BCLTA Bulletin




You are receiving this Bulletin because you are either your library board chair or the chief librarian. BCLTA and your trustees rely on you to circulate the Bulletin to all of your trustees. Please forward it by email or print and include with your monthly board package correspondence. Thank you for your assistance in helping BCLTA serve all its members.



President's Message 

Hello everyone,

This Bulletin is a full one, so I hope you can find a few minutes to read through it. In particular, there’s a lot of information about our upcoming conference, which is going to be really fun, interesting and inspiring. We’ve chosen the theme Libraries Connect! – because we know that’s an important role for us, and we do it in many ways. Our workshop sessions will explore some of those connections, and offer stimulating ideas as well as practical applications.

Along with the conference, we’ll be holding our annual general meeting, our chance to report to you our members on what we’ve been up to as your association and what we see coming up in the next year.  We will be holding elections for some vacancies on the BCLTA board.  It’s an exciting time for BCLTA, so if you’d like to get involved at the provincial level, here’s your chance. We’ll provide more details in the coming weeks.

Another important activity at the conference is the presentation of trustee awards. There are three different awards to be presented, and we’d love to have you nominate someone from your board. Please see more details and the nomination form on our website. The deadline is April 30.

We are hoping for a large turnout at our conference, as it’s just a great opportunity for learning. Please discuss this with your board; we hope to see a trustee from your library at the conference!

Warm Regards

Donna Macdonald,
President, BCLTA   






















Executive Director's Message

I can’t believe its February and that I have now been with BCLTA for a full month. And what a great month it has been as we close out our fiscal year (thank you Jan and our super Treasurer Susan), build your conference, get ready to join our association partners (BLCA, ABCPLD, and the BC Libraries Cooperative) in a meeting with Deputy Minister Byng in March, and connect with you about what you need from your association.

I really appreciate hearing from you and I apologize that we had some phone glitches as we switched over our phone lines. All is fixed now and we are getting your important messages – thank you!

I hope everyone found some time to enjoy Family Day, even if it was just a quick moment to think about all the ways that public libraries support and serve the incredible diversity of families and their needs and dreams in BC. When I think about all the different types of families and the variety of folk it takes to make a family, there is no doubt in my mind that public libraries are relevant and will continue to be relevant as we meet their need to connect with ideas, creativity, learning, and with each other. We have a few stories below about your libraries that are making a difference for families in their communities.

Our conference planning for Libraries Connect! is well underway and I am very much looking forward to meeting many of you there.  The conference is a unique event for meeting trustees from all over the province and to go back home connected with others, who just like you, are committed to public libraries and to the communities they serve.

Please be in touch and let me know how we can, as your association, better understand and meet your membership needs. 







2016 Conference

Libraries Connect!

May 13th and 14th

Sheraton Vancouver Airport, May 13th (evening) and 14th (all day), Westminster room.

We know libraries connect in many ways and in diverse directions, and our goal at the conference is to provide you with inspiration, ideas and tools to assist you in the connecting work of your library.

We are very pleased that Cheryl Stenstrom will be our keynote speaker on Saturday morning. Cheryl is a recognized library thought-leader, based in BC. She has worked extensively with public libraries across Canada as a CEO, researcher, mentor, consultant, and workshop facilitator. Cheryl teaches Research Methods, Library Management, and Advocacy at the School of Information at San José State University where she is also the Assistant Coordinator of the San José Gateway PhD program. Cheryl's research on social influence and political decision-making, and how that affects funding for libraries, is a perfect fit with our conference theme. We look forward to Cheryl getting us started on what will be a very full day of thinking, sharing ideas and stories, and of course, connecting with each other.

We will start the conference with a Friday evening Reception where you can mingle and connect with other trustees, as well as library supporters and staff. To put your conversations in high gear we will be hosting Trustee Lightning Talks. These talks will be fast (like lightning) and will spark your curiosity and imagination about how Libraries Connect!

During the day on Friday, we will also be offering a TOP session and a Chairing the Board session at nearby Richmond Public Library.

Saturday will be a busy day of coffee, breakfast, coffee, lunch and more coffee! And sessions, such as:

  • Connecting through Leadership: recruiting, hiring and supporting leadership competencies at your library.
  • Connecting with Regional Library Trustees: a roundtable discussion for regional library trustees to share their experiences, challenges, and success stories.
  • Connecting with Community: a lively discussion with placemaking experts and library community connectors to talk about your libraries as places of gathering, creating and sharing.
  • Connecting through Knowledge and Culture: a panel discussion on education transformation and how public libraries contribute to school success. Of particular interest, in regards to Reconciliation and the TRC Recommendations, will be information on the Indigenization of education in BC.

All of this plus the lunchtime awards ceremony, Trustees Roundtable, and the AGM! More details to follow.

