BCLTA Bulletin March 2018

President’s Message

Jerrilyn Schembri

Spring!

Jerrilyn at UBCM 2017. 
 
I keep thinking that spring is just about here and as I look out the window today…with snow falling yet again…spring can’t come soon enough.

Not that I don’t love snow, but we have had a lot, I mean A LOT of snow this year and I am very anxious to see all of the surprises of spring come our way. Not just because the snow will be gone but because I am really looking forward to seeing everyone in May at the BCLA and BCLTA conferences.

We have so many exciting things planned including a really good Governance Forum (May 12th) thanks to Babs, Jan, and the team. See you all there!!!


Your Libraries and Your Stories

Readers tell us that the “Your Libraries” section is important for making connections across the province and for inspiring or affirming their own board and library director work. If you have a story or photos that you would like to share about your board, your library, or your community, let us know by emailing Babs execdir@bclta.ca.

A huge thank you to Paul and Erin for sharing their trustee orientation and board development experiences for this issue of the Bulletin.

 

Elected Official & Library Trustee “Turning the ‘long list’ into Reality”
Submitted by Erin Carlson, Library Board Trustee, Okanagan Regional Library and BCLTA Board Director.

Erin and 6 month old daughter ready to make a difference! 

I celebrated my 30th birthday on Wednesday. My first born daughter is now six months old, and she is becoming a world traveler! This month, we are visiting our extended family in Holland and return home to Canada in April. We are currently adventuring through Portugal, but staying connected to our responsibilities through wifi (and extra coffee).

I am blessed to have had a happy and wholesome upbringing, built on imagination, activities, and good books. I’m also lucky to have seen lots of the world. My life experiences have allowed me to delve into the world of decision making at a relatively young age.

I am a member (council liaison for Summerland since 2015) of the Okanagan Regional Library board and have been on the BCLTA board for 2 years now. I attended the BCLTA AGM, conference and Trustee Orientation (TOPs) in 2016. TOPs was a good course for reinforcing the purpose, goals, and of course decision making guidelines for trustees and boards. It continues to be a valuable tool for making sure a board is on track, makes good decisions and is successful.

As I look back to the election in 2014, I recognize how much I have learned through participation on both city council and the library boards. I also reflect on how much can be done when a group of elected officials can set a direction and work positively with management staff to turn the ‘long list’ into reality. The BCLTA board has worked hard and worked well together to improve the value we provide to our membership. There is always more to be done, but I believe our board and ED have found a good balance over the past couple of years.

Being on maternity leave doesn’t get me off the hook from my responsibilities to these decision making teams. I continue to attend meetings, conference calls, and conferences. Often I bring my baby and she is always welcome.

Although I haven’t decided what my next step is, I know I will continue to experience life in a way that will allow me to teach my daughter that she too can participate and hopefully make a difference.

 

The Life of a Library Trustee
Submitted by Paul Tutsch, Library Board Trustee, Whistler Public Library and BCLTA Board Director.

 

I have been very fortunate to have had the privilege of being a Trustee of 2 BC public libraries.

When I joined the first board, I knew very little about libraries and, like many parents, hadn’t been in a library since my children were young!! I knew very little about libraries and what I did know was outdated by a quarter century!!

The fundamentals, such as a cultural centre open to all, were still the same but the methods had certainly changed! But I was quickly educated on my responsibilities via the then Trustee Orientation Program (TOP) and informal and formal board development activities.

Both libraries went through some significant changes during my tenure: significant asset development in one, hiring new chief librarians in both and development of 3 Strategic Plans in 15 years to map out our future.

The selection and retention of a library director is one of the most important, if not THE most important, responsibilities of the Board of Trustees. And the more experienced and better trained and informed, the better the likelihood of choosing the right candidate.

What kind of training is helpful?

  • A decent understanding of the BC Libraries Act, especially the sections relating to trustee responsibilities.
  • A decent understanding of how your library operates, how it is viewed by the community it serves and how it compares to similar size libraries.
  • A reasonable understanding of the relative strengths and weaknesses of your Board of Trustees achieved by conducting a disciplined survey.

In retrospect, I now see that my training and experience gained in 15 years as a Library Trustee prepared me very well for being a board member of other Not-for-Profits or Societies in my community.

I learned the importance of vision, insight and forward thinking.

I learned the importance and value of volunteering.

I have been better able to advance the cause of other not-for-profits.

That’s what I call “A win-win-win”!!


BC Public Library News and Happenings 

BC Libraries Cooperative Announces New Managing Director!

BCLTA looks forward to working with Kevin Millsip who took on the role of Managing Director at the BCLC on March 13th. Find out more about Kevin and the work of BCLC here. 

Trail and District Public Library Grand Opening April 2nd!

  • From the Trail Riverfront Centre website:

The facility houses the Trail and District Public Library, the Trail Museum and Archives and the Visitor Information Centre. The new location of these services provides easy downtown access for library/museum-goers and visitors to the area. Grand Opening, April 2, 2018. 

Reading Lights

  • Vancouver Public Library Children’s Writers and Illustrators of B.C. Society
  • From the Reading Lights website:

Reading Lights celebrates the work of B.C. children’s book authors and illustrators and offers unexpected encounters with an array of stories for children and their families near parks, playgrounds, schools and libraries throughout Vancouver. Intended to spark an interest in stories and reading, the program features excerpts of books and illustrations on lamp posts across the city for all to enjoy. 

sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay Branch

  • The Greater Victoria Public Library will soon be opening a new branch in James Bay.
  • sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ is the Lekwungen name for James Bay and you can find out more about the branch, the naming process, as well as practice saying sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ it with the help of a wav file of the pronounciation by Songhees Nation Elder Dr. Elmer Seniemten George here.

The Lab is launched!

  • On March 1st, West Vancouver Memorial Library launched their new digital learning place.
  • From the media release

The Lab presents a new vision for digital learning in B.C. public libraries. Designed for active participation and social interaction, it transforms learning into a collaborative and creative experience. 

“The District of West Vancouver is proud to support The Lab at West Vancouver Memorial Library,” says Mayor Michael Smith. “This creative new learning space gives equal opportunity for community members to develop and practise the digital skills necessary for succeeding in school and at work. These skills are also critical for people to feel socially included in today’s world.”

Check This Out – a public library radio show

  • Nelson Public Library in partnership with Kootenay Co-op Radio
  • Programs have covered Freedom to Read Week, the Human Library, what the Friends of the Library do, collection development, screen writing and more.
  • From the website:

… a radio show about all things Library: readers’ advisory, secrets revealed, bibliophiliac discussion from analog to digital, and the ever-evolving landscape of reading and knowledge. 

ReadRadio Podcast

  • Fraser Valley Regional Library

From the January 31st media release

“ReadRadio, an initiative of our online Reading Room, is a great example of how FVRL delivers new and engaging online services to the community”, says Heather Scoular, Director of Customer Experience. FVRL’s ReadRadio is unique in the world of library podcasts, as we are the first Canadian public library to use the medium as a recommendation platform.”

The Okanagan Regional Library’s CEO is sailing away

  • Stephanie Hall will be missed as a strong voice for BC public libraries!
  • From ORL:

Stephanie Hall has been the CEO since February of 2013, but come March, she will be resigning in order to sail around the world on the tallship Picton Castle.


Board and Trustee Development: BC Public Libraries

The following is a sample of what is available through your BC public library network for supporting your library board development planning and strategic discussions. When the new BCLTA website is launched early this summer we look forward to providing a one-stop current place for you to submit and find more resources such as these.

Surrey Libraries

Information Package for Prospective Library Trustees 

Fort St. John Public Library

Policies and Procedures Manual

Very useful section 1.5 Policies and Procedures for the Board of Trustees, in particular for PLAs. The clarity of board role descriptions is relevant to all boards.

Includes:

  • Authority and Structure of the Board
  • Responsibilities of the Board
  • Duties of the Board Chair
  • Duties of the Board Vice-Chair
  • Duties of the Treasurer
  • Duties of the Chief Librarian
  • Duties of the Secretary
  • Board Meetings
  • Board Conduct
  • Board Committees

Vancouver Island Regional Library

The Library Act portion of trustee orientation frequently raises curiosity about the different board types and procedures across the province, particularly in regards to the regional library boards of Okanagan (ORL), Fraser Valley (FVRL), and Vancouver Island (VIRL) Regional Libraries.

The VIRL Board of Trustees Procedural By-Law provides insight to regional board membership, responsibilities and procedures.

Prince George Public Library

  • Easy to find and use Board page – stellar first step in recruiting and orienting new trustees!
  • Includes photos, bios, what the board does (including time commitments) and how to apply to be on the board.  

Libraries Branch 

  • Responsible for the BC Public Library Act, with which trustees should be familiar.
  • As well this is where you will find the BC public library stats and information about SOFI.

BCLTA May 12th Governance Forum

Please join us for a day of governance topics, roundtable discussions, and action planning.

Why are we calling this year’s event a forum, rather than the usual conference?

Feedback from previous conferences told us of a desire for an event and experience that was purposefully developed to be a meeting place where all could express their ideas, share experiences, and exchange views on issues and trends regarding public library governance and leadership.

This is intended to be that place.

Your Governance Forum.

This day long forum (full agenda here) is directed at public library trustees and library directors. This is your time for making connections across the province and for talking about your libraries, your communities, and governance.

  • Saturday, May 12th.
  • 8:30am to 4pm
  • Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel (7551 Westminster Hwy)
  • Registration is now open, please register here.
  • The fee is $150

Roundtable Discussions: Trustees and library directors from across the province connecting and learning. 

The BCLTA is grateful for the support of the Richmond Public Library for hosting the Sunday TOP and Chairing the Board sessions, and for the financial assistance of the Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education.


BCLTA 2018 AGM  

All members are invited to participate in the AGM and conference registration is not required for the AGM.

The AGM will take place at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel  (7551 Westminster Hwy) on May 12th, starting at 4pm.

This AGM will take place in the same room as the Governance Forum.

There will be onsite registration for the AGM.

Please check our AGM page for updates on board nominations, reports, and the agenda.


TOP

The Trustee Orientation Program isn’t just for new trustees! It is for the whole board, including library directors and experienced trustees. Find out more about TOP in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca and please ask us questions!

If you would like a TOP session in your area, click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, BCLTA’s Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed.

We also provide easy access to the TOP workbook and webinars in the Member section of the website.

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development. 

Upcoming TOP Sessions 

Register here for one of the following sessions or request a session here. 

  • April 22nd, Prince George
  • April 28th, West Vancouver
  • May 5th, Chetwynd
  • May 5th, Squamish
  • May 13th, Richmond

There will also be a Chairing the Board session with Vantage Point’s Denise Baker on May 13th in Richmond.

Announcing the TOP Team!

We have a strong team of TOP facilitators across the province that will be working with the BCLTA ED to improve the TOP experience. Huge thanks to Andy Ackerman (Fort St. John), Melanie Wilke (Terrace), Mike Gagel (Prince George), Kyla Epstein (Vancouver), and Joanne Richards (Castlegar) for the experience, skills, and commitment that they bring to TOP.  

2017 TOP Refresh / Rethink Recommendations Update

We are making our way through the recommendations proposed by the TOP Rethink / Refresh Advisory Committee for improving the development, delivery, and results of trustee orientation across BC.

The recommendations and updates are:

  1. That BCLTA, through its website, provide usefully organized and annotated resources for trustee orientation and ongoing board development.
    • The work is underway and will be up with our new website (being developed by BCLC expertise!) later this spring.

2. That BCLTA establish a trustee orientation check-list, in consultation with the Libraries Branch and ABCPLD. This checklist will ensure a shared understanding and information baseline for trustee orientation across the province, regarding the Library Act, current work of the board, the library, and the provincial context.

    • First iteration of the checklist is done and can be found here!

3. That BCLTA support a working group, which includes the Libraries Branch, 2 library directors, 2 trustees (at least one a BCLTA director), a TOP trainer, and a federation manager to update and review the TOP manual.

    • We are working with the Libraries Branch on a process that will involve feedback from the public library community and a one day work-fest, hopefully in early summer, to update the manual.
    • In the meantime, the TOP facilitators are working together to review the manual and to provide the TOP session participants with the most up-to-date information. The current manual is still useful and relevant; we just want to make it better.

4. That BCLTA work with the Libraries Branch and ABCPLD to recruit, train, and support TOP facilitators.

    • We now have a strong team of facilitators and are working closely with them to ensure that they have everything they need to provide you with everything you expect and need from a TOP session.

5. That BCLTA work with the Libraries Branch to develop a one-pager, similar to the OLA’s Cut to the Chase and the Saskatchewan Public Library Governance in a Nutshell.

    • This is on the books for later this year!

6. That once equitable connectivity is established across the province, BCLTA will work with BCLA, ABCPLD, BCLC, and the Libraries Branch to investigate and consider an user-friendly, low cost, collaborative online learning platform as a shared province-wide library initiative to support staff and trustee learning and development.


Links & Discussion Starters

Below is a quick list of resources for trustee orientation and board development.

Other areas that are important for board development include, but are not limited to, measuring, assessment, community engagement, advocacy and influence, financial acumen and budget oversight, hiring a chief librarian and other HR responsibilities, strategic thinking and planning, and overall legal and fiduciary responsibilities of the board.

We will cover these areas, and more, in future Bulletins and on our website.

Please send your favourite and wisest board resources to Babs for sharing.

 

BoardSource

  • Leading with Intent
  • Results and analysis of a 2017 study on trends for non-profit boards, including board roles and responsibilities, performance indicators and assessment, and the importance of recruiting and developing for racial and ethnic diversity. 

BC School Trustees Association

  • Good Governance for Boards of Education
  • A top quality and very thorough curriculum that is applicable to BC public library trustees.
  • There are four modules:
    • Module 1: Authentic Governance through Ethical Leadership
    • Module 2: Relationships and Governance: Common Ground, Common Purpose
    • Module 3: Authentic Governance for Student Achievement: Boards Matter!
    • Module 4: Making the Connections for Students Success: Aligning vision, governance and finance 

Vantage Point

The Vantage Point website is full of resources and services such as:

Southern Ontario Library Services

Tamarack Institute

  • Collaborative Leadership
  • This site also has many resources for explaining current trends in community engagement, civic leadership, and collective impact. 

Board Building: Recruiting and Developing Effective Board Members for Not-for-Profit Organizations

  • The Muttart Foundation and Alberta Culture and Community Spirit (2008).
  • Practical self-guided work book
  • Chapter 2, Orienting, Training, and Developing the Board
    • Orientation, training, experience and recognition are all part of board development
    • Results in a common frame of reference, skills, motivation, attitudes essential for mutual support, confidence and engagement.
    • Overview of value added activities (p.48), check lists for orientation (p.50), opportunities for dialogue and other learning sessions (p.52)
    • Simple and solid pointers on offering recognition (p.54) 

A Winning Board, Steps that Bring out the Best

  • First Nonprofit Foundation (2010)
  • Of particular interest is section 5, Educate, Educate, Educate (p.14)
  • As well as knowing about the operations and context of the board work, a board needs to be educated on the mission, governance, and community. 

Canadian Society of Association Executives

  • A small selection of freely available resources such as the 3 minute video “What is the Board’s Job?”.

Imagine Canada

  • A small selection of freely available resources, such as examples for sharing messages and telling stories.

Calls to Action

 

Minister Fleming with Prince George Public Library Board Chair and BCLTA Director Mike Gagel, October 2017. 

 

1.    Advocacy and Influence

The BCLTA Trustee Advocacy and Influence Framework is an update to the 2015 BCLTA Advocacy Toolkit. We kept what worked and expanded the information and suggestions to encompass the idea that some of the most important work you do as trustees is influencing and supporting other community leaders to champion the value of the public library.

BCLTA will be developing advocacy materials (for example posters, social media, advocacy tips flashcards) with our library partners to support advocacy efforts in 2018, and in particular for the 2018 municipal elections.

Review and use the framework and let us know what you think, particularly any useful practices and resources to add.

And remember to use the key messages that are being used by the BC public library associations (BCLA, ABCPLD and BCLTA). We have learned that consistent and shared messaging is how powerful and effective advocacy and influence builds momentum and has an impact.

Government Consultations

Local, provincial and federal government consultations are one way for trustees and boards to spread the word about the value of public libraries and our shared priorities for ongoing public library development.

Provincial government engagement opportunities can be found at the govTogetherBC website.

There is still time to contribute your thoughts and stories to the BC Poverty Reduction engagement process which closes March 30, 2018 at 4pm.

Federal government engagement opportunities are posted to the Government of Canada Activities and Initiatives section of their website and at specific ministries (e.g. Minister of Indigenous Services, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Innovation, Science and Economic Development). Updates on national engagement opportunities specifically relevant to libraries can be found through the Canadian Federation of Library Associations/Fédération Canadienne des associations de bibliothèques.

