Friday, December 17, 2010

Librarians in the Media

I was watching Glee’s “The Rocky Horror Glee Show” episode. Now there’s nothing very surprising about this, however I did find something in the show that gave me a shock. Was it the leather bustiers? Was it the tiny gold shorts? No. It was Sue Sylvester’s line, “People who dress like librarians - all sex addicts.”

This was the second time in the past few weeks that got me thinking about librarians’ representation in the media. I went to the FLA’s screening of Desk Set and watched Katharine Hepburn and the “girls” in the library answering ready reference questions over the phone.

These instances made me think about people’s conceptions of librarians. I don’t know about you, but I get, “You’re a librarian? It must be nice to have all that time to read.” Or “You’re a librarian? You have to go to school for that!?!”

Now I know that not everyone thinks about libraries as much as I do. I do, however, think these types of comments are indicative of the lack of understanding around the job of librarian. I often feel a major part of my job is educating others about what I do.

So, as 2011 approaches, I’ve decided that my New Year’s resolution will be to do my part in raising the profile of libraries and librarians. I need to start writing my MP about library issues like Bill C32. I need to advocate raise awareness about current threats to our intellectual freedom. I need to inform my patrons about issues of privacy in the social media they use. And I need to stop wearing so many cardigans.

~Becky Willson, Mount Royal University

Friday, December 10, 2010

Copyright Update: Warpspeed

After years of hoping there would be some movement on the Canadian copyright landscape it now feels for many of us, that we are running to keep up with the latest changes. It has become at least a part-time job to keep up with the blog posts, respond to in-house queries, read the latest emails, participate in conference calls, review policies, draft memos, and hold education sessions – and I think that happened all just yesterday!

Suddenly providing a brief update for the newsletter is a daunting task with so many possible places to start, so I choose to start with the usual disclaimers. First the standard “I am a librarian not a lawyer” statement so this is not in any way legal advice; secondly by the time this will appear in the newsletter it will no doubt be out of date, in fact I think it may be out of date by the time I finish the next paragraph; and thirdly the highlights offered are a quick overview and don’t constitute the “whole story” by any stretch of the imagination. With those caveats in mind I encourage you to follow the links provided for more in-depth and current information and more perspectives.

The introduction of Bill C-32, The Copyright Modernization Act, in June of 2010, coincided (though surely not a coincidence) with news that the creator collective, Access Copyright, would be moving from a licensing to a tariff model for the post-secondary education system, having already had approved (though still under challenge in the courts) a tariff process for the K-12 system.

Proposed as a “balanced” Act, Bill C-32 does make significant strides to improve user rights while still protecting the rights of creators. It articulates an expanded definition of fair dealing, it is more format and technology neutral in its language, and does take into account current practices such as personal recording and use of TV shows and the personal mixing and remixing of media (the “YouTube” clause). One of the least supported and therefore most commented on, elements of the current Bill, from the perspective of user communities, is of course the overriding technical protection measures (TPM’s) which prohibit circumvention even for acts which fall under permitted uses of copyright materials. While a read of the Bill is an excellent investment of time in my view, I would also suggest one of the best overview documents is the Library of Parliament Legislative Summary on Bill-C32 (pub no: 40-3-C32-E). The summary goes through the Bill and compares it to the current Copyright Act.

Of course, as we know all too well in Canada, a lot can change between the introduction of a copyright Bill and final reading and passage into law. Bill C-32 has passed second reading and as I type it is now in committee and being debated and discussed in detail. In fact, I am listening to the audio of the first meeting of the Committee so for those who want to track the progress of the Bill and hear firsthand the work of the Committee I recommend a visit to http://www2.parl.gc.ca/CommitteeBusiness, where you can listen or watch live or take advantage of the archived audio. According to experts such as Michael Geist the committee is expected to continue their work into the new year, possibly concluding their work by February. Geist’s blog is a must read for the latest news and user-community perspective on the Bill.

