing contributions to our city. As a born and raised Calgarian, I’ve experienced firsthand the many gifts the Library has given us, and I’m excited to see it continue to act as a community contributor for years to come.”
Calgarians can pick up a bookmark highlighting the 101 books and can also collect one of five buttons that encourage kindness in the community through way of positive messaging at all Library locations until April 9, or while supplies last. To further support community building, visitors will be encouraged to leave a note of celebration or positivity.
“I have always loved bringing people together, and connecting with others brings purpose to my life,” says Jim Button. “Together with my family, I would like to invite Calgarians to enjoy the beauty, culture and resources provided by Calgary Public Library.”
“Jim has established himself as a community leader – his positive mindset, kindness and generosity is contagious and inspires us all to do our part in making our community an even better place to live,” added Tracy Johnson, CEO, Calgary Public Library Foundation. “We’re proud to launch this initiative in Jim’s name and encourage community members to build connections through small acts of kindness.”
The Library’s Influencers series selects dynamic community leaders to share their favourite books. Their selections are on display at Central Library for the next few months, before they travel to new locations across the city. In addition to Jim Button, this latest iteration of Influencers also features author Lori Hahnel; host of Native Calgarian Podcast, Michelle Robinson; and singer-songwriter Jann Arden.
For more information on the project and to support community-building projects like this one, please visit libraryfoundation.ca/chapter-one-buttons.