A few conference details:

  • Regional Library Trustees, please email Barbara at execdir@bcla.ca with what you would like to discuss and achieve during your session Connecting with Regional Library Trustees. We want to support this unique opportunity to meet with other regional library trustees from across the province.
  • Trustee Lightning Talks.  We know you have stories, ideas, and library trustee wisdom to share and we want to give you four minutes of fame to do so. In four minutes you can be inspiring, funny, heart wrenching, or instructive. All we ask is that you talk about your work as a trustee and your library. If you have a Trustee Lightning Talk that is burning up inside you, or questions about the Trustee Lightning Talk, email Barbara at execdir@bcla.ca.
  • Further information on the conference, including registration, will be on our BCLTA website in March. The 2016 conference fee will be $135 (includes Reception, but not Friday TOP and Chairing the Board sessions) 
  • As with last year, you are able to reserve a room at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel and receive the BCLA Conference discount rate. There is a limited block of rooms (they will go quickly!) and reservations must be made by April 14th, 2016.

The rooms are $155 per night based on double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. Rates are for traditional guest rooms, with the option of 1 King or 2 Queen beds. To reserve, call 1-800-663-0299.











Board Chairs and BCLTA Reps

In March be on the lookout for the electronic 'Update' form from Jan. This form is for updating contact information for your directors, board chairs, and trustees. We need this to keep in touch with you!











TOP and Chairing the Board

Big News! The TOP Webinar Part 2 is now available in the Members section of the website!

Part 1 covered 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.

As well, BCLTA is offering three TOP sessions in the near future, with trainer Colleen Chambers and Andy Ackerman:

  • March 12, 2016 at Surrey Public Library
  • April 23, 2016 at Chetwynd Public Library
  • May 13, 2016 at the Richmond Public Library (registration to open in March).

The Critical Role of the Board Chair (Chairing the Board) will also be offered on May 13, 2016 at the Richmond Public Library and will be conducted by Denise Baker from Vantage Point (registration to open in March).

Being a public library trustee is important and we know that these sessions make a positive difference to your board and library. Don’t forget to share the information and what you have learned with other trustees.

To find out more about TOP training and to register, please visit our website bclta.ca/trustee-education. If you would like a TOP session in your area, please click on the “Request a Training Session” link and Jan, our 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. It’s affordable! It’s enjoyable! It’s valuable!











Linking with your Library World

Results of the CLA Special General Meeting

Today the Canadian Library Association (CLA) took the first formal step to establish a new unified national library advocacy organization. More… 

Reports and Plans

We all want to know what other boards are up to and so each month we will bring you a few select links. BC is large, diverse, and has over 700 trustees – we have much to learn from each other!

Vancouver Island Regional Library Board of Trustees, From the Board Table (January 16th Edition) 

Fort Nelson Public Library Strategic Plan, 2015 - 2018

New Westminster Public Library Strategic Plan, 2015 - 2018

Tumbler Ridge Public Library

Many of you will know about this, but just in case …

From the Tumbler Ridge News, “An apple for student, too”. (November 13, 2015)

It’s 2:30 at the library, and the lights are out. A group of kids are gathered around the projector screen as the opening credits for the movie Tomorrowland begins. One of the kids walks backs to the circulation desk and looks at a selection of food: yogurt tubs, bananas, granola bars. After a moment’s consideration, he grabs a granola bar and heads back to watch the movie.

Welcome to the new After School program at the library. Head Librarian Paula Coutts says the program was started after some discussion about the fact that there were kids around town who didn’t have enough to eat at home. More…  

Greater Victoria Public Library

Skill Builders Adaptive Toys is an exciting and innovative program for families. GVPL describes it as “Fun toys, specially selected for kids with developmental and physical challenges, great for all families!” Find out more at gvpl.ca.

Fraser Valley Regional Library

We all know that families reading together makes a difference to school readiness and success and is an enjoyable way to carve out some special time in busy family schedules. And now FVRL is helping families track and celebrate their reading with 1000 Stories Before Kindergarten.











Board Development Resources

We will regularly share a few resources to support your trustee and board development.

Vantage Point and the new Societies Act

Work Safe BC, Bullying and Harrasment

DiverseCity onBoard











Final Words and Thank you

This issue of the Bulletin was a little lengthy as we have so much that we want to connect with you about.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and for discussing the role and work of BCLTA with your board members.

BCLTA is membership driven and our mandate is about you and what you do for your communities and public libraries.  Please be in touch as nothing makes my work as the ED more worthwhile than receiving emails from you about your work and membership needs.

Kind regards and miigwetch,

Barbara Kelly

If you have feedback about this Bulletin or would like to contribute an item to the Around BC news, please contact us at bulletin@bclta.ca.









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