Meanwhile…back at the office, those of us in universities and colleges are working through the latest news from the Copyright Board of Canada, which is currently discussing and hearing comments (aka objections) from the few remaining interveners in the proposed tariff review process. Following hot on the heels of the controversial removal of 97 of the 101 original intervener submissions, the Copyright Board is now considering Access Copyright’s request to put in place an interim tariff while the Board takes the needed time to fully review the details of the proposed tariff and the submissions from interveners. The implications of an interim tariff are significant both for current practices within post-secondary institutions, as well as for the future of a balanced review of the proposed tariff. The interim tariff in its most recent iteration is not an extension of the terms of the Access Copyright license, but rather of the terms of the proposed tariff. But again, keep in mind these details may have changed in the last few hours or in the next few hours. For the most current updates I would point you to Howard Knopf’s blog where he tracks the latest developments.

Meanwhile…on the frontlines, institutions have been busy educating faculty and staff on the use of already licensed electronic resources, as well as reviewing policies and procedures to ensure they align with copyright legislation and operation outside of an Access Copyright license. While most institutions have already confirmed they do not intend to sign onto the interim tariff as requested by Access Copyright, choosing rather to wait until the Copyright Board’s full review and decision is rendered, the impact of the Copyright Board issuing an interim tariff for January 2011 (if it goes through) will be considerable, both in the short term and the long term.

Although I have perhaps prompted more questions than provided answers in this update one thing has become very clear over the last few months: the need to work collectively. Whether it is the post-secondary community, the library community, or communities of shared interest within institutions, it is essential we have strong networks in order to develop the most informed responses to such rapidly evolving issues. So happy reading, meeting, advocating and educating.


Carol Shepstone, University Librarian, Mount Royal University

Monday, December 6, 2010

Leading in a Landscape of Transition: Calgary Public Library’s Leadership Institute

It has now become a common refrain: libraries have entered a period characterized by an unusually high number of transformational realities. To ensure that libraries pass through this period successfully, an increased emphasis on the management of change is required from library leaders. As such, on December 03, 2010, Calgary Public Library’s (CPL) managers, supervisors, librarians and special guests will be attending CPL’s biennial Leadership Institute. 

Under the banner “Leading in a Landscape of Transition”, this year’s Institute provides opportunities for CPL staff and guests to develop and refine needed leadership skills. A supervisor interested in understanding creative ways to guide their staff through change might be found sculpting clay, drumming a samba beat, or employing marshmallows to solve a problem. 

Keynote speakers include Ronnie Storey-Ewoldt, Public Services Director of Anythink Librariesrecipients of the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Service (United States) – who will be sharing Anythink Libraries’ new approaches to library service delivery. With over 100 attendees expected to participate in ten skills development and “serious play” workshops, perhaps CPL’s leaders will be further poised to turn this landscape of transition into a landscape of opportunity.

Caroline Higgins is a Community Outreach Librarian for Calgary Public Library’s Saddletowne Branch (opening in 2011) and FLA Jobline co-editor

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Book Launch Celebrates Women Who Care

Women Who Care, a collection of women’s stories about health care and caring, is being launched at the Women’s Health Resources, Foothills Medical Centre, Room 160 on Thursday, November 25 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 p.m.


Patricia Thille, one of the editors of the book, is currently a PhD student at the University of Calgary. She will read excerpts and talking about the experiences of “women who care.” Copies of the book will be available for $19.95 and are also available through Shelf Life Books.


Through these moving, funny, and sometimes poignant poems and stories, women from across Canada share their personal and professional experiences as caregivers in various stages of their lives and careers. The women discuss personal health and illness, seeking care from others, and being lay caregivers to their children, partners, aging parents and extended family. Some work as health care professionals, other work in community centres and shelters, as activists in women’s health or as health policy-makers.


This event is presented through the Women's Health Knowledge Centre (WHKC) which works closely with the Women's Health Resources to serve women of all ages, educational backgrounds & socioeconomic levels. Women's Health Resources is a program under the Women's Health Outpatient Programs at the Foothills Medical Centre. Services provided include professional health & well-being information, and support for women, such as counseling and, health & wellness workshops. Patients and workshop attendees can obtain health information and borrow materials from the WHKC.