 

2.    2018 Compensation Study 

The BC Library Director Compensation Survey is scheduled for June 2018, with a report out in the late fall of 2018.

There have been requests from board chairs and library directors for the survey to include questions regarding board and library director roles and responsibilities. Contact Babs at execdir@bclta.ca with any questions, comments, and advisement regarding this survey and report.

The results from this study are used by boards and library directors across the province for recruiting, hiring, and strategic budget decisions – please contribute to its development and execution. We will be working towards 100%-member participation.

Hot Topics Survey 

We have had requests from trustees and library directors for a quick survey regarding the current or upcoming hot topics for board meetings. You request, we deliver!

This mini survey will only take a few minutes of your time and can be found here

We are asking for:

  1. Brief self-description of library. Such as mid-size, north-west BC.
  2. If you are responding for yourself or for the board.
  3. Hot topics that are currently being discussed at your board meetings.
  4. Hot topics that are coming up, or you hope come up, for your board meetings.
  5. Comments.

You will be able to list as many topics as you want. Examples include: diversity, cannabis sales, new library plans, staff development, opioid crisis, board recruitment and succession planning, hiring, funding, connectivity, 2018 local government elections, reconciliation …

The results will:

  • Inform the Trustee Roundtable discussions at the May Forum
  • Point us in the direction of what resources and information you would like to find on the new website.
  • Inspire and inform board discussions across the province.
  • Be shared out as an anonymized summary in the June/July issue of the Bulletin.

Final Words and Thank you

My first thank you is to all of you who are keeping BCLTA staff (Jan and I) very busy with governance and public library information and resource questions, arranging TOP sessions, prepping for the new website, and of course with the BCLTA May 12th Governance Forum and AGM. Our work only matters when we are doing it for you and we are especially looking forward to seeing so many of you in person in May!

My next thank you is to our Library Partners. Our work in 2018 will be even better than 2017 (which was pretty awesome!) because of how we are working with the Association of Public Library Directors (ABCPLD), the BC Library Association (BCLA) and the BC Libraries Cooperative (BCLC). The Ministry of Education has commented that our advocacy is more effective together as we meet and communicate with a strong agenda and shared consistent messages. We will continue with that approach with the Ministry of Education and with other Ministries as we develop connections across the government that will make a difference to public libraries, such as in regards to connectivity. We will also continue with that approach for developing advocacy materials for the 2018 local government elections and as we prepare for UBCM 2018.

You may have also noticed that this year, BCLTA is part of the BCLA conference. We have worked closely with BCLA and ABCPLD to bring a full day (May 11th) of sessions that will be of interest to public library boards and library directors. We are working with BCLC for our new website and it is gratifying to work with friends and colleagues who know the BC public library community and will build with us a website that will work best for serving all of you.

We value our partners! Pictured here from UBCM 2016, Jenny Benedict, Chair of
ABCPLD and Annette DeFaveri, Executive Director of BCLA.

My closing thoughts on trustee orientation and board development are prompted by the release, earlier this year, of the Nova Scotia Glaze report, Raise the Bar: A Coherent and Responsive Education Administrative System for Nova Scotia. This report points to the importance of our shared responsibility and work for equity, excellence, transparency, and responsibility in public sector governance. The first part of Recommendation 1 (p.23) reads:

The seven governing (elected) regional school boards should be eliminated. Unfortunately, in Nova Scotia, at this time, I cannot ignore what I have heard: the dismissals of elected boards several times over the past decade; confused, unclear roles and responsibilities; a wide variety of performance from board to board; too many conflicting policies; transparency issues; an unhealthy level of acclaimed candidates and a lack of fresh voices; constituents not knowing their local board members, nor the roles they played, and so on. 

Trustee orientation and board development for strong effective governance and public libraries, does not happen in isolation. It is about our community networks, how we broaden them and our thinking, and how we demonstrate inclusivity and diversity through community involvement, board membership, development, policies, and other governance practices.

It is a privilege to do this important work with all of you.

As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing, or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Huy tseep q’u, miigwetch, thank you,
Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

BCLTA Bulletin December 2017

President’s Message

Jerrilyn Schembri

Warmest Seasons Greetings to BC’s Library Trustees,

Is anyone else just a little shocked that it is December already?  For me it has been over 6 months since I took over as President of BCLTA and here it is December already. This is the time of year when many of us take time out of our busy schedules to spend the holidays with our loved ones, reflect on the year’s activities, and look towards the New Year.

2017 has been busy for BCLTA. At our AGM and conference this spring we elected several new board members, passed the Resolution on the Rights of Transgender, Gender Variants and Two-Spirited People, we talked about trustee issues, especially advocacy and influence, and we heard from some very inspirational new residents of Canada. Spending time with all of you, members and supporters, inspires our work!

Since the AGM and conference the board and staff have been diligently working on numerous initiatives to meet the needs of our trustees province wide. These initiatives include a website redevelopment, Bulletin improvements, a TOP Rethink / Refresh, a Beyond Hope workshop, and an improved approach to the conference and trustee roundtables. We have been advocating for our membership with our new provincial government (check out the Advocacy section of the BCLTA website); attended UBCM and heard so many great things from local government representatives about the important role of public libraries in community social and economic development; and we have met with Minister Fleming as well as having regular meetings with Ministry of Education and Libraries Branch staff. Most importantly we are working on all of this with our valued library partners, the BC Library Association, the Association of BC Public Library Directors, and the BC Libraries Cooperative. As well the Libraries Branch has been a key supporter for the ongoing delivery of the Trustee Orientation Program, our conference, and for strengthening the development and delivery of trustee and board development.

I would like to also like to take this opportunity to thank BCLTA’s unsung heroes, our staff.  First is our fabulous Executive Director Babs Kelly. Babs is such a gift to this organization and it is her expertise that ensures everything continues to run smoothly. Along side of Babs is the amazing Jan Thomas who has been working as our Administrative Assistant to ensure BCLTA’s success for many years.  These two women do such great work … thank you Babs and Jan.

And in conclusion, whether you celebrate this season or not, it seems to act as a magnifying glass highlighting things in our lives. From the BCLTA board and staff I hope the things that are magnified in your life this season are gratitude, goodwill, hope, and love.

BCLTA President Jerrilyn Schembri and BC


BCSTA – BCLTA Letter of Understanding

 

BCLTA President Jerrilyn Schembri and BCSTA President Gordon Swan

On November 25th, BCLTA and the BC School Trustee Association signed a Letter of Understanding that outlines the following objectives:

  • To promote collaboration and understanding in matters of mutual interest related to public education and public libraries in a province-wide context;
  • To discuss aspects of the legislative and regulatory setting which reflect the interests of the parties;
  • To provide notice of actions to achieve changes in provincial policy and regulations that might affect the interests of the other party.

The full LoU will soon be posted to the BCLTA website in the BCLTA & Membership section.

BCLTA is very proud to have this formally recognized relationship with BCSTA!


Your Libraries and Your Stories

Readers tell us that the “Your Libraries” section is important for making connections across the province and for inspiring or affirming their own board and library director work. A huge thank you to those who contributed to this issue either with submissions about their library or by pointing to stories, news items and resource links.

Send us stories about your board and your library to execdir@bclta.ca

 

Invermere Public Library: A Community Gathering Place

Submitted by Helen Kipp, Invermere Public Library board chairperson

Representing the future of libraries, brothers Okilani and Cassius Cowles joined in cutting the ribbon to officially open the new home of the Invermere Public Library which is located inside of the Columbia Valley Centre in Invermere, BC. The centre features a multi-use community hall, a spacious lobby, the municipal library, and a public meeting area that can be used for a variety of activities.

Located between the Rockies and the Purcell mountain ranges, the library space is surrounded by windows which enhance the view in all directions.  The new library facility will continue to serve patrons throughout the Columbia Valley.

Interior furnishings and shelves for the library were purchased with generous donations from community members.  The move to the new location was a true community effort that included a group of more than 20 volunteers who moved the books from the old location to the new one in just over five hours.  The Invermere Public Library will continue to be the place where our community gathers in the years to come.

The official ribbon cutters for the grand opening of the new Invermere Public Library that was held on Sept. 20th, 2017 are (left to right) Virginia Walker (representing library staff), Oki and Cassius Cowles (representing library patrons of the future), Al Miller (representing the District of Invermere council), Hedi Trescher (representing the Camenzind Family Estate), and Helen Kipp (representing the library’s Board of Trustees).  Looking on from the background are Gerry Wilkie and Wendy Booth, area directors from the Regional District of East Kootenay.

 

 

 

 

 

Well done Prince George Public Library!

 

October 2, 2017, The Prince George Chamber of Commerce hosted their 32ndAnnual Business Excellence Awards and presented PGPL with the Community Impact Award.
 

October 12 2017, Prince George Public Library Chief Librarian, Janet Marren, with the proclamation as presented to PGPL from theMinister of Education, Rob Fleming.

 

October 12, 2017, Minister Fleming toured the Prince George Public Library with library trustees.

 

West Vancouver Memorial Library

Access 4 All Fair: Let the Library Take You Places

September 19, 2017, In celebration of the library’s new accessibility ramp and included:

  • Celebrity presentations in English and ASL
  • Abilities Meet Up Zone for asking ability-related questions
  • Community Service Providers Exhibit
  • Assistive Technology Showcase
  • More information at WVML and from the Rick Hansen Foundation

Fort St. John Public Library

From the event calendar. Our Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) is a fun group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited, queer, or questioning youths in Grades 7 through 12. Friends, family and straight allies are welcome! We meet the first Thursday of every month for fun activities like cosplay, movies & munchies night, gaymer nights, maker & tech, crafting, and more! Join our QSA @ FSJPL facebook group to find out what we’re doing this month!

Vancouver Public Library

This item is from 2016, but as board discussions regarding washrooms and signage continue across the province, it is worth pointing to again.

Vancouver Public Library Posts Signs Welcoming Transgender Patrons into Men’s and Women’s Washrooms

  • Georgia Straight, Charlie Smith, September 3, 2016

Surrey Libraries

Inclusive City Cafés

And!

“Surrey’s Chief Librarian Surinder Bhogal Knows First-Hand the Value New Immigrants can Bring to Organizations”

  • Asian Journal, October 25, 2017

Influence & Advocacy

 

 

Burnaby Public Library Board and Library Director, Making a Difference!

 

CFLA-FCAB

Statement on Québec Bill 62: An Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality.

  • October 24, 2017

From the statement:

…diversity and inclusion is a core value of libraries and central to our country’s identity. Libraries have a responsibility to contribute to a culture that recognizes diversity and fosters social inclusion.

 

BCLTA

BCLTA President Jerrilyn Schembri, ABCPLD Chair Jenny Benedict, and MLA Anne Kang talking public libraries at UBCM 2017.

We have updated the Advocacy section of the website and will continue to do so with your input and feedback. Updates include:

  • BCLTA October 31, 2017 contribution to B.C. Human Rights Commission online discussion “Building Awareness”.
  • BCLTA October 11, 2017 response to Union of BC Municipalities Resolutions B60 and C4.
  • BCLTA October 11, 2017 submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

 

Next on our list is updating the Advocacy Toolkit. Let us know what worked for you and what you think needs to be different. Email Babs Kelly at execdir@bclta.ca.

 

Telling the Public Library Story

Government consultation are one way for trustees and boards to spread the word about the value of public libraries and our shared priorities for ongoing public library development.

Provincial government engagement opportunities can be found here.

BCLTA encourages boards and trustees to contribute to the engagement process on BC Poverty Reduction and, as always, to make use of the BCLTA website Advocacy section for resources and ideas.

 

Presenting to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services 

Submitted by Kyla Epstein
Chair, Vancouver Public Library
Director, BCLTA

 

 

On Sept 25th myself and my fellow VPL trustee, Carellin Brooks, presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (the Committee) about the importance of public libraries in BC. We shared with the Committee that public libraries are our communities’ only fee free centres for lifelong learning, for knowledge exchange, for cultural exchange, and for preserving our communities’ memories and history. We reminded them that regardless of whether we share these ideas through books, films, music, or through physical objects or digital platforms, public libraries ensure that everyone has access to information and culture and opportunities to create and share their knowledge and ideas.

We also spoke about the importance of increasing provincial funding for libraries, the need to support broadband in rural communities, and the gap in the Library Act with respect to library services for, and with, First Nations communities. We drew their attention to resolutions B60 & C4 passed at the 2017 UBCM gathering and we did all this with support from the great BCLTA advocacy materials!

When the Standing Committee’s report was released on November 15th we were thrilled to see recognition of BC’s libraries:

  • Noting the important role that public libraries play as community hubs and places to share knowledge and ideas, many public library boards advocated for investments in Indigenous communities. Many Indigenous communities have little or no library services, which inhibits opportunities to learn, discover, and create. In some cases, without specific agreements in place, residents of Indigenous reserve communities may be unable to access nearby municipal libraries, due to taxation and residency issues. ” (p.43)
  • A section on p.55 regarding funding and technology.
  • Recommendations #89 & 117.

We also noted the number of folks, listed in Appendix A, from around the province who spoke to the Committee.

It is an honour to be a part of the community of BC library trustees. Together we continue to work hard to ensure that all BC residents have access to public library services and the resources they need for lifelong learning.

 

How We Vote and Public Libraries

And speaking of government engagement and libraries, it is gratifying to note that the government recognizes the role that public libraries play in citizen engagement.

From the November 23rd media release “British Columbians asked to help shape referendum on electoral reform”,

In the new year, more information and resources will be added to the site, including educational videos and graphics, while libraries will be provided with information kits to help engage British Columbians in advance of the fall 2018 referendum.

UBCM Public Libraries Basket Winner Tofino Councillor Thicke (centre) with Fraser Valley Regional Library CEO Scott Hargrove and BCLTA ED Babs Kelly.

Announcement! Teacher Regulation, Independent Schools, and Public Libraries Division, B.C. Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education has made some small organizational changes that have resulted in the division, that includes the Libraries Branch and reports into Acting ADM Paul Squires, being renamed ‘Teacher Regulation, Independent Schools, and Public Libraries’.

This is a positive change and a gratifying acknowledgement of the role of public libraries, and the important work of trustees and staff, in BC communities.


2018 Compensation Study

The BC Library Director Compensation Survey is scheduled for June 2018, with a report out late in the fall of 2018.

There have been requests from board chairs and library directors for the survey to include questions regarding board and library director roles and responsibilities. Contact Babs at execdir@bclta.ca with any questions, comments, and advisement regarding this survey and report.


BCLTA Conference and AGM

We are pleased to be collaborating again with our colleagues at BCLA and here is where we are at with our plans for 2018.

  • As part of the BCLA conference, BCLTA is working with our library partners for a full day of sessions that will focus on governance and leadership on Friday, May 11th.
  • The BCLA conference is scheduled for May 9-11 in Richmond, BC, at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel (7551 Westminster Hwy).
  • The BCLTA AGM and Trustee Roundtable event will take place at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel on Saturday, May 12th.
  • TOP and Chairing the Board will take place at the Richmond Public Library (Brighouse Branch) on Sunday, May 13th.

We will have more information to share in early 2018, including dedicated space on the website for board nomination forms, award nominations, conference updates, and AGM news.

BCLTA 2018 AGM Key Dates

February 10th 

  • Begin receiving nominations to the board and posting nominations to the website. Nominations remain open until closed by the Nominations Committee at the AGM.
  • Posting nominations to the website will end on May 6th.

February 25th

  • Special resolutions are to be received by February 25, 2018. Special resolutions will be sent to the ED at execdir@bclta.ca, Attn: BCLTA Resolutions Committee. Board Committee members will be posted to the website at the end of January.

March 12th

  • Ordinary resolutions are to be received by March 12, 2018. Ordinary resolutions will be sent to the ED at execdir@bclta.ca, Attn: BCLTA Resolutions Committee

April 12th

  • The AGM package, including an agenda and the resolutions, will be posted on the BCLTA website by April 12, 2018.

May 12th

  • The AGM will take place at 4pm on May 12, 2018.
  • The reviewed financial statements will be provided at the AGM.

Friends of the Library 

We have had a membership request for a quick FoL survey!

Please go to https://goo.gl/forms/JVwFIY5jcKVyzf0B2 and respond to the following:

  1. Name of Library
  2. Do you have a Friends of the Library group?
  3. What support or resources do you wish were available for starting, and/or for the ongoing development, of a successful FoL?

On behalf of the membership we are looking for a 100% response rate so that we have a fulsome and useful report out.

The survey will remain open until February 8th. We will report out to the membership, through the February 2018 Board Brief.

The report will include a list of libraries with FoLs and an anonymized summary of responses to question #3.

You may find the following of interest:

Friends of Canadian Libraries

United for Libraries Resources for Friends Groups (ALA)


TOP

The Trustee Orientation Program isn’t just for new trustees! It is for the whole board, including library directors and experienced trustees. Find out more about TOP in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca and please ask us questions!

