Prior to the construction of a library building in Smithers, locals were able to borrow reading material from several small reading rooms. One such room was run by the Presbyterian Church out of the second floor of Mason Adams Drug Store. Another was located in Kennedy’s Billiards Room on Main Street, and yet another operated out of the Interior News building. In these early years, Mrs. Kathleen Casler was chairman of the Smithers Public Library Board and was an advocate for finding a permanent home for the small collection of books in the library’s possession. By 1954, Casler had persuaded Smithers Town Council to convert an unused room in the municipal hall on Fourth Avenue into a library. The space was small, unheated, and lacked appropriate shelving, but it generated much excitement in the community. Ruth Mould worked in the library as an unpaid volunteer under librarian Marge Beley. By 1961, Mould was the head librarian and the library was serving 2,700 people. In 1967, the Smithers Centennial Library was built on Alfred Avenue with a grant received from the federal government in recognition of Canada’s 100th birthday. Mould continued to guide the development of the library until her retirement in 1974, including the construction of an addition in 1971. Today, the library remains at its location on Alfred Avenue and continues to serve the Smithers community. Wendy Wright became Library Director in 2014.
Scope and Content
Fonds includes the meeting minutes of the Library Board and event ephemera
“an open drawer” – an interactive installation of artifacts, poems, and photographs shown in “A Stitch in Time” at the Smithers Art Gallery, May/June 2001
“I taught myself to drive” Joint installation with photographer Virginia Pohl at 5314: a Celebration of Connection and Nurturing at the Smithers Art Gallery plus 50 handmade chapbooks April 2009
"A Height of Land" (one-act play) produced in Smithers and Hazelton, 1992
"Marginal" (poetry) performed in Tribute to the Babines (audio-visual Driftwood Foundation production), Smithers, 1990
“Beetles probes 1, 2, and 3” (poems) accepted for display in Red and Blue Beetle Art in Vanderhoof, June, 2007 and subsequent tours.
“Pine Cycle” (poetry) words for a choral composition by Diane Berry to be premiered in Victoria in February 2012.
Sheila and Lynn moved to Powell River in 2019.
“still waters” (poetry) installed at Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park June 2010
Sheila Peters was born in Powell River, BC in 1953. After graduation from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Journalism in 1976, she made her way to a job at the Interior News in Smithers, where she met R. Lynn Shervill, a journalism graduate from the University of Western Ontario. (Lynn grew up in London.) They married in 1978 and lived in Driftwood Canyon, where they raised their two sons, for most of the next 42 years. Lynn wrote Smithers: From Swamp to Village which was published in 1981 to celebrate Smithers 50th anniversary. Previously he worked at several Canadian newspapers and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Both were active environmental and social justice campaigners (Telkwa Foundation, Amnesty International, Driftwood Foundation, Smithers Human Rights Society).
In 1998, Creekstone Press was founded and has published 21 books to date. Both Lynn and Sheila are involved in the whole publishing process, which features regional writers in a variety of genres.
Sheila started publishing her writing in the mid-nineties. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in many Canadian journals. Tending the Remnant Damage (Beach Holme 2001) is a linked collection of short stories; Canyon Creek: A Script (Creekstone 1998) tells the story of the eviction of a Wet’suwet’en family from its homesite near Smithers; weather from the west is a collection of poetry published in collaboration with images by visual artist, Perry Rath; A Taste of Ashes is a novel set in both Smithers and Guatemala; Shafted is a mystery set in Smithers; The Bathymetry of Lax Kwaxl is a chapbook of sonnets published by Leaf Press. She has also been a regular contributor to Northword, a regional arts and culture magazine. From 2015 to 2018 she hosted In the Shadow of the Mountain, a CICK radio show featuring (mostly) local and regional writers. In 2018, she began a series of essays (including some from Lynn) about the Driftwood watershed to celebrate their 40 years living beside the creek. They’ve been published on her blog at www.sheilapeters.com.
She also participated in installations, performance, and art projects:
Scope and Content
Fonds reflects the writing and recording activities of Shelia Peters. Arranged into 4 series: 1. In the Shadow of the Mountain radio recordings, 2. Research and drafts 3. Publications 4. Ephemera