Contact: Donna Livingstone, Director of Communications for Libraries & Cultural Resources at the University of Calgary by email for more details

Friday, November 12, 2010

Overdrive

David Luinstra

For months I’ve been toying with the idea of taking the plunge and getting into the wonderful world of e-readers. I was intrigued by the idea of being able to carry around hundreds of books with me in my back pocket, being able to easily skip from chapter to chapter, and having less clutter (with apologies to any bibliophile I’ve offended by calling books clutter) in my house. The counterweight to all of these pros was a big con: the price. After all, why pay for a device when you can get books for free at your local Calgary Public Library branch?
 
Thankfully, this stalemate was broken when I won a Kobo at a staff function. I took it out of the box the very same night and after about 5 minutes of use, I was hooked. But unless I resigned myself to reading nothing but the 100 free classics that come with the device (according to Kobo, I’m now approximately 1% through War and Peace), I needed a convenient, reliable, and, most importantly, free source of books.
 
Although I knew about CPL’s Overdrive service, and have been actively promoting it to customers, I hadn’t used it to download content until now. I was pleased with how quickly and easily I could acquire material, and the lazy man in me loved the idea of instantly downloading books from my living room, in my pyjamas. Similar to traditional library service, CPL lends digital books for three week time periods, but unlike physical collections, they are automatically returned after the loan period is up. I was impressed with the selection of books, and with more and more people using e-readers, the amount of available titles will surely increase.
As a new convert to e-reading, I encourage anybody who has been contemplating “going digital” to give it a try, and once you’ve made the switch, check out Calgary Public Library’s Overdrive ebook and audio book service.

Friday, November 5, 2010

One Book One Calgary at Calgary Public Library!


For the inaugural One Book, One Calgary Calgary Public Library has chosen Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta as the book that all Calgarians should read in the month of November 2010. 

Working with civic partners, leadership organizations, artists and entertainers, One Book One Calgary represents the most ambitious program initiative ever undertaken at Calgary Public Library. Libraries will host made in Calgary talent and Maverick Celebrations across the city. Our opening event in the John Dutton Theatre will be the place to be on Thursday November 4 with Mavericks Live from 7:00 – 8:00PM and Mavericks Unplugged from 8:00 – 9:30PM, two shows with great performers such as the Heebee-jeebees, Sheri-D Wilson, Kris Demeanor and Matt Masters. Aritha van Herk and Will Ferguson will add the literary touch.

Kick start a month of One Book One Calgary events with author Aritha van Herk, and community friends during our Heritage Weekend. Capture the life and times of our maverick city and people who helped to shape it with two days of activities that are designed to uncover the forces that shaped our city’s distinct identity.

Our Heart of the City series looks at the importance of Calgary’s volunteer and charitable sectors. The generous spirit of Calgarians, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy and our reputation as a city that cares will be up for discussion.

Be inspired with Maverick Leadership and Cowtown Creativity when community leaders discuss our city’s creative potential, innovative character and economic prosperity.

Join important community discussions through Exploring our Past, Examining our Present, and Imagining our Future, online or in person with One Book One Calgary author Aritha van Herk who will lead, provoke and question our city’s values. And check out the website at http://calgarypubliclibrary.com/onebookonecalgary for information on the many programs, panel discussion, and dramatic readings at your local branch, and even the first chapter of Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta. 

These programs will spark your thoughts and challenge us all to define the city we hope to create for future generations. 

Ignite your passion, opinions, and civic pride at Calgary Public Library this November for One Book One Calgary.

“The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.” 
- Mary McGrory, The Washington Post

Friday, October 29, 2010

One Book One Calgary

Kristen Holm, Calgary Public Library

During the month of November the Calgary Public Library is launching One Book One Calgary. The inaugural book chosen for this event is Aritha van Herk’s “Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta”. Through this initiative the Calgary Public Library hopes to encourage the citizens of Calgary to explore their past, examine their present and imagine their future.