If you would like a TOP session in your area, click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, BCLTA’s Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed.

We also provide easy access to the TOP workbook and webinars in the Member section of the website.

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development.

A HUGE THANK YOU to the BCLTA TOP Rethink / Refresh Advisory Committee!

The committee members were:

  • Jerrilyn Schembri (BCLTA President, Board Chair, Tumbler Ridge Public Library – municipal)
  • Erin Carlson (BCLTA Director, Trustee, Okanagan Regional Library)
  • Melanie Wilke (BCLTA Director, Board Chair, Terrace Public Library Association)
  • Barry Avis (Board Chair, Vancouver Island Regional Library)
  • Jennifer Pierce (Trustee, Chetwynd Public Library Association)
  • Surinder  Bhogal (Chief Librarian, Surrey Libraries – municipal)
  • Elizabeth Tracy (Library Director, Whistler Public Library – municipal – resort municipality)
  • Ursula Brigl (Chief Librarian, Cranbrook Public Library – municipal)
  • Edel Toner-Rogala (Manager, North East Library Federation and North Central Library Federation)
  • Cindy Ralph (Library Consultant, Libraries Branch) until September.
  • Kyle Armour (Library Consultant, Libraries Branch) from September onwards.

The advisory committee met four times via telephone conference and many of the committee member provided further feedback and advisement via email and individual telephone calls.

The committee mandate was to explore, and set recommendations for, improving the development, delivery, and results of trustee orientation across BC. The committee members provided research direction, document review, communications advisement, and their experience and expertise. As a result of their work, and with direction from the BCLTA Board of Directors, some of the work to be undertaken in 2018 includes, ongoing development of the BCLTA website for the provision of usefully organized and annotated resources for trustee orientation and board development; a trustee orientation checklist; (available now and a TOP manual review and update.


Links & Discussion Starters

Perspectives: The Rural Issue

  • BCLA, December, 2017

North Shore Immigrant Inclusion Project

Board Source

Tamarack Institute

7 Things You Can Do to Improve the Sad, Pathetic State of Board Diversity

  • Vu Lee, September, 2017
  • Focused on not-for-profits (not library boards) and framed in the U.S. context, but for those of you having the big discussion about equity and inclusion regarding board culture and recruitment, you will find this interesting.

Social Planning and Research Council of B.C.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Open Research and Education

Here’s an excerpt from the post to encourage you to click through and read more!

In most social situations, I think it’s always interesting to observe:

Who is in the room?
Who is at the table?
Who speaks a lot?
Who has social capital?
Who feels welcome?
Whose ideas are respected and centered by default?

“Diversity as Anti-Racism in Library and Information Studies: A Critique.”

  • David James Hudson
  • Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 1, no. 1 (2017).
  • DOI: 10.24242/jclis.v1i1.6

Inclusion BC

  • From the website:

Inclusion BC is a provincial federation whose members include people with developmental disabilities, families and community agencies. Together we have led the movement away from institutions since 1955. We are dedicated to advancing rights, promoting abilities and building awareness as we work to support full citizenship for all.


Final Words & Thank you 

It is a real pleasure to work for your association and I particularly enjoy hearing from the membership about trustee and board work challenges, and accomplishments. It is amazing to think about the hours that are dedicated to public libraries across the province from the over 700 trustees who represent their communities in the governance and ongoing development of what is one of the most accessible, equitable, and cherished institutions in our communities. Those hours? I calculate a rough estimate of at least 84,000 hours per year. That is powerful community involvement, deserving of support, resources, and much appreciation.

BCLTA is committed to supporting BC public library trustees and boards and we do this best when we hear from you. Please respond to our surveys, send in your information needs, submit news and opinions to the Bulletin (next one in March, focusing on trustee orientation and board development), attend the conference, send in a nomination for the BCLTA board, and participate in the AGM. This is your association and your trustee community.

To wrap up this issue, with its focus on access, equity, and inclusion, here is a quote that informs my work.

Networks are really important ways people become aware of and are able to take advantage of such opportunities. And our networks are usually not very diverse or inclusive.Widening those circles and those opportunities doesn’t happen without some intentionality. (Chris Bourg, Director of Libraries at MIT. “Diversity, inclusion, social justice and libraries: proposing a framework“, April 16, 2016).

My intention is to work with the BCLTA board and all of you to widen our circle at BCLTA through communications, influence, advocacy, and by sharing capacity and resources, so that we can better support our membership and make a positive difference in the public library community.

As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing, or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Huy tseep q’u, miigwetch, thank you,

Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to an upcoming Bulletin, please contact us at execdir@bclta.ca.

If you wish to unsubscribe to the Bulletin please click here.

BCLTA Bulletin September 2017

President’s Message

Jerrilyn Schembri

This is my third time starting this message to all of you. The first two times I was attempting to be factual … give you data and stats. This time what I am writing will come from the heart … a slightly broken heart as on Saturday I lost someone I loved very much; he was young, vibrant and full of life and I’m not sure what life will look like with him gone. I don’t know about you, but when something happens that involves struggle or difficulty, I often separate myself and attempt to become an island. I don’t want others to see my vulnerability, my pain, my tears.

As I am sitting here, tears freely flowing, I realized that maybe it isn’t just me, maybe it is not limited to individual grief … perhaps it is also organizational. Maybe not wanting to show vulnerability or difficulties spills over into other areas.

Back at the BCLTA conference I did a presentation on sustainability. Where do we, as library boards, see the library of the future and how will we get there?  Two things I proposed are having to do long term planning (50–100 years) and  being willing to re-create ourselves.

Both long term planning and re-creation require us to dig deep, to see our vulnerabilities and weaknesses, and to recognize that we, without our broader community, are not viable. It is easy to look at our individual libraries and attempt to portray them as strong stewards of our communities, a rock solid organization surrounded by resources, but we have a symbiotic relationship with the communities we serve, and we need to be willing to share not just our strengths, but our weaknesses, vulnerabilities and needs with that community.

Libraries are changing, redefining themselves and I believe many communities are seeing the change but there are still people who perceive libraries as a mausoleum, a place of silence and staunch matronly librarians.

We, as trustees, must be advocates for our libraries, working to form partnerships and making it clear to government that a library is the social hub, learning centre, and the cheerleader for the community. Libraries meet community needs that would otherwise remain unmet; providing a safe place of learning for all walks of life regardless of sex, belief system, age or orientation. I personally believe that the idea of community and library are close relatives and that community engagement and advocacy are going to be what sees us into the future.

It feels a little strange allowing you all to be a part of my grief, but I am learning that I cannot be an island; I am part of a network consisting of my family, friends and acquaintances. In the same way, the library is not and cannot be an island … the library is part of a much larger community … a body of people and resources which will ensure our libraries flourish in the future.

RIP Oscar

Jerrilyn and Oscar

Your Libraries and Your Stories

Readers tell us that the “Your Libraries” section is important for making connections across the province and for inspiring or affirming their own board and library director work. A huge thank you to those who contributed to this issue either with submissions about their library or by pointing to stories, news items and resource links.

Send us stories about your board and your library to execdir@bclta.ca

Spotlight on David Alexander, Greater Victoria Public Library Board – Winner of the 2016 BCLTA Nancy Bennett Merit Award

David with GVPL Maureen Sawa at the 2017 BCLTA Conference Reception

David is a library trustee (in his 7th year!), the Head of Archives, Access, and Digital at the Royal BC Museum, and President of the BC Museums Association. This past spring, he was enthusiastically nominated for, and granted, the BCLTA Nancy Bennett Merit Award. The nomination letter (excerpts below) outlined the work that David has done to raise the profile of GVPL and the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector such as:

  • Being instrumental in the development of GVPL’s innovative Family Pass program which provides GVPL card holders with the ability to borrow free passes to visit local museums, galleries and other community attractions in the area.
  • Cultivating working relationships between GVPL staff and Royal BC Museum and Archives staff that have resulted in numerous programs and promotions.
  • Leveraging his experience and expertise to benefit libraries and their partners across the entire province of British Columbia.  In March 2017, a first-of-its-kind in Canada formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) was announced between the BC Library Association, the Archives Association of BC and the BC Museums Association. The MOU is a public commitment to share expertise, embark on collaborative research projects, explore public outreach opportunities and identify joint funding ventures to strengthen the sector.

GVPL, like other B.C. libraries, demonstrates a unified board and staff culture that is committed to connecting with the community and advocating for public libraries. David along with GVPL trustee Greg Bunyan and CEO Maureen Sawa, even took time out their busy schedules to come talk public libraries with the delegates at the 2016 UBCM Trade Show.

 

GVPL Trustee Greg Bunyan at the 2016 UBCM Trade Show
 
This past August, as President of the BC Museums Association and Head of Archives, Access and Digital at the Royal BC Museum David had the honour of paddling in Tribal Journeys 2017

Key Messages

Many of you have been developing important relationships in your communities and across all levels of government and it makes a difference that we share consistent messaging about the value and needs of libraries while we build a network of influence and supporters.

The 2017 provincial election has provided an opportunity for reaching out to your MLA and the new ministers to talk about the value and needs of B.C. public libraries. The 2018 municipal elections are a year away and with over 700 trustees across the province, the networks and the opportunities abound for engaging, influencing, and advocating on behalf of public libraries.

For the Bulletin, we have kept the key messages brief so that you can use them as they are or adapt them for a variety of communication needs such as for asking questions at community and local government meetings, writing op-eds or letters to the editor of your newspaper, or for social media.

Where appropriate referencing the Libraries Branch Inspiring Libraries, Connecting Communities: A vision for public library service in British Columbia, the July 18, 2017 Mandate Letter to Minister Fleming, the Ministry of Education Service Plan and the Office of the Premier Service Plan will strengthen the message.

Key message points are:

  • The need for annual increases, which are adjusted for inflation, to provincial funding for public libraries and the reinstatement of the Budget Line Item for B.C. public libraries.
  • The establishment of provincial policy for the delivery of public library services in First Nation communities, by First Nation communities.
  • Government commitment to connectivity is needed. Connectivity is critical in the digital age, yet adequate broadband is always in short supply and/or cost-prohibitive for many libraries, particularly those in rural or remote locations.

From You on Advocacy and Community Engagement

Susan Koch, Chair, Richmond Public Library Board 

Advocacy looks a lot like Community Engagement. Apparently Woody Allen said “Eighty percent of life is showing up”. So, members of the board take turns showing up!  Sharing the libraries stories with people. Asking questions and listening.

Community Engagement looks like … Everyone on the board taking turns to show up at library and community events. Each board member contributing their time beyond attending meetings. Being present in our community. 

 

Melanie Wilke, Chair, Terrace Public Library Association and BCLTA Board Director

 

 

For our board at Terrace Public Library, community engagement looks like reaching out to unconventional partners to challenge the stereotype of the traditional library. To celebrate October’s Library Month, we have chosen to partner with both a local brewery and a local coffee roaster to create products bearing our library name and logo. We will be raising a glass (of beer or coffee) and celebrating libraries with our community.

 

Barry Avis, Chair, Vancouver Island Regional Library Board

For our board advocacy looks like …
Whether it’s UBCM, the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) or talking to an MLA, we remove our elected official hat and work as a united library board focused on what is best for the organization. Our goal is to ensure that library services are accessible to everyone, from our smallest branches to our largest centres.

For our board community engagement looks like …
Actively encouraging the public to provide input into our projects and initiatives. From new branch public consultations, to handing out Summer Reading Club medals, to the robust community discussions that informed our Strategic Plan, our communities are at the core of everything we do, and we seek public input at every opportunity.     

 

Kyla Epstein, Chair, Vancouver Public Library Board and BCLTA Board Director

 
Kyla Epstein and Premier Horgan checking out a very well used GVPL library card!

 

Judith Walton, Chair, Pemberton and District Public Library Board 

For our board advocacy looks like ….
On September 6th a number of trustees will be giving a presentation to the Lions Club to explain how we have outgrown the current Library space and our only solution is to have movable stacks and reconfigure the space. With this in mind, we want them to assist us in fundraising by cooking food at our 2018 Octoberfest and giving us all the proceeds. We already have the food donated by the local grocery store.

For our board community engagement looks like …
Trustees spent a day outside the grocery stores, liquor store and at the Library asking people what they wanted from the Library and did they know what programs and services the Library offered. From their answers, and an online survey, we developed our strategic plan.

 

Jeanette Fairbairn, Chair, Elkford Public Library Board 

For our board community engagement looks like a Photo Contest giving residents the opportunity to show off their creative side. Our monthly community newspaper, The Focus, (another Library project) recognizes the winners and the businesses who sponsor cash prizes. Even the Board gets involved when we put out a call for tacky toque selfies.


Elkford Public Library Board wearing their tacky toques and community spirit! 

 

Gord Annand, Chair, Whistler Public Library Board

Advocacy has never been about pushing library cards or giving people a hard time for not using the library, we are all about relationships and being present to show our support for what the library offers our community. Fund raising has been one of the better ways that we can get the library on the radar of people who might not otherwise frequent the facility. The goal is not necessarily to create library users, but people who can articulate the value of the library in the community whether they use it or not.

The library staff is outstanding at community engagement from the customer service interaction to formally collecting input. One great example of this is the library’s community-driven collection. The feedback loop is also an integral part of how the library is programmed and what events are planned. We are currently going through a strategic planning process that was initiated by using community feedback as the foundation of the plan, this is key to the success of the process. As a board, we work collaboratively with our library director, RMOW (Resort Municipality of Whistler) senior leaders (elected and staff) to ensure the library has the resources and support to be able to carry out engagement and meet the vision. 

 

Cynthia Nicolson, Chair, Bowen Island Public Library Board 

For the Board of the Bowen Island Public Library, community engagement looks like the buzz around our second annual “Adult Spelling Bee” on September 30, 2017. This fun-filled event will raise additional funds for the Cove Commons, a joint project of the Library and the Bowen Island Arts Council. Our new addition will provide spaces for Library programs, a gallery and office for the Arts Council, a venue for special events, and an outdoor space for community gatherings. Construction is well underway and we hope to open the new addition in early 2018. Once the Cove Commons is complete, the library will engage with community members to explore ideas for the use of the building and what the public would like to see happen in that new space.

 
The new addition to the Bowen Island Public Library will provide space for enhanced community programming.
 
 
Fierce competition, mixed with lots of laughs, made Bowen’s first annual Adult Spelling Bee
a huge success in 2016.
 
 
The Killer Bees were thrilled to take first prize at Bowen’s 2016 Adult Spelling Bee.
 
Carol Cram (left), Chair of the Bowen Island Arts Council, and Cynthia Nicolson (right), Chair of the Bowen Island Public Library, gratefully accept a $5000 donation presented by Kevin Manning, manager of the local First Credit Union.

Links

As highlighted in past Bulletins at the 2016 BCLTA conference Cheryl Strenstrom shared her research about influence, meaningful connections and advocacy. We continued that discussion at the 2017 Conference, particularly during the Trustee Roundtables Influencing Today, Shaping Tomorrow notes can be found here and advocacy will be a significant focus for the 2018 conference.

Media Attention!

Some examples for thinking about the why what, who, and how of not just sharing, but spreading your message.

Today’s Libraries Are About More Than Just Books

Librarians Support Wildfire Evacuees

Hanna’s Highlight: Libraries are the Future

CBC’s On the Coast with Fraser Valley Regional Library CEO Scott Hargrove

  • July 20, 2017
  • http://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/on-the-coast/episode/13426911
  • Scott Hargrove interview begins at 01:01:22

 

Worried That ‘Truth is Under Siege’, Couple Donates $1M to Calgary Public Library

Douglas Student Union

Resources

There are many advocacy and community engagement resources. The following is just a start as we work on updating the advocacy section of the BCLTA website.

Alberta Library Trustees Association

Saskatchewan Library Trustees Association

Ontario Library Association

 

Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques 

We are the national voice of Canada’s library associations. Our purpose is to:

  • advance library excellence in Canada;
  • champion library values and the value of libraries; and
  • influence national and international public policy impacting libraries and their communities.
  • http://cfla-fcab.ca/en/home-page/

Library Advocacy Unshushed 

Become a powerful advocate for the values and future of libraries and librarianship. Be informed, strategic, passionate, and unshushed.

 

American Library Association

 

United for Libraries

Jennifer Pierce, Chetwynd Public Library Board Trustee
Board Source
  • Advocacy and Ambassadorship
  • https://boardsource.org/fundamental-topics-of-nonprofit-board-service/advocacy-ambassadorship/

Tamarack Institute

CivicInfo BC

Community Engagement Toolkit


Call to Action 

Submitted by Catherine Lord, Chair, Okanagan Regional Library Board

ADVOCACY NEEDED

With a new government now on stream, we, as public libraries, again need to sell our services to the Provincial elected representatives. There are local elected officials as well as members of the general public who, with the advent of electronic books, see little purpose in having physical libraries.