According to the Library’s website the One Book One Calgary initiative “represents the most ambitious program initiative ever undertaken at the Calgary Public Library.” Working collaboratively with civic partners, leadership organizations, artist, entertainers and scholars from across the city, the Calgary Public Library will be delivering innovative and thought provoking programming throughout the 17 community branch libraries. For more information on One Book One Calgary check out One Book One Calgary Website.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Library Tourism - Melk Abbey, Austria

- Katharine Barrette

Whenever a friend or acquaintance of mine mentions a trip they’ve recently returned from, the first question I ask is: “what was the best thing you ate” or “what was the food like?”. However, when that friend or acquaintance is a “library person”, someone who works in a library or simply adores libraries, the first question becomes “which libraries did you see?” I know that when I travel, I typically seek out libraries, particularly famous or historic libraries, and make visits to them as much a part of my travel itinerary as restaurants I must try or markets I must visit.  I suspect I am not alone in this, not only because other “library people” have confessed  to similar travel priorities but because of the many blog postings, lists and webpages that give folks like us the low-down on the “world’s most beautiful libraries” or the “top ten libraries you must see”. 

This summer, I was lucky enough to spend some time traveling, and to visit two incredible library spaces. Both were the grand, ornate kind that I would put in the “epic library” category – libraries with the sort of visual and atmospheric impact that photographer-of-stunning-libraries Candida Höfer is able to capture so well. 

The first, the library of the Stift Melk, or Abbey of Melk, was located in the lush Austrian countryside in the town of Melk. Historically, Melk was a spiritual and cultural center in the countryside of Austria as home of the Badenbergs, and later a fortified Benedictine monastery after it was transferred to the brothers in 1089 by Leopold II. The abbey served as the center of the medieval community. In the early 18th century, the grand Baroque buildings that can be toured today were built, ongoing restoration work since the late 1970’s ensures that visitors are able to view many of the most famous and beautiful rooms in the abbey, including the library.

It is said (in multilingual signage, and from the mouths of tour guides) that the library’s place in the abbey, is second only in importance to the abbey church. Not some dusty, underground book repository, the main hall of this library was a beautiful sunlit ode to the four faculties of knowledge: Theology, Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence as depicted by four wooden statues that flank the doors at each end of the room. Rising high above the second floor mezzanine, the ceiling fresco, a symbolic depiction of Faith surrounded by angels representing the four Cardinal Virtues: Wisdom, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance was painted by Paul Troger in 1731/32. A smaller, adjoining room contains another Troger ceiling fresco, an allegorical portrayal of Scientia or Science. The main hall is dominated by two enormous globes, one terrestrial, one astronomical. 

Melk’s library holds approximately 100 000 volumes, including 1888 manuscripts, 750 incunabula (works printed before 1500) and 80000 16th, 17th and 18th century works. Among them are approximately 1200 hand-lettered books created by the brothers from the 9th to the 15th centuries, some of which took an entire lifetime or the lifetimes of several monks to create. Of the twelve rooms that make up the library, only the main hall and one smaller adjoining room are open to the public; an incredible spiral staircase with a Roccoco gate leads up to rooms not open to the public and down to the abbey church below.

The rooms were quiet and relatively empty on the morning that I was there, giving me lots of time to try to photograph as much of the library as I could without either touching anything or worrying the young woman working there, who seemed to think it odd that I didn’t move quickly through the library and on to the church in time for midday prayers. I tried to imagine what this library as museum-like space must have felt like at a time when it was used by the abbey’s inhabitants for reading, study and the preservation of important writings and documents. 

There’s something awe-inspiring yet familiar about library spaces, be they tiny neighbourhood public library branches, historic, national libraries or monastery libraries like this one. The Melk Abbey library with its tall beautiful shelves, gilded woodwork, and row upon row of rare and ancient tomes arranged in neat sections beginning with the Bible, followed by Theology, Jurisprudence, Geography and Astronomy, History and Baroque lexica make this library a beautiful and inspiring treasure, a place for quiet contemplation and marvel. For me, as a modern-day visitor, the grandeur and the “library-ness” of this historic library lies not only in its collections and appearance, which are magnificent, but in the importance and reverence it was accorded as a repository of knowledge and information, at the center of its community.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Celebrating Canadian Library Month

Kristen Holm, Calgary Public Library

Every year Libraries across the country celebrate Canadian Library Month in October. According to CLA, the theme of Your Library: Your World: Opening Doors to the Future "emphasizes the ability of libraries to introduce new ideas, new stories, and new ways into the world around us through both traditional and emerging technologies.”