E-books are on the rise. Many see this as the demise of the public library. This is an extremely short-sighted view. Our society is in a process of upheaval and change. This has created fear in the general populace; primarily because there are existing jobs and professions that will be affected by automation. People see their jobs disappearing, and it’s very scary.

An atmosphere of change, however, also creates many opportunities; particularly opportunities that libraries can take advantage of. Societal change creates voids – and libraries are in the perfect position to fill those voids. People are looking for support in job-related skills and support in their non-formal learning. Of course these supports are already available in society, but they come with a hefty price. Libraries can provide some of these services at a much lower cost, and thus assist those who cannot afford the pricey alternatives. In this respect, libraries can act as a bridge between the lower and middle classes. Libraries can also provide spaces for community organizations to make presentations, offer courses, and provide information for the public.

The Okanagan Regional Library is in the process of adapting to change. We are investing significantly more in staff training; freeing up spaces for programming; condensing print collections, investing in community rooms; engaging with youth; and actively seeking partnerships with community organizations.

There are a number of areas where the BCLTA can be very effective in their support of libraries. The primary area is in the field of advocacy. The Advocacy Toolkit provided by BCLTA is directed primarily at Local Elected Officials and Community Leaders; this is advocacy at the local level. This year, we need strong support at the Provincial level to bring our new elected officials up to speed on the changing face of public libraries. We also need to ensure that the level of funding to public libraries is fair and equitable across the board – so that all public libraries are able to access the same pools of funding.

What is needed is a dedicated advocacy panel, made up of a number of library directors (covering all types of libraries), who can put an Advocacy White Paper together. The White Paper would include a brief history of British Columbia libraries, including the funding formulas and the services that were provided. It would also include a discussion on the changing face of our society; the new needs that have been identified; the libraries role in meeting those new needs; and how libraries can interface with school libraries and new technology hubs. Once that is done, the White Paper needs to be signed by all the BC library board members and then presented to the new government.

Trustees are committed to and passionate about their libraries and communities. Trustees Carolynne Burkholder-James (Chair), Mike Gagel (Vice Chair), and Myta Blacklaws, Prince
George Public Library Board

BCLTA

UBCM 

We will be at the UBCM 2017 Trade Show and Reception talking libraries and communities! The Association of B.C. Public Library Directors will be joining us in Booth #308 where will be meeting with convention delegates, elected officials, and hopefully some of you. Please stop by and say “hello” if you are attending the convention.

BCLTA & ABCPLD Social

There will be a BCLTA & ABCPLD social on September 28th. The UBCM Convention gives us a lovely excuse to get-together (in person!) and celebrate the public library leadership of trustees and library directors. Details are:

  • Thursday, September 28th
  • 5-6:30pm (to accommodate that evening’s UBCM reception and banquet)
  • Rogue in Gastown at the Waterfront Skytrain Station
  • http://www.roguewetbar.com/gastown
  • Please reply to me (Babs) by September 24th for confirming reservations.
  • BCLTA will host with some appetizers.
  • Your drinks and any other menu items will require your individual payment.

This is a casual event for library trustees and library directors to connect with each other without meeting agendas, but with lots of library and community talk!

Let me (Babs, execdir@bclta.ca) know if you have any questions.

GVPL CEO Maureen Sawa with BCLTA ED Babs Kelly and guest at the 2016 UBCM Trade Show
 

TOP

The Trustee Orientation Program isn’t just for new trustees! It is for the whole board, including library directors and experienced trustees. Find out more about TOP in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca and please ask us questions!

Upcoming TOP session:

  • October 14th
  • Prince Rupert
  • Facilitated by Joanne Richards

Register and keep up to date on TOP sessions here

If you would like a TOP session in your area, click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, BCLTA’s Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed.

We also provide easy access to the TOP workbook and webinars in the Member section of the website.

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development.  

BCLTA TOP Advisory Committee

The BCLTA Trustee Orientation Program (TOP) has made a difference for trustees and boards across the province. We have heard back from many of you that orientation needs to be improved in regards to access, flexibility, and meeting the needs of trustees in the context of their everyday lives, the communities they serve, and the similarities and uniqueness among the libraries and boards.

We are now working with an advisory committee (BCLTA board, library directors, trustees, board chairs, a federation manager, and the Libraries Branch) to imagine and make happen the next phase of a province-wide approach to trustee orientation.

Most importantly, we are hearing from you – thank you! We have had an extraordinary amount of responses to the TOP Rethink / Refresh You Tell Us! survey which closed on September 13th.

What we receive will directly inform the committee’s recommendations. All responses will be compiled, anonymized and shared back out. This will give all of us a unique province-wide view on trustee orientation. Timeline:

  • Survey closed September 13th.
  • Committee –  based on survey responses, research, and synthesizing of ideas – presents recommendations to BCLTA board at the November Board meeting (revised from previous timeline of October 5th).
  • BCLTA board reports back out (including the survey responses) to the membership in December.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this survey or the work of the committee. Babs (execdir@bclta.ca)


Final Words and Thank you 

The over 700 trustees across this province represent their communities in the governance and ongoing development of public libraries, and it is the role and responsibility of BCLTA to represent and amplify their impact and priorities provincially. This past year the BCLTA has had strong involvement and direction from the membership and appreciates the call for BCLTA to deliver value through increased advocacy. At the end of this month the BCLTA board will be getting together to work on advocacy messages, tools, and actions.

We know that there is more that has been happening, or is in the planning with B.C.’s public library boards, and we look forward to hearing from you about your boards, libraries, and communities. Please keep sharing your ideas and stories!

If you have any favourite advocacy and community engagement resources, tools and tips, please send them to me (execdir@bclta.ca) and I will share them on the website and through upcoming Bulletins.

Everyone is welcome to subscribe to the Bulletin, and all trustees and library directors are encouraged to join our mailing list for updates and other information from BCLTA. As per Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation there is an “unsubscribe” button and we only send to those who have given us their contact information. To update your contact information or to subscribe to the Bulletin, email Jan at office@bclta.ca

As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing, or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Huy tseep q’u, miigwetch, thank you,

Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to an upcoming Bulletin, please contact us at execdir@bclta.ca.

If you wish to unsubscribe to the Bulletin please click here.

BCLTA Bulletin June 2017

President’s Message

Jerrilyn Schembri

Welcome!

This special issue of the Bulletin is in acknowledgement of National Aboriginal Day (June 21st) and is our way of expressing appreciation for, and support to, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA-FCAB) and the work they put into the Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations.

I am so thankful for all the input from libraries … it is amazing to read these stories. There is a lot going on across the public libraries of B.C. and we are here to support boards with their work. I want to hear from you about your board work, please contact me at president@bclta.ca.

 

CFLA-FCAB Truth and Reconciliation and Recommendations
 
National Aborigial Day – June 21, 2017

CFLA/FCAB Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations: A Trustee Perspective

I’d like to echo the appreciation for the effort and results of this initiative. You can see from the report that there is an enormous amount of talent, insights and understanding in our library staff and leaders. There is also a sense of humility and a need to continue to learn and progress: this is evidenced in the call to continue to evolve and update the recommendations on a regular basis.

From a trustee’s perspective I have a few thoughts to share. The first, of course, is to read the report.  It is multidimensional, grounded and aspirational. It gives trustees a glimpse of the possibilities and power of libraries to advance meaningful reconciliation in Canada.

In addition, I’d like to highlight three things from the report that trustees can do, starting now!

  • ensure that our own educational needs regarding Aboriginal history and issues are being met – knowledge and understanding are core to our effectiveness;
  • advocate for library funding for Aboriginal communities (whether they are part of a broader community or on reserve) and
  • explore and implement the best ways for trustees to have Aboriginal voices heard at the boardroom table (this could range from seeking advice from elders to recruiting Aboriginal trustees).

Finally, on a personal note, being a small part of this initiative certainly enhanced my own understanding of how reconciliation can be advanced. For example, I learned about the need for Indigenous knowledge protection and why amendments are required to the Canadian Copyright Act. I was also able to observe, first hand, the energy and enthusiasm from across the country to advance this important work.

Karen Hoffmann
Trustee,
Vancouver Public Library


Your Libraries and Your Stories

Readers tell us that the “Your Libraries” section is important for making connections across the province and for inspiring or affirming their own board and library director work. A huge thank you to those who contributed to this issue either with submissions about their library or by pointing to stories, news items and resource links.

Send us stories about your board and your library to execdir@bclta.ca

Naskan Uxwal, I am Going Home

March 25 – 29, 2017

Submitted by Jane Duber, Trustee
Lillooet Area Library Association

Some Lillooet Area Library Association board members took part in an event by and for Indigenous people, Naskan Uxwal , “I am Going Home” at which we were not only the minority but also more or less ignorant of norms and protocol. We had been told by one of the organizers of this event, which brought the spirits of residential school students home from Kamloops to St’at’imc territory, that it would be good for us to be there, to welcome the Home Comers, and to experience the dynamic of being in the minority and not in the power position. I recommend doing similar things to non-Indigenous library personnel.

Photo credit: Sid Scotchman 

Reconciliation: Opening the Door to Conversations

Submitted by Daphne Wood, Director, Communications and Development
Greater Victoria Public Library 

A new speaker series focused on Canada’s Aboriginal people aims to build a greater understanding of the need for reconciliation in Canada.

Presented in partnership between Victoria Native Friendship Centre and Greater Victoria Public Library, the free, four-part series explores how reconciliation contributes to healthy communities. Topics will include the impacts of colonization, Aboriginal law, the legacy of the residential school experience and arts and culture.

“Our city is stronger when we celebrate diversity,” says Maureen Sawa, CEO, Greater Victoria Public Library. “This speaker series will prompt important conversations about the experience, values and culture of Aboriginal people and show how honouring their history and heritage contributes to a vibrant, inclusive community. In Canada’s 150th year, we’re glad to bring this learning opportunity to Greater Victoria, in collaboration with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre.”

The speaker series is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between Victoria Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.

Speaker Series Information:

Part One: Art and Artists: Critical Dialogues about Truth Telling and Reconciliation (February 16)

This talk at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre examined the role art plays as part of reconciliation in Canada and the effect of looking at art through the eyes and experiences of residential school survivors, Indigenous artists, and curators. Invited speakers included Mark Atleo, Ahousaht First Nation; Rande Cook (K’alapa) ‘Namgis Tribe, Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation; and Kwagiulth artist Carey Newman in dialogue with Dr. Andrea Walsh, University of Victoria.

Part Two: De-Constructing Colonization in Each of Our Lives (May 11)

This talk at the Royal BC Museum explored how we can make space to reflect the diversity, strength and hope embodied within Indigenous traditions. Invited speakers included Aboriginal rights lawyer and chancellor of Vancouver Island University Louise Mandell Q.C. Archivist Genevieve Weber from the Royal BC Museum spoke about the BC Archives’ work to strengthen the Indigenous voices in the Museum’s collection. 

Part Three: Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village (June 10)

In this experiential workshop at Wawadiťła Mungo Martin House in Thunderbird Park (Royal BC Museum), participants will gain deeper insight into the impact of residential schools and explore how each of us can help revive the values that guided Indigenous villages for generations. This workshop, developed by facilitator Kathi Camilleri, was inspired by Jann Derrick and many elders. Kathi will be joined by guest facilitator Yuxwelupton (Bradley Dick), a local community representative of Lkwungen, Mamalilikulla, Ditidaht ancestry. 

Part Four: To be announced. Check gvpl.ca/openingthedoor for more information.

Truth and Reconciliation in Our Community

Submitted by Wendy Wright, Library Director
Smithers Public Library

From the May 29, 2017 press release:

The Smithers Public Library and Witsuwit’en Nation are hosting an event that will address and explore what truth and reconciliation means in our community. The event coordinators aim to begin the process of honouring and revealing the truth of our collective past in order to move forward together and reconcile for the future. Truth and Reconciliation in Our Community will take place on Saturday, June 10th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Smithers Public Library with honoured guest speakers, elders from the Witsuwit’en Nation, and drumming and dancing from Ewk Hiyah Hozdli. …. 

Smithers Public Library staff members have spent the better part of a year listening to community members and organizations that have helped guide and shape this event. “This process has been a powerful learning experience, made possible through the personal connections we have formed over the past year,” says Library Director, Wendy Wright. “It is our hope that bringing diverse community members together to re-examine history in the familiar, safe space of their public library will foster new relationships and broadly sow the seeds of reconciliation.” 

The full press release can be found here.

Smithers Public Library event information page here


BC Libraries and Reconciliation

We know that there is more that has been happening, or is in the planning, and we look forward to hearing from you! Below is just a snap shot of BC libraries and reconciliation.

Squamish Public Library

 

New Westminster Public Library

 

Vancouver Public Library

This is a milestone – the realization of a longtime dream to have a full-service library branch for the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona and Chinatown neighbourhoods. Residents told us how they have been looking forward to more access to books, community gathering spaces, learning opportunities and digital creation space. This amazing new branch – named to encompass the idea of ‘we are one’ in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (Musqueam) language – is a place accessible to everyone in the community to gather, learn, connect, and be inspired.

Donna Macdonald (BCLTA President 2015-2017) and Kyla Epstein (VPL Board Chair and BCLTA Board Director) nə́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch opening, April 18, 2017 

Prince George Public Library

Coquitlam Public Library

  • Third Biannual All Nations Festival – Coast Salish Stories
  • In collaboration with Red Wolf Spirit Adventures Society and Coquitlam School District #43 Aboriginal Education
  • Saturday, June 17, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • More information here
  • Festival brochure

Surrey Public Libraries

  • Supporting the Surrey Urban Aboriginal Initiative


​Image: Surrey Urban Indigenous Social Innovation Strategy: Phase 2 Report
  • This document, along with others on the Surrey Urban Aboriginal Initiative website, reflects community and municipal commitment to reconciliation and recognizes the library as a strategic education partner.

Vancouver Island Regional Library

2017 is Canada’s 150th anniversary, but is also a year of reconciliation.  In recognition of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, VIRL has curated a list of excellent titles to raise awareness, stimulate discussion, and facilitate a culture of learning. This is also a great opportunity to highlight the work of Indigenous authors!

Kicking off in June for National Aboriginal History Month, this reading list will be available throughout the summer.


Resources

There are many online resources available and staff at your library will be able to assist you in finding exactly what you need. Below is just a start on building the BCLTA website section, “BC Public Library Boards and Reconciliation”. Resources include a variety of organizations committed to supporting reconciliation, Indigenous voices and perspectives, and research and reports. In some instances, the resource defies classification or belongs everywhere; such is the challenge when not working with a more interconnected approach to organizing information.

Organizations

Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Reports and the TRC Calls to Action

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba

From the website

As the permanent home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the TRC the NCTR will ensure that:

  • former students and their families have access to their own history;
  • educators can share the Indian Residential School history with future generations of students;
  • researchers can more deeply explore the Residential School experience;
  • the public can access historical records and other materials to help foster reconciliation and healing; and
  • the history and legacy of the residential school system are never forgotten

Reconciliation Canada @Rec_Can

Resources such as:

  • The National Narrative on Reconciliation Report
  • National Thought Table on Reconciliation video
  • Reconciliation Dialogue events
  • Impact Reports
  • Toolkits such as the Kitchen Table Guide for Reconciliation Dialogue: For Individuals, Communities and Organizations

Indian Residential School Survivors Society

  • Provides services to Indian Residential School Survivors.

Kairos @kairoscanada

  • A joint venture ecumenical program administered by the United Church of Canada.
  • Known for their Blanket Exercise Workshop 

BC Assembly of First Nations @BCAFN  

Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) @UBCIC

BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres @BCAAFC 

4Rs Youth Movement @4rsYouth

  • Connecting young change makers across the country in respect, reciprocity, reconciliation, and relevance. 

First Nations Health Authority @fnha

  • Section on Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility is excellent for a board development session.
  • http://www.fnha.ca/wellness/cultural-humility 

 

Research and Reports 

Union of BC Municipalities – UBCM @UBCM

Truth and Reconciliation at the Local Level

  • Resources for and examples of reconciliation and local government throughout BC.

Community to Community Forum

  • Bringing together First Nations and local governments from across BC to discuss common goals and opportunities for joint action.
  • 2017/18 Regional C2C Program is accepting applications for events between July 17, 2017 and March 31, 2018. 

Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) @FCM_online

Pathways to Reconciliation: Cities respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action

  • Don’t let the mention of “Big City Mayor’s Caucus” deter you, this guide has applicability, and an approach, that is applicable to a variety of communities. 

 Urban Aboriginal People’s Study

  • Environics study released in 2011
  • The methodology and many of the insights are still relevant today and the report’s influence can be seen in municipal urban Indigenous peoples strategies such as at the City of Vancouver and the City of Surrey 

X̱wi7x̱wa Library, UBC

  • From the website:

Xwi7xwa Library is a centre for academic and community Indigenous scholarship. Its collections and services reflect Aboriginal approaches to teaching, learning, and research. Everyone is welcome to visit Xwi7xwa Library.