The celebration of Canadian Library Month helps promote the crucial role that libraries play in Canadian society. From providing access to information and acting as advocates of intellectual freedom, to fostering literacy, leisure and lifelong learning, our libraries continually strive to enrich and enhance the lives of Canadians.

The Calgary Public Library is hosting a series of events in celebration of Canadian Library Month. These events include a small business trade show, a world languages fair and a weekend devoted to world travel. For more information on these events or others happening at Calgary Public Library during the month of October check out the Library's Headline News Page.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Travel the World Through Your Public Library

Pat Lancaster
Reference Assistant, Calgary Public Library

Anchors Aweigh!! Cruising 101 will be part of a weekend of travel programs at Calgary Public Library in October. To celebrate Canadian Library Month, the Humanities Department is presenting a series of fascinating programs covering destinations from Ethiopia to the Rockies, travelling by foot, by boats big and small, or by plane. We will be using the weekend to showcase our extensive Travel collection and resources.
The Travel Weekend is a fairly new initiative at CPL. We premiered a day of Budget Travel programs last fall, recruiting some of our partner organizations to present. For example, Travel Cuts presented two programs, “Europe on a Budget” and “South Pacific on a Budget”. We also showed a film “A Map for Saturday” about hostelling, followed by a presentation by Hostelling International.

We took advantage of the event to offer a program which highlighted the many resources available through the library for those who are travelling near and far. “Travel Tips for Budget Travellers” has been created by two of our staff members and was presented as part of our Travel Day as well as at other branches of the library.

To build on the success of last year, we have arranged a 2-day event this year. On Saturday, October 23, we will be featuring programs on international travel, beginning with presentations by two of our very own librarians. Rosemary Griebel will be sharing her transformative journey along the Camino de Santiago. Gerry Burger-Martindale will be doing a talk and slide show on her recent trip to Ecuador and the exotic Galapagos. We will also be hosting a program on travelling to Ethiopia, and repeating Travel Cuts’ “Europe on a Budget” program and “Travel Tips for Budget Travellers”.

On Sunday, we will be concentrating on destinations closer to home. We are particularly pleased to have Ben Gadd, noted guide and naturalist, sharing a light-hearted, multi-media presentation on enjoying the natural wonders of the Rockies. We will also host a program on Native Encounters, presented by Creative Adventures, another partner organization. The day will start with a classic travel film, “Headless Valley: Down the Nahanni. Calgarians Mel and Ethel Ross made a funny and charming film about their 1950s voyage down this challenging river.

Watch our Travel Talks blog over the next month as we will be featuring entries by Gerry on her Galapagos trip as a lead-in to her presentation in October. Travel Talk features entries by CPL staff members on destinations near and far.

We would love to have you join us at our Travel Weekend for some or all of these events. To find out more or to register, our programming for Canadian Library Month or call Humanities at 403-260-2785. These events are great fun for both the world and armchair traveler!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shhhhh! A Library-Themed Movie Night and Tour of Noise-Reducing Renovations

Join the Foothills Library Association for a free evening of popcorn, movie-watching and fun! There will be a tour of the recent renovations to the Mount Royal University Library, followed by a screening of the Katherine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy classic, Desk Set.

Popcorn and sodas will be provided.
  • Where: Mount Royal University Library Viewing Room
  • When: Thursday, October 28 @ 6:30pm
  • Tickets: Free!
  • RSVP:FLA Events page
Parking Information:
  • Most convenient public lot is Lot 8
  • Use the East Gate Entrance and the Library will be on the right (see map).
  • Parking is $4.00 after 4:00 PM

Friday, October 1, 2010

FLA Kicks Off Another Year with the Bubbly Brunch

Becky Willson
Mount Royal University Library
FLA Executive Member, Events Line



Cheers! - photo by Francine May
The Foothills Library Association kicked off another year with its annual opening event – the Bubbly Brunch. The event was hosted at the Memorial Park branch of the Calgary Public Library on Sunday, September 26th. Thirty-five library technicians and librarians attended the event at this lovely Carnegie library.