Library Archives Canada (LAC)

National Aboriginal History Month, Government of Canada

National Aboriginal Day, Government of Canada 

 

Indigenous Voices and Perspectives 

First Nations in BC Knowledge Network

  • This is a space for First Nations to share information with First Nations. Some of the resources are open to the public for learning about First Nation issues from a First Nations perspective and we are asked to use this resource respectfully.

Brad Marsden @Bradmarsden7

  • Gitksan Nation, Residential School Facilitator, Suicide Awareness & Personal Growth Advocate
  • Has facilitated staff workshops for the City of Vancouver

Âpihtawikosisân @apihtawikosisan

Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. @wewap

MEDIA INDIGENA @mediaINDIGENA

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network @APTN

First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) @FNESC

From the website:

Our mandate is to facilitate discussion about education matters affecting First Nations in BC by disseminating information and soliciting input from First Nations. The primary goal is to promote and support the provision of quality education to First Nations learners in BC.

Windspeaker @windspeakernews

If you are not already reading Indigenous news, this is a good starting place. From Windspeaker and any of the twitter accounts suggested in this resource section, you will be pointed to other news, current events, and arts and culture resources.

From the website:

The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society is an independent Aboriginal communications organization committed to facilitating the exchange of information reflecting Aboriginal culture to a growing and diverse audience. 

Canada Reads: The Unsettling Canada Edition 

CBC Indigenous Book Club


Final Words and Thank you 

The work of BCLTA takes place on Indigenous land and includes our individual board directors, staff, and membership reflections on and commitment to reconciliation, wherever we might be on that journey. The 2017 BCLTA conference and AGM, included for the first time the acknowledgement of First Nation territory and a welcoming address from Musqueam Elder Shane Pointe . Outgoing BCLTA President Donna Macdonald encouraged everyone to commit to acts of reconciliation in their communities and through their board work.

It makes sense for BCLTA to acknowledge National Aboriginal Day, to promote the CFLA-FCAB Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s report Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations, and to highlight the reconciliation work that public library boards and staff are engaging in across BC. As part of our advocacy work we have consistently called upon the provincial government for the establishment of provincial policy for the delivery of public library services in First Nation communities, by First Nation communities.

It also makes sense for BCLTA to make its own commitment to reconciliation by continuing to find ways to support BC public library boards to think about, and develop actions, that lead and support their libraries on the path of reconciliation.

In our upcoming website renewal, BCLTA will devote a section to board work and reconciliation where we will continue to share your library stories and other resources. We know that library staff in their day-to-day operations are building partnerships, developing programs, rethinking space, and building collections that reflect commitment to reconciliation; their work inspires boards and communities. At BCLTA we also want to share board practices and successes in regards to reconciliation and strategic discussions, relationship building, internal board development, and policy oversight. No matter where you are on the journey, reconciliation is board work.

If you have any questions about, or would like to submit something to the Bulletin, email Babs at execdir@bclta.ca.

And please remember that everyone is welcome to subscribe, and all trustees and library directors are encouraged, to join the Bulletin mailing list. As per Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation there is an “unsubscribe” button and we only send to those who have given us their contact information. To update your contact information or to subscribe to the Bulletin, email Jan at office@bclta.ca

As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing, or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Huy tseep q’u, miigwetch, thank you,

Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to an upcoming Bulletin, please contact us at execdir@bclta.ca.

If you wish to unsubscribe to the Bulletin please click here.

BCLTA Bulletin May 2017

President’s Message

Jerrilyn Schembri

Musings …

When I was elected President of the BCLTA in April I began thinking of all things it would entail. One of the things I knew would be on my plate was writing this column. I began to ponder what I had to say that anyone would want to read, what would be my purpose in writing these articles? Should I write a column filled with clever, and not so clever jokes? (What has a spine but, no bones? A book.)

Or should I write a column filled with serious or not so serious information and data? Did you know there are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the United States? Or, did you know that when you get a book published in Norway, the Norwegian Government buys 1000 copies and distributes them throughout the libraries of the country. The Guinness Book of World Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from public libraries.

After much consideration, I came to the conclusion that my desire while I’m in this position is to have open and honest dialogue with the trustees and library partners.

Why musings? A muse is something or someone who inspires, and the library inspires me. And musings are times of deep thought. And that’s what I hope to make this: some deep thoughts on the nature of BC Libraries. I can’t do it alone. In the small northern town where I’m from, we notice that folks elsewhere in BC sometimes have different perspectives. I want to hear those different perspectives.

I don’t want to talk to you, I want to talk with you. In order for the BCLTA to be successful, I have to do more listening than speaking. More dialogue, less monologue. I’m a firm believer in trying to see things from all sides and the only way to do that is to hear from everyone. So, I would like to hear from you, tell me what is the biggest issue your library is currently facing?

Please contact me at president@bclta.ca.


Your Libraries and Your Stories

We want to hear from you! Send us stories about your board and your library to execdir@bclta.ca

Tumbler Ridge Public Library

Jerrilyn Schembri, BCLTA President and Tumbler Ridge Public Library Trustee

Jerrilyn’s slide presentation was a so well received at the conference and many commented that it needed to be shared more widely. And so, we are very pleased to be sharing it with you.

The Library Board of the Future…Being Resourceful When Resources are Limited:  A trip to Tumbler Ridge 

Microsoft PowerPoint Slides


Advocacy

As mentioned in the March Bulletin, one of the truths about advocacy is that it works best when relationships and influence have already been established. The public library community includes staff, patrons, trustees and community champions and stakeholders, who all need to be talking about, and shaping, the value of libraries. Trustees have a unique advocacy role in that they represent the interests of the broader community and have the responsibility of governance. While the ballots are still being counted (until May 24th), now is the time for trustees to start planning visits with MLAs.

You might already know your MLA from previous constituency office visits, community connections, or perhaps through their support of the library (Summer Reading Club celebrations are great to invite MLAs to!) or this might be the first visit, either as a new trustee or with a new MLA. Either way, working as a team with the library director will ensure that your messages are strategic, evidence based (often information that the library director easily knows and has expertise about), and tell a story. While everyone says they want the numbers, they remember the story.

As well as sharing your library’s story with the MLA, please remember that there are province-wide key messages that we strongly encourage you use.

The key message points are:

  • The need for annual increases, which are adjusted for inflation, to provincial funding for public libraries.
  • The establishment of provincial policy for the delivery of public library services in First Nation communities, by First Nation communities.
  • Government commitment to connectivity is needed. Connectivity is critical in the digital age, yet adequate broadband is always in short supply and/or cost-prohibitive for many libraries, particularly those in rural or remote locations.

Where appropriate referencing the Libraries Branch Inspiring Libraries, Connecting Communities: A vision for public library service in British Columbia and BCLTA’s submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (which also has the key messages with a bit more context) will strengthen your message.

There are about 700 trustees across the province advocating, championing, and sharing your library’s stories. This means that there is a lot of experience to be shared. If you have any favourite tried and tested advocacy tools and tips, please send them to me (execdir@bclta.ca) and I will share them on the website and through upcoming Bulletins.

Prince George Public Library Trustees, Myta, Carolynne & Mike at the 2017 BCLTA conference.

Templates for the signs can be found here.


Reconciliation and Libraries

BCLTA encourages all library boards to share and discuss the recently released CFLA-FCAB Truth & Reconciliation Committee Report & Recommendations.

There are many reconciliation initiatives taking place in libraries across Canada and here in B.C. The BCLTA has decided to issue a special June (in time to acknowledge National Aboriginal Day) Bulletin on reconciliation and B.C. public library governance.

For this special issue we want:

  • Your reconciliation stories, plans, and activities.
  • Thoughts on how reconciliation may be informing your board recruitment, development, policy, process, advocacy and community partnerships.
  • Images such as photos or posters would be great!
  • Links to media coverage or reports.
  • Brief comments on how you think public library boards can support the CFLA report and the TRC Calls to Action.

Please have your submissions in by noon on June 1st.

Please email me (Babs) at execdir@bclta.ca with your brief submissions or any questions about the June Bulletin.

If you would prefer to discuss this by phone, send me an email and we’ll set up a time to chat.


Conference!!  BCLTA at 40: Our Stories and Our Libraries

A huge thanks to everyone who made the reception and conference a place for connecting, sharing ideas, and building community!

We look forward to being part of more events with you and appreciate hearing from you on what worked and could work better for your conference experience. The conference evaluation link (sent to all registrants – email Babs if you didn’t get it) will close on May 23rd. And of course, your feedback and ideas are appreciated any time.

Thank you to the following for being part of the BCLTA conference:

The Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education for their generous financial support of the conference. Without this support the conference would not be possible.

Our library partners, the BC Library Association, the BC Libraries Cooperative, and the Association of Public Library Directors for the variety of ways that you made the event better and stronger.

Elder Shane Pointe for providing words of welcome and acknowledgement of Coast Salish territory.

The conference planning advisory committee: Donna Curtis (Greater Victoria PL), Ron Shimoda (West Vancouver), Kyla Epstein (BCLTA & Vancouver) and Paul Tutsch (BCLTA & Whistler)

YAACS for the “Library in the future will be …” art work by young library patrons from all over B.C.

Lightning Talkers: John Schaub (Vancouver), Donna Macdonald (Nelson) Felicia Zhu and David Carter (West Vancouver)

Guest Speakers: Lisa Freeman (Redefining the Role of Public Libraries), Jenny Benedict (West Vancouver), Stephanie Hall (Okanagan), Tracey Therrien (Gibsons), Janet Marren (Prince George), Chris Ingles (Nelson), Catherine Lord (Okanagan) and Jerrilyn Schembri (Tumbler Ridge)

NewToBC Library Champions who provided an inspirational, thoughtful, and at times humourous closing panel on their experience with the public library and building community.

Jenny Schembri, BCLTA President and Jenny Benedict ABCPLD Chair.

NewtoBC Library Champions!

View more reception and conference photos in our conference Flickr photo album.

There were about 75 attendees over the Friday evening and all day Saturday event (April 21st and 22nd) and a lot of talk about the upcoming provincial election, advocacy, funding, and community partnerships.

The Trustee Roundtable, Influencing Today, Shaping Tomorrow, began with the following questions:

  1. What could we be doing to influence our stakeholders and funders that we aren’t already doing? What else?
  2. What existing relationships can we call upon to increase the influence of public libraries in BC? And who are the unlikely allies for public libraries in BC?

The transcription of the table notes can be found here.

The original sheets of table notes will be brought to the next trustee roundtable for a check-in on our advocacy work and for continuing the discussion.


Annual Awards

At the April 21st reception BCLTA was pleased to present trustee awards to:

Ann Mudrie, Greenwood Public Library Board

Ann received the Super Trustee award for being, as her nominators put it, a “rare gift”. Her commitment to the board was “fearless, determined, competent and effective” and included fundraising, securing grants, overhauling the board’s records and procedures, and learning Simply Accounting.

Congratulations Ann!

Dianne Harke, Nelson Public Library Board

Dianne received the Super Trustee award for being a “fierce advocate for libraries and the fundamental role they play in the health of community.” Her nominators noted her contribution to building the library’s reputation as “friendly and approachable for all people from all walks of life”. They also pointed out her “unique approach of lively and entertaining presentations to local government”. BCLTA is thinking that there might be a future conference workshop here!

Congratulations Dianne!

David Alexander, Greater Victoria Public Library Board

David received the Nancy Bennett Merit Award for his “ongoing commitment and vision for what is possible [which] has made him an exemplary library trustee and his influence has influenced the entire province.” The nomination letter goes on to note that David’s “passion for partnerships and possibilities extends far beyond the communities served by the Greater Victoria Public Library Board.”  Due to David’s efforts, an historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in March of 2017 between the BC Museums Association, the BC Library Association, and the Archives Association of BC that “is a public commitment to share expertise, embark on collaborative research projects, explore public outreach opportunities and identify joint funding ventures to strengthen the sector”.

Congratulations David!

GVPLers celebrate with David Alexander (centre with award) at the BCLTA 40th Annual Anniversary Reception


2017 AGM

The 2017 BCLTA AGM took place at 8am, April 21st at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront, Vancouver B.C.

BCLTA AGM 2017

AGM Highlights

1. The membership unanimously supported the Resolution on the Rights of Transgender, Gender Variant, and Two-Spirited People .

The resolution can be found here.

2. Appreciation for departing board members:

  • Donna Macdonald (President) from the Nelson Public Library Board.
  • Susan Koch (Treasurer) from the Richmond Public Library Board.
  • Manjit Kang (Director) from the Gibsons and District Public Library Board.

3. BCLTA board election results:

Jerrilyn Schembri
President 2017 – 2019
Tumbler Ridge Public Library Board

Arseniy Shchedrinskiy
Treasurer 2017 – 2019
Richmond Public Library Board

Roberta Burris
Director (2nd term) 2017 – 2019
Greater Victoria Public Library Board

Melanie Wilke
Director 2017 – 2019
Terrance Public Library Board

The 10 member board of directors also includes:

David Carter, Vice President (West Vancouver Memorial Library Board), Paul Tutsch (Whistler Public Library Board), Erin Carslon (Okanagan Regional Library Board), Kyla Epstein (Vancouver Public Library Board), Mike Gagel (Prince George Public Library Board) and Ernie Ingles (Penticton Public Library Board).

Please visit BCLTA Board of Directors  for board photos and bios.


TOP and Chairing the Board

TOP is for everyone, including library directors and experienced trustees. Find out more about TOP in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca  and please ask us questions! We look forward to coordinating your 2017 TOP sessions.

Upcoming TOP sessions:

  • May 27th at the Burnaby Public Library, Bob Prittie Metrotown branch
  • June 11th at the Beyond Hope Conference, Prince George

 

If you would like a TOP session in your area, click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, BCLTA’s Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed.

We also provide easy access to the TOP workbook and webinars in the Member section of the website.

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development.


BCLTA TOP Advisory Committee

The BCLTA TOP Advisory Committee begins the work of rethinking/refreshing TOP later this month. This is an important BCLTA initiative that has been prompted by membership feedback and direction – thank you!

BCLTA will report back to the membership on the work of the TOP Advisory Committee. The following is a high-level overview of the board approved TOP Advisory Committee Terms of Reference:

  • The committee will include BCLTA board directors, trustees, chief librarians/library directors, and a consultant from the Libraries Branch.
  • The committee will represent the variety of libraries and experiences that boards may have throughout the province due to location, socio-economic factors, size of library or community and when TOP was taken (as in recently or years ago).
  • The purpose of the committee is to advise on the development and delivery of TOP.
  • The committee will meet every two months, beginning in May/June 2017 and ending in November 2017 with four meetings in total.

Contact Babs at execdir@bclta.ca with any comments or questions about the TOP refresh/rethink.


Linking with your Library World


   The Library Values Issue

This special themed issue of BCLA Perspectives examines BCLA’s stated values, shared throughout the public library community, of:

  • Access and Inclusion
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Diversity
  • Literacy and Lifelong Learning
  • Accountability

 

Libraries obsolete? Not a chance.

Columnist Donna Macdonald says there is more than meets the eye in the library

 

Congratulations Ernie Ingles! 

Ernie Ingles, BCLTA board director and trustee with the Penticton Public Library, has won the 2017 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. Read more here 

 

Beyond Hope 

BCLTA will be at Beyond Hope and we are looking forward to seeing many of you there!

Babs Kelly (BCLTA ED) and Jenny Benedict (ABCPLD Chair and WVML Director of Library Services) will be hosting the session, Boards and Library Directors: The relationship you really want, but are too busy to ask for.

This session is for all library directors and trustees. No matter how you feel about your board and library director relationship, we guarantee that you will enjoy the session and leave feeling more confident about your unique roles and value. 

 

Different By Design – Exploring Innovation for Rural Prosperity 

This conference will take place in Nelson from September 20-23, 2017. 

From the website,

The Different by Design – Exploring Innovation for Rural Prosperity conference explores the unique potential and many possibilities that exists in rural places. The 2017 Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation conference will be co-hosted with Applied Research and Innovation Centre, Selkirk College.


Final Words and Thank you 

The BCLTA board of directors and staff are committed to connecting with you to build a strong association that represents your interests. While connecting can be a challenge for a BC provincial  association (big province, lots of mountains), we take every opportunity we can for in person meet-ups and we are available by phone, social media, email, or some other distance friendly method. Most importantly we want to hear from you.

Over the next month or so the BCLTA board directors will be contacting library board chairs to talk about BCLTA, trusteeship, community building, and advocacy. If you have not recently updated your BCLTA contact list, particularly for the board chair, please email Jan at office@bclta.ca.