There was very little formal program. The new FLA president, Jerremie Clyde, gave a welcome speech and mentioned some of the upcoming events the FLA will be hosting this fall and winter. The two main activities were the food and the conversation. There was a delicious traditional breakfast spread of eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, fruit and, of course, bubbly. But the event was really to allow people who work in libraries to network and socialize. People from a wide variety of libraries came including public, regional, academic and special libraries. And judging by the level of conversation before, during and after brunch, the event was a success.

As people were finishing up conversations with old schoolmates, former colleagues and new friends, the brunch ended with a tour of Memorial Park Library. It was a delightful way to spend a Sunday morning. Thanks to everyone who came out to the event.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Exploring Climate Change in the West

Alice Swabey,  Mount Royal University

Next month, academics, activists and artists from around the world will convene in Calgary to share ideas on climate change in the North American West. As the world microscope sharpens its focus on activities in Alberta’s oil sands, the conference at Mount Royal University is timely indeed. “Under Western Skies: Climate, Culture, and Change in Western North America” will examine environmental issues from a multitude of perspectives, and with an impressive roster of speakers.

Photo Credit: Barbara Macleod
The conference program sets itself apart from typical academic gatherings by its truly cross-disciplinary scope. Speakers will address climate change through the lenses of literature, aboriginal knowledge, business, peer reviewed science, religion, gender, government policy, linguistics, film, tourism and radical activism – to name just a few.  

The matter of climate change in our neck of the woods has drawn interest and investigation from around the globe, and speakers from India, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, the United States, Taiwan and Canada are expected. Internationally renowned Indian environmental activist and feminist Vandana Shiva will deliver a keynote address, “Soil Not Oil: Food Security in Times of Climate Change.” She will be joined by a number of prominent Canadians. Former Senior Advisor to the UN on Water and current chair of the Council of Canadians Maude Barlow will discuss the global water crisis, in conjunction with a screening of the film Blue Gold: World Water Wars. Also in attendance will be Andrew Nikiforuk, the Governor General’s award winning author of Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig's War Against Big Oil, and most recently, The Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of the Continent.

The highlight of the four-day conference will be the public roundtable on October 16. It will bring Shiva, Barlow and Nikiforuk together with Stanford’s acclaimed environmental historian Richard White; Bron Taylor, professor of Religious and Environmental Ethics from Florida; and Leo Jacobs, Associate Vice President of Aboriginal and Government Relations at Keyano College in Fort McMurray.
The conference runs October 13-16 in MRU’s Roderick Mah Centre. Information on registration, and tickets for keynote addresses, is available at www.skies.mtroyal.ca

Friday, September 17, 2010

Volunteer Calgary Library: The Oak Tree

Kathryn Ranjit

Yes, it’s a real library. The Volunteer Calgary Library is a special library that serves Volunteer Calgary, an organization that helps people get involved in the Calgary community through volunteering. Have you ever used the comprehensive Volunteer Calgary online database to look up volunteer opportunities? These opportunities are provided by the 450 Volunteer Calgary members - non-profit organizations that need volunteers to support their work.

I sat down for an interesting conversation with Valerie White, Library Coordinator with Volunteer Calgary. Valerie has had a long and varied career as a librarian within Calgary: as a library assistant in the Calgary school system, a cataloguer with the Calgary Board of Education, and a youth services librarian at the Calgary Public Library. She has now found a home at the Volunteer Calgary Library.

The Volunteer Calgary Library is beautiful and welcoming, occupying a corner space with windows overlooking Centre St. S on the second floor of the Kahanoff Centre. The library houses over 3600 books, CDs and DVDs which cover all aspects of volunteerism - including theory and philosophy of volunteerism, volunteer management, and fundraising. How do you recruit and retain Gen Y volunteers? How do you manage a health non-profit organization? How do you put together a press conference and who should you contact in Calgary? You’ll find the answers to these and many more questions in this unique collection.