As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing, or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Huy tseep q’u, miigwetch, thank you,

Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to an upcoming Bulletin, please contact us at execdir@bclta.ca

If you wish to unsubscribe to the Bulletin please click here.

BCLTA Bulletin March 2017

President’s Message

Dear members and friends,

I’m starting to get excited. I’m sure spring is coming, although as I look out the window at this moment, the world is a snow globe, all shaken up.

Among the many wonderful things that spring brings is the BCLTA Annual Conference and AGM. You’ll find lots of information about the conference in this Bulletin. The interesting sessions planned. The stimulating and inspiring speakers. Lots of time for networking . Tours of the Inspiration Lab at the Vancouver Public Library main branch and a special tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The celebration of the 40th anniversary of BCLTA! Bring something ruby red to wear.

The conference is also when we acknowledge trustees from around the province with our awards. Have a look around, and if you spot an outstanding trustee, nominate them! It’s easy. Details are below and on our website.

We’re also encouraging nominations to our board of directors. The time commitment is not overwhelming – one board meeting per month via conference call, and possibly other committee work for another couple hours. And the rewards? Awesome! Working with dedicated, knowledgeable and entertaining trustees from around the province to guide BCLTA’s work in serving you, our members.

This is my last President’s Report, as I have timed out on my home library board and therefore can no longer serve on the BCLTA board. It’s been such an interesting and gratifying experience. My heart has been deeply warmed by the creative and dedicated efforts you make every day to advance public libraries and serve our communities.

I hope to see you at the conference, so I can thank you in person.

Best wishes for the next 40 years,

Donna Macdonald


Your Libraries and Your Stories

We want to hear from you! Send us stories about your board and your library to execdir@bclta.ca

Taking It to the Streets

Submitted by Roberta Burris, BCLTA Director and Greater Victoria Public Library Trustee

There’s a new van in town. Her name is OLiVe and she’s a 2016 Ford Outreach Library Van adapted especially for the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) in Spain.

Maureen Sawa, GVPL’s CEO always says, ‘it’s about the connection” and OLiVe is helping the library meet its strategic goal to “Invest in new ways to extend the reach of the library beyond existing facilities and traditional venues.” GVPL has built over 100 active community connections and offers a range of programs to meet the diverse needs of members. Getting these services and programs out into the community where more people can enjoy them has been a challenge.

OLiVe makes outreach a snap. Previously, staff delivered books via bikemobile to organizations like Our Place, a community centre for needy and homeless residents of Greater Victoria, limiting what could be carried. And when Literacy Victoria was no longer able to maintain its bookmobile service, GVPL took it on, using staff cars for deliveries. A generous $40,000 grant from the Victoria Foundation lets OLiVe, with her laptop and a Wi-Fi hotspot, offer reference and card services anywhere in Greater Victoria and make regular visits to hospitals, care homes, schools, museums and art galleries.

With her bright and eye-catching wrap, sponsored by Friends of the Library and an anonymous donor and designed by GVPL’s graphic designer Susie Jones, OLiVe is also boosting awareness of the library and what it has to offer.  She’s participated in community celebrations like the Oak Bay Tea Party and Metchosin Days, inspired cheers at parades, and created lively pop-up libraries at community markets and in areas like View Royal and Metchosin that don’t have libraries.

Since her arrival, OLiVe has gone out weekly to extend the library’s outreach and made over 130 visits that reached over 2200 people!  She will deliver library services to ten municipalities and reach thousands of people each year.

OLiVe Makes Outreach a Snap


Advocacy

One of the truths about advocacy is that it works best when relationships and influence have already been established. Visiting with local elected officials across all levels of government and building relationships with partners and stakeholders provides advocates (trustees!) with an understanding of the context, and the opportunities, for driving home their message and developing support for their priorities.

Last year at the 2016 BCLTA conference Cheryl Strenstrom shared her research about influence, meaningful connections and advocacy, We are going to continue that discussion at the 2017 Conference, particularly during the Trustee Roundtables.

Many of you have been building those relationships and it makes a difference as we share consistent messaging about the value and needs of libraries and we build a network of influence and supporters.

The 2017 provincial election is on everyone’s mind and you will want to find opportunities to talk about the value and needs of BC public libraries.

For the Bulletin, we have kept the key messages brief so that you can use them as they are or adapt them for a variety of communication needs such as for asking questions at community all-candidate meetings, writing op-eds or letters to the editor of your newspaper, or for social media.

Where appropriate referencing the Libraries Branch Inspiring Libraries, Connecting Communities: A vision for public library service in British Columbia and BCLTA’s submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services will strengthen your message.

Key message points are:

  • The need for annual increases, which are adjusted for inflation, to provincial funding for public libraries.
  • The establishment of provincial policy for the delivery of public library services in First Nation communities, by First Nation communities.
  • Government commitment to connectivity is needed. Connectivity is critical in the digital age, yet adequate broadband is always in short supply and/or cost-prohibitive for many libraries, particularly those in rural or remote locations.

There are about 700 trustees across the province advocating, championing, and sharing your library’s stories. This means that there is a lot of experience to be shared. If you have any favourite tried and tested advocacy tools and tips, please send them to me (execdir@bclta.ca) and I will share them on the website and through upcoming Bulletins.

VPL Board Chair and BCLTA Director, Kyla Epstein with MLA, Hon. Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education.


Conference!!  BCLTA at 40: Our Stories and Our Libraries

The 2017 BCLTA Conference will take place April 21st and April 22nd downtown Vancouver at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront.

The BCLA conference will be at the same hotel from April 19th through to the 21st and we extend a big thank you to our friends at BCLA for all their help with booking the venue.

What you need to know:

1. A conference is about the attendees. You being there for the conversations and the networking is what makes it a conference. Without you, it is me having a coffee alone. And that is not a conference.

Please register here for the BCLTA Conference by March 28th.

2. BUT, having said that, this conference has a fantastic line up of sessions and opportunities for you to share your insights, stories, and tough questions; so, this conference is about the attendees AND the sessions.

Take a look at the awesome sessions!

3. In case you didn’t take a look, here is a brief overview of April 21st and April 22nd. Details and updates are on the website.

Friday, April 21st

9:00 am – 4:00 pm:    TOP session at the welcoming and comfortable (thank you Colleen Chambers) TSX Venture Exchange, 650 W Georgia St. Register here

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm:    The Critical Role of the Board Chair which VPL is kindly providing the venue at their Central Library.Register here

11:30 am – 12:30 pm:   Tour of Vancouver Public Library’s Inspiration Lab. Thank you VPL!

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm:   Tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery

Email execdir@bclta.ca for April 21st tour information and registration.

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm:   The evening reception will include welcoming remarks from invited dignitaries, Trustee Awards, a special 40th anniversary “Reflect and Project” pop-up art-happening, and time to socialize. And as this is a celebration of BCLTA’s 40th anniversary we encourage you to wear something ruby red and enter to win a prize!

Saturday, April 22nd

8:00 am – 9:15 am:    BCLTA AGM

9:30 am – 10:00 am:    Conference opening remarks from the BCLTA President and words of welcome from Elder Shane Pointe.

10:15 am – 11:30 am:    In Conversation with Trustees: Trends, challenges, and opportunities

This panel includes Chris Ingles (Nelson Public Library Board), Upkar Tatlay (Surrey Library Board), Jerrilyn Schembri (Tumbler Ridge Public Library Board and BCLTA Director) and we are hoping for a panelists from one of the regional library boards (let us know if it might be you).

11:30 am – Noon:   Lisa Freeman, Re-defining the Public in Public Libraries

1:00 pm – 1:20 pm:   Trustee Lightning Talks

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm:   Libraries Today, Building the Future

This panel includes Stephanie Hall (CEO, Okanagan Regional Library), Jenny Benedict (Director of Library Services, West Vancouver Memorial Library), Tracey Therrien (Library Director, Gibsons and District Public Library) and Janet Marren (Chief Librarian, Prince George Public Library).

2:45 pm – 4:00 pm:   Trustee Roundtable: Influencing Today, Shaping Tomorrow

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm:   Our Stories and Our Libraries: Voices from the Community

4:45 pm – 5:30 pm: BCLTA board directors meeting (you might need to know this should you agree to be nominated and are elected)

4. Be involved!

We still need trustees to:

  • Share your trustee experience through a 3 minute Lightning Talk.
  • Arrive informed, full of ideas, and ready to participate in discussions, especially during the always popular Roundtables.

If you have any questions or ideas regarding the conference, or if you require an ASL interpreter for the conference, please email Babs at execdir@bclta.ca


2017 Annual Awards

Is there a trustee on you board or someone associated with your library whose service and commitment is truly “above and beyond”?  Do you know a trustee who has made a real difference to library service in your region or at the provincial level?  BCLTA is accepting applications for three awards for outstanding library trustees and library supporters.  Find out more here.

Deadline for annual award nominations is March 21st.


2017 AGM

The AGM will take place at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel at 8am and a light breakfast will be served.

Regular updates regarding the AGM, nominations, resolutions, proxy voting, and remote attendance. will be posted to the BCLTA AGM 2017 page.

Please email execdir@bclta.ca by April 3rd :

  • If you are attending the AGM in person and require ASL interpretation.
  • If you wish to attend the AGM remotely so that we can make the appropriate arrangements.

Nominate or be Nominated for the BCLTA Board of Directors!

Why BCLTA?

  • As the only organization specifically for public library trustees and boards, we advance public libraries and the work of public library boards across the province
  • We oversee an association with solid membership support, skilled and committed staff, and strong partnerships.
  • We are effective. 2016 was a successful year in implementing our 2016-2018 strategic action plan and we are on track for accomplishing even more for our membership in 2017.
  • This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your community leadership and library board skills as well as the reputation and impact of your library.
    • Directorship of a provincial association established under the Societies Act.
    • Developing a province-wide understanding of public library governance, funding, strategic directions, and advocacy.
    • Working in strong partnerships with ABCPLD, BCLA, and other stakeholders on initiatives such as conferences, ministry meetings, UBCM trade show, and advocacy campaigns.
    • Initiating and contributing to provincial initiatives in coordination with the Libraries Branch which is responsible for the oversight of the Library Act, while BCLTA is uniquely responsible for representing and supporting boards established by the Library Act.

Do you, or a trustee you know, have what BCLTA needs?

You must have a commitment to BCLTA and the membership we serve.

This means you are:

  • Eager to connect with board chairs and trustees and develop your understanding of trustee experience and needs throughout the province.
  • Knowledgeable and positive about the mandate, work, and potential of BCLTA.
  • Prepared to champion and represent BCLTA and our membership to government officials, key stakeholders and funders.
  • Friendly and will jump at the chance to network and pro-actively represent BCLTA at receptions, meetings, and other events.

While all board work is important, it would be super helpful for BCLTA if you have expertise in, or excitement about:

Finances

  • Budget development and oversight
  • Funding and resource development, including experience with grant writing.
  • The fiduciary responsibility of boards and supporting effective governance through financial oversight.

Advocacy

  • Expanding and strengthening the BCLA network, partnerships, and community engagement.
  • Drafting letters, position papers, and consultation submissions.
  • Knowing how public policy is developed, influenced, and executed.

Please use the BCLTA nomination form.

Nominations for the BCLTA board will be accepted until nominations-from-the-floor is closed during the AGM.

Nominations received up to 3 days prior to the AGM will be posted to the BCLTA website.


TOP and Chairing the Board

TOP is for everyone, not just new trustees. Find out more about TOP in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca and please ask us questions! We look forward to coordinating your 2017 TOP sessions.

TOP sessions are being proposed for Squamish, metro Vancouver, Prince George (during the Beyond Hope Conference) and there will be a session on April 21st in Vancouver. Please continue to check the website for confirmed dates and registration information.

There are still spaces available for the March 25th Squamish session! Please join us for what will be a fun and informative day. David Carter, BCLTA board director and West Vancouver Memorial board chair, will bring the group a brief BCLTA update and then will stay for lunch – this is a great opportunity to provide BCLTA with feedback and direction.

There will be a Chairing the Board session on April 21st to coincide with the BCLTA conference.

If you would like a TOP session in your area, click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, BCLTA’s Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed.

We also provide easy access to the TOP workbook and webinars in the Member section of the website.

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development.


BCLTA TOP Advisory Committee

We know TOP is important and that it needs a rethink/refresh, because you have told us so – thank you!

And we are going to do this rethink/refresh with your advisement and input.

And to get you interested in being involved, here is a high-level overview of the TOP Advisory Committee Terms of Reference:

  • The committee will include BCLTA board directors, trustees, chief librarians/library directors, and a consultant from the Libraries Branch.
  • The committee will represent the variety of libraries and experiences that boards may have throughout the province due to location, socio-economic factors, and size of library or community.
  • The purpose of the committee is to advise on the development and delivery of TOP.
  • The committee will meet every two months, beginning in May 2017 ending in November 2017 with four meetings in total.
  • Outside of meetings, committee members can expect to commit between 1 and 2 hours each month for committee communications and tasks.

Okay, so maybe those details weren’t exactly exciting, but this work is important and I promise you that BCLTA committee meetings are as painless as can be and that your role is to have ideas, to advise, and to explore.  All the coordinating, documenting, and lifting will be done elsewhere. If you would like to chat about this or have the ToR sent to you, email me at execdir@bclta.ca

Trustee Learning and Development Project Report

Remember all those updates and invitations to participate in the L&D project? And then some of you even talked with me about trustee learning and development; you know who you are and thank you!!

As you may have already seen through other communications, the report was released in early February.

From our website:

BCLTA is committed to supporting trustees in their board work and as such commissioned, with funding from the Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education, an investigation into trustee learning and development. The resulting report and recommendations are the work of an external consultant and present what has been learned by BCLTA. BCLTA will consider the recommendations and will work with trustees, library partners, the Libraries Branch and other stakeholders to continue to support trustee learning and development. 

The Trustee Learning and Development Project: Report and Framework (December 2016) can be found here.

2016 Annual Survey Results

The 2016 B.C. Public Library Board Governance and Planning Survey Results: A report of the British Columbia Library Trustees Association.

This report will inform some of the questions and discussion at the 2017 Conference Trustee Roundtable.

Email me at execdir@bclta.ca if you have any questions or comments regarding the report.


Linking with your Library World

Different By Design – Exploring Innovation for Rural Prosperity

The conference will take place in Nelson from September 20-23, 2017. 

From the website

The Different by Design – Exploring Innovation for Rural Prosperity conference explores the unique potential and many possibilities that exists in rural places. The 2017 Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation conference will be co-hosted with Applied Research and Innovation Centre, Selkirk College. 

BCLA Perspectives’ ‘’Library Values Issue’’ coming in May

In support of intellectual freedom and other core values of librarianship shared throughout the public library community, the Editorial Team of BCLA Perspectives have put out a call for submissions that speak to the BCLA Values Statement.

BCLA Values Statement

  • Access and Inclusion
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Innovation and Creativity
  • Diversity
  • Literacy and Lifelong Learning
  • Accountability

More information about the submission process can be found here. 

Board Voice and a Social Policy Framework Project

Board Voice is looking for volunteers to be part of this UBCM supported initiative that will include consultations in 16 communities across the province.

A bit of background from the March 1st UBCM News:

In 2014, UBCM membership endorsed resolution B123, requesting that UBCM call on the Premier to begin a consultation on the development of a social policy framework.  The Board Voice project seeks to start discussions on this topic, and ultimately to inform the provincial government on potential benefits of a social policy framework for BC.

More information can be found through the March 1st UBCM News   

New Chief Librarian at the North Vancouver City Library

Congratulation to the NVCL library board on their appointment of Deb Hutchison Koep as the new chief librarian!

VPL 2020

You can find out more about VPL’s strategic plan and framework here

BCLTA liked the tweet from Mayor’s Office!

The @VPL 2020 Strategic Plan outlines the library’s role in making Vancouver a more connected, innovative and collaborative city #vanpoli



Final Words and Thank you 

Our public library trustee community is a fair size, covers a lot of geography, and represents a diversity of lives and experiences. BLCTA wants to connect more with you and your work so that we can serve and represent you better.

We are continuing to build our online community through social media and with an upcoming website redesign. Connect with us on FB at http://tinyurl.com/zzn9dk6 and Twitter @BCLTA. Information moves fast and we are using social media to spark discussions about libraries, governance, community engagement, and social and economic development.

Later in the spring of 2017 we will begin work on our website redesign. The new website will need to meet your needs and we will be asking for trustees to participate on a Website Advisory Committee. This committee will be heavy on expertise, opinions and advisement, but light on work – no coding required.

As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing, or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Huy ch q’u, miigwetch, thank you,

Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to an upcoming Bulletin, please contact us at execdir@bclta.ca

If you wish to Unsubscribe to the Bulletin please click here.

BCLTA Bulletin January 2017

President’s Message

Hello members,

At the risk of going past the cut-off date for this, I want to wish you the Very Best in 2017, on behalf of the BCLTA board. Your important work of governing our BC public libraries continues every day, despite the winds of elections and snowstorms (or rainstorms) buffeting you. Stay the course! We know our communities need our libraries. We know there are challenges. And we have experienced successes. So, onward, indeed.

Your BCLTA board has filled its plate to brimming for the upcoming year. Our three focus areas continue to be: supporting trustees, advocating on behalf of public libraries, and strengthening BCLTA’s effectiveness. Within those areas lie many initiatives and pieces of work, of course. Luckily we have our two super-dedicated part-time staff, Barb and Jan, to help make it all happen.

As you’ll see in this Bulletin, a major preoccupation currently is planning for our upcoming conference and AGM. We’re looking for resolutions. We’re looking for candidates to run for our board. We’re looking to bring together all the pieces that make a worthwhile and engaging conference. And AGM, of course! Oh, and did I mention 2017 is BCLTA’s 40th birthday? We’ll celebrate that, too. Keep reading for more information further on.

I mentioned elections above and, yes, we’re entering that season in BC, leading up to the provincial election on May 9. As part of our advocacy, we have our eye on that important opportunity to raise the voices of public libraries. We need your help to do that! Read more below.

On a personal note, I have just timed out on my home board, the Nelson Public Library. I had a wonderful time (and too many chocolates and cookies), and just want to tip my tuque to the staff and board there. Wonderful people making a wonderful library.

That means that I also must leave the board of BCLTA, as of the AGM when a new President is chosen. I promise to keep working until then!

Warm wishes

Donna Macdonald
President, BCLTA


Your Libraries and Your Stories

We want to hear from you! Send us stories about your board and your library to Babs at execdir@bclta.ca

This month we have two submissions!

Advocates and supporters of library services in Richmond – 45 years and still going strong!

Susan Koch, BCLTA Treasurer and Richmond Public Library Trustee 

The community of Richmond wouldn’t be the same without the Friends of the Richmond Public Library. Prior to 1976 RPL was part of the FVRL system.  The Library Act required a petition of citizens requesting an independent system to demonstrate local support.  The Friends organized, knocked on doors and made RPL happen.

Who are these people?  Just a group of people who love books and the library, I am told.  But how do they keep their movement fresh and full of enthusiasm?

The Friends are known for the two day, twice yearly “Whale of a Book Sale”.  This sale provides a focal point for the members – sorting donated books, planning & set up of the sale, working the sale and the cleanup.  Sounds like a lot of work?  You bet.

The Friends have been raising $25k – $30K per year for library projects.  They are trend setters, having bought the first microcomputer way back when RPL began to offer public access to computers.  They are library advocates, speaking up for Richmond citizens.  They are a role model for all of us who strive to make a difference in our community.

Plus, they appreciate the social pleasure of getting together after the Whale of a Book Sale, having a glass of wine and talking about books!

New members are always welcome. Check it out.  http://www.richmondfol.ca/

Friends of the Richmond Public Library
Photo from http://rpl.yourlibrary.ca/account/about_rpl/friends_of_the_library

Wheel of Gratitude at Smithers Public Library

Wendy Wright, Library Director, Smithers Public Library

Dedicated trustee Corry Tremblay has served on the Smithers Public Library board for eight years. This fall, as her term neared its close, she characteristically turned her birthday into an opportunity to promote her favourite cause.

Party guests were asked to bring loons, toons, and small bills to support the Smithers Public Library through playing a Wheel of Gratitude game. Each donation earned the guests a spin of the wheel, resulting in a small prize or a challenge, such as starting a gratitude conga line. By the end of the evening, Corry had raised $500.00 for the library!

Corry Tremblay (on the right) with Library Director Wendy Wright
Photo from Interior News http://www.interior-news.com/ourtown/301755011.html


Advocacy

We are refreshing the Advocacy page of the BCLTA website. As there are about 700 of you advocating, championing and telling your library’s stories, I am thinking that there is a lot of expertise across this province that needs to be shared. If you have any favourite tried and tested advocacy tools and tips, please send them to me (execdir@bclta.ca) and I will share them on the website and through upcoming Bulletins.

This month we will be adding to the website:

  • A link to the BCLTA submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. Many of you let us know that this letter was very helpful in drafting your own submissions. This year we will be earlier, louder, and larger in our campaign to get the submissions in and the forums attended.
  • A link to the BCLTA letter to the Parliamentary Secretary Larson regarding the Rural Education Strategy and Community Engagement request. We have shared this letter with our colleagues at the BC School Trustee Association. We know that advocacy gains strength through relationship building and coordinating.
  • Advocacy messages that reflect province-wide public library priorities. BCLTA has coordinated with ABCPLD on these advocacy messages. Your library director will have shared with you ABCPLD’s letter regarding advocacy and our shared key messages for the upcoming election.
  • Button templates for you to use and make your own buttons and pins. These were very popular at the 2016 UBCM convention!

For the Bulletin, we have kept the key messages brief so that you can use them as they are or adapt them for a variety of communication needs such as for asking questions at community all-candidate meetings, writing op-eds or letters to the editor of your newspaper, or for social media.

Where appropriate referencing the Libraries Branch Inspiring Libraries, Connecting Communities: A vision for public library service in British Columbia and BCLTA’s submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services will strengthen your message.

Key message points are:

  • The need for annual increases, which are adjusted for inflation, to provincial funding for public libraries.
  • The establishment of provincial policy for the delivery of public library services in First Nation communities, by First Nation communities.
  • Government commitment to connectivity is needed. Connectivity is critical in the digital age, yet adequate broadband is always in short supply and/or cost-prohibitive for many libraries, particularly those in rural or remote locations.

As we move into the election campaign, we will keep you posted on BCLTA’s advocacy efforts and we want to hear about yours. We need to work together for the advancement of public libraries. As always, contact me (Babs) at execdir@bclta.ca if you would like to share an advocacy moment, tips, or resources for the BCLTA website or Bulletin.    

    


Save the Dates! 2017 BCLTA Reception and Awards and Conference

The 2017 BCLTA Conference will take place April 21st and April 22nd downtown Vancouver at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront. The BCLA conference will be at the same hotel from April 19th through to the 21st and we extend a big thank you to our friends at BCLA for all their help with booking the venue and for extending their room bookings to BCLTA conference attendees – very helpful for those of you planning to attend both events!

BCLTA Conference Quick Facts

Theme
This year’s theme, in celebration of BCLTA’s 40th anniversary is BCLTA at 40: Our Stories and Our Libraries.

Dates
April 21st

TOP and Chairing the Board

Evening reception and awards ceremony

  • At the Pinnacle Hotel, 7pm to 9pm
  • Included in conference fee

April 22nd

The day starts at 8am with the AGM and a light breakfast, followed by a full day of conference sessions including:

  • Trustee Roundtables
  • Lisa Freeman presenting on Re-defining the Public in Public Libraries
  • Trustee Lightning Talks
  • A moderated panel of trustees exploring change and the future
  • Public library leaders discussing how public libraries today are building the future of their communities
  • A special closing presentation.

Session planning is underway and updates will be regularly posted to the conference page of the BCLTA website.

Please let us know if an ASL interpreter is needed for the reception and conference. 

Be involved!

Trustees are already involved with the conference through the BCLTA Conference Advisory Committee which meets monthly to advise on the theme, sessions, and the over-all experience of the conference.

We still need trustees to:

  • Share your trustee experience through a 3 minute Lightning Talk.
  • Lead a Trustee Roundtable discussion.
  • Be part of a moderated panel answering a thought provoking question such as, “What is happening now (engagement and partnerships, diversity and inclusion, funding strategies, and succession planning) that is changing the future of trusteeship?”.

If you have any questions or ideas regarding the conference, please email Babs at execdir@bclta.ca.    

  


2017 Annual Awards

Is there a trustee on you Board or someone associated with your library whose service and commitment is truly “above and beyond”?  Do you know a trustee who has made a real difference to library serviced in your region or at the provincial level?  BCLTA is accepting applications for three awards for outstanding library trustees and library supporters.  Find out more here.

Deadline for annual award nominations is April 13th.


2017 AGM

The 2016 AGM Breakfast was such a big hit that we are doing it again in 2017. Who would have thought that a financial report would be so enjoyed at 8am on a Saturday – must have been the coffee and good company.

The AGM will take place at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel at 8am and a light breakfast will be served.

Regular updates regarding the AGM, nominations, resolutions, proxy voting, and remote attendance. will be posted to the BCLTA AGM 2017 page.

AGM Resolutions

The 2017 BCLTA Resolutions Committee members are:

  • Donna Macdonald (BCLTA President)
  • Kyla Epstein (BCLTA Director)
  • Mike Gagel (BCLTA Director) 

Special resolutions are to be received by February 5, 2017. Please send resolutions to the ED at execdir@bclta.ca, Attn: BCLTA Resolutions Committee.

Ordinary resolutions are to be received by February 20, 2017. Please send resolutions to the ED at execdir@bclta.ca, Attn: BCLTA Resolutions Committee.

For more on resolutions, including preferred format please see the BCLTA website AGM page. 

Nominate or be Nominated for the BCLTA Board of Directors!

Why BCLTA?

  • As the only organization specifically for public library trustees and boards, we advance public libraries and the work of public library boards across the province
  • We oversee an association with solid membership support, skilled and committed staff, and strong partnerships.
  • We are effective. 2016 was a successful year in implementing our 2016-2018 strategic action plan and we are on track for accomplishing even more for our membership in 2017.
  • This is a great opportunity to demonstrate your community leadership and library board skills as well as the reputation and impact of your library.
    • Directorship of a provincial association established under the Societies Act.
    • Developing a province-wide understanding of public library governance, funding, strategic directions, and advocacy.
    • Working in strong partnerships with ABCPLD, BCLA, and other stakeholders on initiatives such as conferences, ministry meetings, UBCM trade show, and advocacy campaigns.
    • Initiating and contributing to provincial initiatives in coordination with the Libraries Branch which is responsible for the oversight of the Library Act, while BCLTA is uniquely responsible for representing and supporting boards established by the Library Act.

Do you, or a trustee you know, have what BCLTA needs?

You must have a commitment to BCLTA and the membership we serve.

This means you are:

  • Eager to connect with board chairs and trustees and develop your understanding of trustee experience and needs throughout the province.
  • Knowledgeable and positive about the mandate, work, and potential of BCLTA.
  • Prepared to champion and represent BCLTA and our membership to government officials, key stakeholders and funders.
  • Friendly and will jump at the chance to network and pro-actively represent BCLTA at receptions, meetings, and other events.

While all board work is important, it would be super helpful for BCLTA if you have expertise in, or excitement about:

Finances

  • Budget development and oversight
  • Funding and resource development, including experience with grant writing.
  • The fiduciary responsibility of boards and supporting effective governance through financial oversight.

Advocacy

  • Expanding and strengthening the BCLA network, partnerships, and community engagement.
  • Drafting letters, position papers, and consultation submissions.
  • Knowing how public policy is developed, influenced, and executed.

Please use the BCLTA nomination form.

The following positions are vacant for the 2017 BCLTA election. The terms of office are 2 years.

  • President
  • Treasurer
  • Director – 4 vacancies

Nominations for the BCLTA board will be accepted until nominations-from-the-floor is closed during the AGM.


BCLTA and the new Societies Act

Just in case you missed this!

BCLTA operates within a regulatory framework that includes the Societies Act and, as required, we have successfully transitioned and uploaded the BCLTA Constitution and Bylaws.

The updated BCLTA Constitution and By-Laws can be found here. These mandated changes have minimal impact on the work of BCLTA and will be brought to the 2017 AGM.

Please direct any questions regarding BCLTA and the new Societies Act to Babs at execdir@bclta.ca.


TOP and Chairing the Board

TOP is for everyone, not just new trustees. Find out more about TOP in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca and please ask us questions! We look forward to coordinating your 2017 TOP sessions.

TOP sessions are being proposed for Squamish, metro Vancouver, Prince George and there will be a session on April 21st in Vancouver. Please continue to check the website for confirmed dates and registration information.

There will be a Chairing the Board session on April 21st to coincide with the BCLTA conference.

If you would like a TOP session in your area, click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, BCLTA’s Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed.

We also provide easy access to the TOP workbook and webinars in the Member section of the website.

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development.

 


Coming Up In 2017!

  • Advocacy – provincial elections, budget consultations, UBCM and then very quickly we will need to be ready for the 2018 municipal elections. We will be reaching out to you for action, momentum, and expertise!
  • The Trustee Learning and Development Project report will be released in February and we look forward to discussing the finding with you and working with you on the recommendations.
  • Starting in January we will be sending you a Bulletin approximately every two months. The Bulletin will continue to be a friendly conversation between BCLTA and you. As such, we welcome updates from your board and library to share with the membership – photos would be very welcomed!
  • Starting in February we will be sending you, following the BCLTA board meeting, a brief update (honestly 3-4 bullets!) on the board’s strategic work and how the association is meeting its mandate.
  • We are continuing to build our online community through social media and with a website redesign. Connect with us on FB at http://tinyurl.com/zzn9dk6 and Twitter @BCLTA. Information moves fast and we are using social media to spark discussions about libraries, governance, community engagement, and social and economic development.
  • Later in the spring of 2017 we will begin work on our website redesign. The new website will need to meet your needs and we will be asking for trustees to participate on a Website Advisory Committee. This committee will be heavy on expertise, opinions and advisement, but light on work – no coding required. J

I would like to hear from you with any ideas or feedback you might have in regards to BCLTA communications, and in particular about the Bulletin and the website.

Please email me at execdir@bclta.ca with your thoughts or to schedule a time to talk.


Linking with your Library World

Celebrate Freedom to Read Week

February 26 – March 4, 2017

While library staff members are responsible for displays, programs, and working with their associations and colleagues to build awareness about intellectual freedom and access to information and resources, it is your responsibility as trustees to be knowledgeable about, and to demonstrate through your policy development and strategic planning, intellectual freedom, privacy, and equitable access.

Freedom to Read Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to think about and reaffirm their commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. More… 

Countdown to the CFLA/FCAB AGM

On your behalf, BCLTA is a member of CFLA/FCAB. We are the only trustee association member and we think that trustees need to influence national library discussions. BCLTA will be participating online for the AGM and will continue to find ways to share the trustee perspective with other member organizations.

Find out more about CFLA/FCAB and the AGM at http://cfla-fcab.ca/

BC Libraries Cooperative Announces Departure of Executive Director

The BC Libraries Cooperative (BCLC) today announced that Ben Hyman, Executive Director, will resign his position effective February 13, 2017 for a new opportunity at Vancouver Island University. 

Read more here

BCLTA has very much enjoyed working with Ben Hyman. Ben has a keen understanding of, and respect for, the role of trustees in governing public libraries and has been an enthusiastic supporter and friend of BCLTA. Thank you Ben for all that you have done for B.C. public libraries and we wish you all the best for your new adventure! 

Free speech advocate and long-time Vancouver library employee Brian Campbell dies

Brian Campbell passed away shortly after Christmas from lung cancer after spending his adult life trying to improve the lives of average people around the world. 

Read more about Brian and his contributions to public libraries, access to information, and equity of services.


Final Words and Thank you 

I thought this would be a brief Bulletin; more of a quick hello to start to 2017, than this 3,000 words, and rising, information and planning packed missive. Turns out that this will be a busy year and we want to connect with you with all the work that we are doing.

But, I still just want to say “hello” and encourage you to be involved with your association and to be in touch with us. As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Miigwetch,

Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to an upcoming Bulletin, please contact us at execdir@bclta.ca

If you wish to Unsubscribe to the Bulletin please click here.

BCLTA Bulletin December 2017

Help us connect with our membership and supporters by sharing the Bulletin.

We encourage everyone to sign up for the Bulletin or to have the Bulletin forwarded, as appropriate, to all board members. Please include with your monthly board package correspondence. Thank you!


President’s Message

Jerrilyn Schembri

Warmest Seasons Greetings to BC’s Library Trustees,

Is anyone else just a little shocked that it is December already?  For me it has been over 6 months since I took over as President of BCLTA and here it is December already. This is the time of year when many of us take time out of our busy schedules to spend the holidays with our loved ones, reflect on the year’s activities, and look towards the New Year.

2017 has been busy for BCLTA. At our AGM and conference this spring we elected several new board members, passed the Resolution on the Rights of Transgender, Gender Variants and Two-Spirited People, we talked about trustee issues, especially advocacy and influence, and we heard from some very inspirational new residents of Canada. Spending time with all of you, members and supporters, inspires our work!