Valerie is responsible for all aspects of running the library: acquisitions, cataloging, shelving, and working with the end user. She does have regular volunteers, who offer invaluable support to the library. They assist with many tasks including circulation, reference, development of operational procedures and suggestions for this unique collection. The volunteers contribute more than their time, they provide a wealth of knowledge and experience that keeps this library vibrant.

This library and librarian strive to make a difference. The Volunteer Calgary Library helps its members to create the policies that govern their organizations, as well as provide information to their leaders and volunteers. Valerie recalls her best moments at the library as those working with new staff and helping them tackle unfamiliar and difficult tasks, becoming confident and competent in a role that just a short time before they knew very little about. Valerie takes opportunities to create advocates, and counts members of the board of Volunteer Calgary among the set of avid library users.

When asked to describe her library as a tree, Valerie easily likened the Volunteer Calgary Library to an oak tree. The library has roots in the community. It is trusted and provides a solid base for Volunteer Calgary, and a canopy for its members.

Members of Volunteer Calgary have access to library resources and services, however if you are not a member you can still use this fantastic resource. Either drop in to use materials on-site or register with the library for a small annual fee. Details can be found online.

Friday, September 10, 2010

President’s Address

Jerremie Clyde

As my first act as the new president of Foothills Library Association I would like to thank everybody who is a member of our association. It is your participation in FLA that makes our work possible. Because of your participation we are able to run valuable programs, events and initiatives, such as the Jobline, a resource used to find employment by library workers across Canada. I would also invite former members who have let their membership lapse to rejoin, as well as those library folk who have never been members of the association.

Why now? Well in addition to Jobline, FLA provides the library community with access to the Eventsline, a guide to local library events. The association also puts on three main events which include the Bubbly Brunch, Calgary Libraries in Action and the Annual General Meeting. These events are great opportunities for members of the Calgary and area library community to get together and meet each other.

This year, members of the executive and I hope to offer more opportunities for networking and professional development. We are considering everything from collections round tables to aid in cooperative collection building to topic specific lectures and social events, such as a Christmas and Copyright evening.

We would like the Foothills Library Association to grow and provide more to its members. We want to offer you more opportunities to grow as a community of library folk. Please let us know what you would like to see FLA doing. You can e-mail me directly if you wish at flapresident@fla.org, or any of the other executive (www.fla.org/executive).

Friday, September 3, 2010

Introducing the New FLA Gazette

Kristian McInnis, SAIT Library

Starting this week the Foothills Library Association (FLA) has added a new online information service to benefit library and information professionals in the Calgary area.

FLA Gazette joins Events Line and Jobline in providing timely relevant news and information to the Calgary area library community. Every week a new article will be published on Gazette. These articles will cover diverse fields of interest, such as:
  • Readers’ advisory across a range of genres and subject areas
  • Strategies for marketing and outreach
  • Technology in libraries
  • Collection development
  • Library and staff profiles
  • Innovations and successes
  • And a whole lot more


In addition to these weekly articles, Gazette is also the first place that FLA news and announcements will be posted. Gazette headlines are automatically cross posted to the FLA homepage, so whenever you visit us online you can see the latest news at a glance.

FLA also encourages you to subscribe to Gazette using one of the options on left side of this page to ensure you are up-to-date on all the news and information published by FLA.

For those of you in the community who like the quarterly FLAG Newsletter, do not fear. Gazette is a compliment to FLAG not a replacement. FLAG will still be published quarterly and will consolidate the best of the Gazette’s articles .

FLA expects that Gazette will encourage communication and contribute to a greater sense of community amongst Calgary’s library and information professionals. In support of that goal, you are welcome to comment on any of our articles or announcements. To eliminate spam and malicious posts, comments will be vetted by an editor before appearing on Gazette.

You should feel free to share or comment via social networking services. FLA hopes Gazette will become a locus of robust commentary and discussion of topics relevant to the local library community.

Your participation is necessary to make the new Gazette a success. Contributions from the community are welcome. Contact the editors at flag@fla.org or your local FLA Executive member more information.
If you have any comments or suggestions regarding Gazette or FLAG please share your thoughts below.