Since the AGM and conference the board and staff have been diligently working on numerous initiatives to meet the needs of our trustees province wide. These initiatives include a website redevelopment, Bulletin improvements, a TOP Rethink / Refresh, a Beyond Hope workshop, and an improved approach to the conference and trustee roundtables. We have been advocating for our membership with our new provincial government (check out the Advocacy section of the BCLTA website); attended UBCM and heard so many great things from local government representatives about the important role of public libraries in community social and economic development; and we have met with Minister Fleming as well as having regular meetings with Ministry of Education and Libraries Branch staff. Most importantly we are working on all of this with our valued library partners, the BC Library Association, the Association of BC Public Library Directors, and the BC Libraries Cooperative. As well the Libraries Branch has been a key supporter for the ongoing delivery of the Trustee Orientation Program, our conference, and for strengthening the development and delivery of trustee and board development.

I would like to also like to take this opportunity to thank BCLTA’s unsung heroes, our staff.  First is our fabulous Executive Director Babs Kelly. Babs is such a gift to this organization and it is her expertise that ensures everything continues to run smoothly. Along side of Babs is the amazing Jan Thomas who has been working as our Administrative Assistant to ensure BCLTA’s success for many years.  These two women do such great work … thank you Babs and Jan.

And in conclusion, whether you celebrate this season or not, it seems to act as a magnifying glass highlighting things in our lives. From the BCLTA board and staff I hope the things that are magnified in your life this season are gratitude, goodwill, hope, and love.

BCLTA President Jerrilyn Schembri and BC

 

BCSTA – BCLTA Letter of Understanding

 

BCLTA President Jerrilyn Schembri and BCSTA President Gordon Swan

On November 25th, BCLTA and the BC School Trustee Association signed a Letter of Understanding that outlines the following objectives:

  • To promote collaboration and understanding in matters of mutual interest related to public education and public libraries in a province-wide context;
  • To discuss aspects of the legislative and regulatory setting which reflect the interests of the parties;
  • To provide notice of actions to achieve changes in provincial policy and regulations that might affect the interests of the other party.

The full LoU will soon be posted to the BCLTA website in the BCLTA & Membership section.

BCLTA is very proud to have this formally recognized relationship with BCSTA!

  

 

 

Your Libraries and Your Stories

Readers tell us that the “Your Libraries” section is important for making connections across the province and for inspiring or affirming their own board and library director work. A huge thank you to those who contributed to this issue either with submissions about their library or by pointing to stories, news items and resource links.

Send us stories about your board and your library to execdir@bclta.ca

 

Invermere Public Library: A Community Gathering Place

Submitted by Helen Kipp, Invermere Public Library board chairperson

Representing the future of libraries, brothers Okilani and Cassius Cowles joined in cutting the ribbon to officially open the new home of the Invermere Public Library which is located inside of the Columbia Valley Centre in Invermere, BC. The centre features a multi-use community hall, a spacious lobby, the municipal library, and a public meeting area that can be used for a variety of activities.

Located between the Rockies and the Purcell mountain ranges, the library space is surrounded by windows which enhance the view in all directions.  The new library facility will continue to serve patrons throughout the Columbia Valley.

Interior furnishings and shelves for the library were purchased with generous donations from community members.  The move to the new location was a true community effort that included a group of more than 20 volunteers who moved the books from the old location to the new one in just over five hours.  The Invermere Public Library will continue to be the place where our community gathers in the years to come.

The official ribbon cutters for the grand opening of the new Invermere Public Library that was held on Sept. 20th, 2017 are (left to right) Virginia Walker (representing library staff), Oki and Cassius Cowles (representing library patrons of the future), Al Miller (representing the District of Invermere council), Hedi Trescher (representing the Camenzind Family Estate), and Helen Kipp (representing the library’s Board of Trustees).  Looking on from the background are Gerry Wilkie and Wendy Booth, area directors from the Regional District of East Kootenay.

 

 

 

 

 

Well done Prince George Public Library!

 

October 2, 2017, The Prince George Chamber of Commerce hosted their 32ndAnnual Business Excellence Awards and presented PGPL with the Community Impact Award.
 

October 12 2017, Prince George Public Library Chief Librarian, Janet Marren, with the proclamation as presented to PGPL from theMinister of Education, Rob Fleming.

 

October 12, 2017, Minister Fleming toured the Prince George Public Library with library trustees.

 

West Vancouver Memorial Library

Access 4 All Fair: Let the Library Take You Places

September 19, 2017, In celebration of the library’s new accessibility ramp and included:

  • Celebrity presentations in English and ASL
  • Abilities Meet Up Zone for asking ability-related questions
  • Community Service Providers Exhibit
  • Assistive Technology Showcase
  • More information at WVML and from the Rick Hansen Foundation

Fort St. John Public Library

From the event calendar. Our Queer-Straight Alliance (QSA) is a fun group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited, queer, or questioning youths in Grades 7 through 12. Friends, family and straight allies are welcome! We meet the first Thursday of every month for fun activities like cosplay, movies & munchies night, gaymer nights, maker & tech, crafting, and more! Join our QSA @ FSJPL facebook group to find out what we’re doing this month!

Vancouver Public Library

This item is from 2016, but as board discussions regarding washrooms and signage continue across the province, it is worth pointing to again.

Vancouver Public Library Posts Signs Welcoming Transgender Patrons into Men’s and Women’s Washrooms

  • Georgia Straight, Charlie Smith, September 3, 2016

Surrey Libraries

Inclusive City Cafés

And!

“Surrey’s Chief Librarian Surinder Bhogal Knows First-Hand the Value New Immigrants can Bring to Organizations”

  • Asian Journal, October 25, 2017

 

 

Influence & Advocacy

 

 

Burnaby Public Library Board and Library Director, Making a Difference!

 

CFLA-FCAB

Statement on Québec Bill 62: An Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality.

  • October 24, 2017

From the statement:

…diversity and inclusion is a core value of libraries and central to our country’s identity. Libraries have a responsibility to contribute to a culture that recognizes diversity and fosters social inclusion.

 

BCLTA

BCLTA President Jerrilyn Schembri, ABCPLD Chair Jenny Benedict, and MLA Anne Kang talking public libraries at UBCM 2017.

We have updated the Advocacy section of the website and will continue to do so with your input and feedback. Updates include:

  • BCLTA October 31, 2017 contribution to B.C. Human Rights Commission online discussion “Building Awareness”.
  • BCLTA October 11, 2017 response to Union of BC Municipalities Resolutions B60 and C4.
  • BCLTA October 11, 2017 submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services.

 

Next on our list is updating the Advocacy Toolkit. Let us know what worked for you and what you think needs to be different. Email Babs Kelly at execdir@bclta.ca.

 

Telling the Public Library Story

Government consultation are one way for trustees and boards to spread the word about the value of public libraries and our shared priorities for ongoing public library development.

Provincial government engagement opportunities can be found here.

BCLTA encourages boards and trustees to contribute to the engagement process on BC Poverty Reduction and, as always, to make use of the BCLTA website Advocacy section for resources and ideas.

 

Presenting to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services 

Submitted by Kyla Epstein
Chair, Vancouver Public Library
Director, BCLTA

 

 

On Sept 25th myself and my fellow VPL trustee, Carellin Brooks, presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (the Committee) about the importance of public libraries in BC. We shared with the Committee that public libraries are our communities’ only fee free centres for lifelong learning, for knowledge exchange, for cultural exchange, and for preserving our communities’ memories and history. We reminded them that regardless of whether we share these ideas through books, films, music, or through physical objects or digital platforms, public libraries ensure that everyone has access to information and culture and opportunities to create and share their knowledge and ideas.

We also spoke about the importance of increasing provincial funding for libraries, the need to support broadband in rural communities, and the gap in the Library Act with respect to library services for, and with, First Nations communities. We drew their attention to resolutions B60 & C4 passed at the 2017 UBCM gathering and we did all this with support from the great BCLTA advocacy materials!

When the Standing Committee’s report was released on November 15th we were thrilled to see recognition of BC’s libraries:

  • Noting the important role that public libraries play as community hubs and places to share knowledge and ideas, many public library boards advocated for investments in Indigenous communities. Many Indigenous communities have little or no library services, which inhibits opportunities to learn, discover, and create. In some cases, without specific agreements in place, residents of Indigenous reserve communities may be unable to access nearby municipal libraries, due to taxation and residency issues. ” (p.43)
  • A section on p.55 regarding funding and technology.
  • Recommendations #89 & 117.

We also noted the number of folks, listed in Appendix A, from around the province who spoke to the Committee.

It is an honour to be a part of the community of BC library trustees. Together we continue to work hard to ensure that all BC residents have access to public library services and the resources they need for lifelong learning.

 

How We Vote and Public Libraries

And speaking of government engagement and libraries, it is gratifying to note that the government recognizes the role that public libraries play in citizen engagement.

From the November 23rd media release “British Columbians asked to help shape referendum on electoral reform”,

In the new year, more information and resources will be added to the site, including educational videos and graphics, while libraries will be provided with information kits to help engage British Columbians in advance of the fall 2018 referendum.

UBCM Public Libraries Basket Winner Tofino Councillor Thicke (centre) with Fraser Valley Regional Library CEO Scott Hargrove and BCLTA ED Babs Kelly. 
   

  

 

 

 

 

Announcement! Teacher Regulation, Independent Schools, and Public Libraries Division, B.C. Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education has made some small organizational changes that have resulted in the division, that includes the Libraries Branch and reports into Acting ADM Paul Squires, being renamed ‘Teacher Regulation, Independent Schools, and Public Libraries’.

This is a positive change and a gratifying acknowledgement of the role of public libraries, and the important work of trustees and staff, in BC communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Compensation Study

The BC Library Director Compensation Survey is scheduled for June 2018, with a report out late in the fall of 2018.

There have been requests from board chairs and library directors for the survey to include questions regarding board and library director roles and responsibilities. Contact Babs at execdir@bclta.ca with any questions, comments, and advisement regarding this survey and report.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BCLTA Conference and AGM

We are pleased to be collaborating again with our colleagues at BCLA and here is where we are at with our plans for 2018.

  • As part of the BCLA conference, BCLTA is working with our library partners for a full day of sessions that will focus on governance and leadership on Friday, May 11th.
  • The BCLA conference is scheduled for May 9-11 in Richmond, BC, at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel (7551 Westminster Hwy).
  • The BCLTA AGM and Trustee Roundtable event will take place at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel on Saturday, May 12th.
  • TOP and Chairing the Board will take place at the Richmond Public Library (Brighouse Branch) on Sunday, May 13th.

We will have more information to share in early 2018, including dedicated space on the website for board nomination forms, award nominations, conference updates, and AGM news.

BCLTA 2018 AGM Key Dates

February 10th 

  • Begin receiving nominations to the board and posting nominations to the website. Nominations remain open until closed by the Nominations Committee at the AGM.
  • Posting nominations to the website will end on May 6th.

February 25th

  • Special resolutions are to be received by February 25, 2018. Special resolutions will be sent to the ED at execdir@bclta.ca, Attn: BCLTA Resolutions Committee. Board Committee members will be posted to the website at the end of January.

March 12th

  • Ordinary resolutions are to be received by March 12, 2018. Ordinary resolutions will be sent to the ED at execdir@bclta.ca, Attn: BCLTA Resolutions Committee

April 12th

  • The AGM package, including an agenda and the resolutions, will be posted on the BCLTA website by April 12, 2018.

May 12th

  • The AGM will take place at 4pm on May 12, 2018.
  • The reviewed financial statements will be provided at the AGM.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends of the Library 

We have had a membership request for a quick FoL survey!

Please go to https://goo.gl/forms/JVwFIY5jcKVyzf0B2 and respond to the following:

  1. Name of Library
  2. Do you have a Friends of the Library group?
  3. What support or resources do you wish were available for starting, and/or for the ongoing development, of a successful FoL?

On behalf of the membership we are looking for a 100% response rate so that we have a fulsome and useful report out.

The survey will remain open until February 8th. We will report out to the membership, through the February 2018 Board Brief.

The report will include a list of libraries with FoLs and an anonymized summary of responses to question #3.

You may find the following of interest:

Friends of Canadian Libraries

United for Libraries Resources for Friends Groups (ALA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP

The Trustee Orientation Program isn’t just for new trustees! It is for the whole board, including library directors and experienced trustees. Find out more about TOP in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca and please ask us questions!

If you would like a TOP session in your area, click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, BCLTA’s Administrative Assistant, will respond to your questions and ensure that everything is in place for a successful session. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the session to proceed.

We also provide easy access to the TOP workbook and webinars in the Member section of the website.

TOP webinar part 1 covers areas such as trustee responsibilities and governance versus management. Part 2 then continues the orientation with core board responsibilities such as external relations, oversight of the library, and establishing practices for board development.

A HUGE THANK YOU to the BCLTA TOP Rethink / Refresh Advisory Committee!

The committee members were:

  • Jerrilyn Schembri (BCLTA President, Board Chair, Tumbler Ridge Public Library – municipal)
  • Erin Carlson (BCLTA Director, Trustee, Okanagan Regional Library)
  • Melanie Wilke (BCLTA Director, Board Chair, Terrace Public Library Association)
  • Barry Avis (Board Chair, Vancouver Island Regional Library)
  • Jennifer Pierce (Trustee, Chetwynd Public Library Association)
  • Surinder  Bhogal (Chief Librarian, Surrey Libraries – municipal)
  • Elizabeth Tracy (Library Director, Whistler Public Library – municipal – resort municipality)
  • Ursula Brigl (Chief Librarian, Cranbrook Public Library – municipal)
  • Edel Toner-Rogala (Manager, North East Library Federation and North Central Library Federation)
  • Cindy Ralph (Library Consultant, Libraries Branch) until September.
  • Kyle Armour (Library Consultant, Libraries Branch) from September onwards.

The advisory committee met four times via telephone conference and many of the committee member provided further feedback and advisement via email and individual telephone calls.

The committee mandate was to explore, and set recommendations for, improving the development, delivery, and results of trustee orientation across BC. The committee members provided research direction, document review, communications advisement, and their experience and expertise. As a result of their work, and with direction from the BCLTA Board of Directors, some of the work to be undertaken in 2018 includes, ongoing development of the BCLTA website for the provision of usefully organized and annotated resources for trustee orientation and board development; a trustee orientation checklist; (available now and a TOP manual review and update.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links & Discussion Starters

Perspectives: The Rural Issue

  • BCLA, December, 2017

North Shore Immigrant Inclusion Project

Board Source

Tamarack Institute

7 Things You Can Do to Improve the Sad, Pathetic State of Board Diversity

  • Vu Lee, September, 2017
  • Focused on not-for-profits (not library boards) and framed in the U.S. context, but for those of you having the big discussion about equity and inclusion regarding board culture and recruitment, you will find this interesting.

Social Planning and Research Council of B.C.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Open Research and Education

Here’s an excerpt from the post to encourage you to click through and read more!

In most social situations, I think it’s always interesting to observe:

Who is in the room?
Who is at the table?
Who speaks a lot?
Who has social capital?
Who feels welcome?
Whose ideas are respected and centered by default?

“Diversity as Anti-Racism in Library and Information Studies: A Critique.”

  • David James Hudson
  • Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 1, no. 1 (2017).
  • DOI: 10.24242/jclis.v1i1.6

Inclusion BC

  • From the website:

Inclusion BC is a provincial federation whose members include people with developmental disabilities, families and community agencies. Together we have led the movement away from institutions since 1955. We are dedicated to advancing rights, promoting abilities and building awareness as we work to support full citizenship for all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Words & Thank you 

It is a real pleasure to work for your association and I particularly enjoy hearing from the membership about trustee and board work challenges, and accomplishments. It is amazing to think about the hours that are dedicated to public libraries across the province from the over 700 trustees who represent their communities in the governance and ongoing development of what is one of the most accessible, equitable, and cherished institutions in our communities. Those hours? I calculate a rough estimate of at least 84,000 hours per year. That is powerful community involvement, deserving of support, resources, and much appreciation.

BCLTA is committed to supporting BC public library trustees and boards and we do this best when we hear from you. Please respond to our surveys, send in your information needs, submit news and opinions to the Bulletin (next one in March, focusing on trustee orientation and board development), attend the conference, send in a nomination for the BCLTA board, and participate in the AGM. This is your association and your trustee community.

To wrap up this issue, with its focus on access, equity, and inclusion, here is a quote that informs my work.

Networks are really important ways people become aware of and are able to take advantage of such opportunities. And our networks are usually not very diverse or inclusive.Widening those circles and those opportunities doesn’t happen without some intentionality. (Chris Bourg, Director of Libraries at MIT. “Diversity, inclusion, social justice and libraries: proposing a framework“, April 16, 2016).

My intention is to work with the BCLTA board and all of you to widen our circle at BCLTA through communications, influence, advocacy, and by sharing capacity and resources, so that we can better support our membership and make a positive difference in the public library community.

As always, if you have any questions about what your association is doing, or feedback on what we could be doing for trustees and boards, please let me know.

Huy tseep q’u, miigwetch, thank you,

Babs Kelly
execdir@bclta.ca

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to an upcoming Bulletin, please contact us at execdir@bclta.ca.

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