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! 

    October has arrived with a roar, at least in the north of our province. Down here in the south (I live in Nelson), it’s a lovely autumn with the colours advancing in full regalia. 

    Your association has been roaring busy for the past month. UBCM and BCLTA’s annual retreat always take a lot of preparation. And both were very successful.

    As we customarily do, we partnered with BCLA, the Libraries Co-op and ABCPLD to host a booth at UBCM’s trade show. We came equipped with a slide show and information brochures; a fantastic gift basket for a draw; and a selection of buttons (e.g., I’m Creative – and So is My Library; I’m Friendly, Innovative, Efficient, etc.  – and so is My Library). They were very popular.

    But the most coveted items were our umbrellas, emblazoned with I’m Making a Difference – and So is My Library. In order to receive an umbrella, we asked people to tell us a story about their library. We heard some great ones, and a lot of appreciation for all that libraries are doing in communities.

    Apart from that, we enjoyed lively conversations with delegates and municipal staff as they visited our booth. I’d say the enthusiasm and support for libraries is strong in BC!

    BCLTA and our partners (listed above) also had a half hour meeting with Minister Mike Bernier. We raised concerns about the continuing freeze on library funding, and asked the minister to advocate for at least annual inflationary increases. We talked about the need for broadband in our libraries, even in the smallest communities (or, especially in those communities). And we asked for the minister’s assistance to expand our connection with other relevant ministries, beyond the ministry of education. Minister Bernier was very engaged and gracious, and so he received an umbrella too! Which he loved.

    Barb Kelly and I were also invited to meet with some trustees and the CEO from Greater Victoria Public Library. That was really a treat, and we enjoyed our time with them. We’re always open to invitations! This month I’m pleased to be speaking to the Kootenay Library Federation board at their meeting in Nelson. Our BCLTA board members are scattered across the province, so if you’d like an in-person visit or meeting, please contact Barb.

    On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, your board met with an excellent facilitator and had some very rich discussions about BCLTA and its mission and roles. We will be rolling out our revised action plan over the next few weeks, but be assured our focus remains on service to and representation of trustees.

    We also sent a letter to all library boards, identifying three key elements that will be included in BCLTA’s submission to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. We encouraged all boards to make their own submission, and we’ve heard from some of you that you’re on it. The deadline is October 14, so please add your library’s voice if you haven’t already.

    And finally, we (like you) await the final version of the Libraries Branch’s vision and strategies. We anticipate it will be released this month, as part of the celebration of Canadian Library Month.

    And on that note, I’ll wish you a Happy Library Month and hope you enjoy any special activities planned in your libraries.

Best wishes,

Donna Macdonald
President, BCLTA   


BCLTA Board Retreat October 1, 2016.  The directors (pictured here, President Donna Macdonald from Nelson, Manjit Kang from Gibsons, and Kyla Epstein from Vancouver) spent the day with Southcott Strategy focusing on sustainable strategies for delivering value to the members of 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 a submission from BCLTA Director Paul Tutsch (Whistler Public Library Trustee)

Friends of the Library Re-invigoration

The Friends of the Whistler Public Library have decreased in number and increased in age and so it is time to re-think and revitalize this important group of volunteers. We need to expand the Friends of the Library organization in order to increase the positive impact this group has on library fundraising and advocacy. Creating and maintaining a healthy Friends of the Library Community will take a thoughtful approach.

Our decided approach is to develop a diverse membership- based Friends of the Library Community through annual fees and participation based inclusion. Use of social media channels will play an important role.

The principles guiding this approach are Membership, Influence, Fulfillment, Gratitude and Connection.


I want to belong to something special that has a purpose.


I feel that my membership is appreciated.


My time and opinions matter.


Other people like me are part of this community and we’re sharing this experience.


I’m getting something out of this.

It is our hope that this Friends Community will continually attract new and diverse members and help us achieve our goals of increasing fundraising and advocacy for the Whistler Public Library. 













Libraries Branch Update

In her President’s report Donna mentioned the soon-to-be-launched Libraries Branch vision document for public libraries in B.C. BCLTA appreciates having been part of the Advisory Committee and we thank the Libraries Branch for their commitment to hearing from the public library community. 

The message below isfrom Mari Martin, Director of the Libraries Branch,Ministry of Education. 

The consultation process for the development of the provincial renewed vision and strategic plan has come to a close. We wish to thank the BCLTA membership for their thoughtful contributions. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the ongoing support and contributions from President, Donna Macdonald, Executive Director, Barbara Kelly, and steering committee representatives, Tim Macdonald (Prince Rupert/Northwest Library Federation) and Roberta Burris (GVPL).  We look forward to a continued partnership with the BCLTA as we move forward with implementation.










UBCM and the Library Partners meeting with Minister



BCLTA President Donna Macdonald and Mandy, a strong library advocate and trustee from Elkford. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with you Mandy!

BCLTA ED Babs Kelly and BC Libraries Cooperative Ben Hyman at the UBCM Library Partners Booth. 

GVPL Chief Librarian Maureen Sawa and BCLTA ED Babs Kelly chatting with UBCM delegate. A huge thanks to Maureen and GVPL trustees Greg Bunyan and David Alexander for spending time meeting with UBCM delegates at the Library Partners booth. 
                 Library Partners: BCLTA, BCLC, BCLA and ABCPLD
                 working together for BC public libraries. 

Donna Macdonald, BCLTA President, presents Minister Bernier with the umbrella, “I’m Making a Difference … So is my Library!” 










Join the 2017 Conference Planning Advisory Committee

  • There is still time to join before the committee starts its work later this month in advising on the theme, sessions, and the over-all experience of the conference. Trustee representation from a regional library board and from a small or rural community would be greatly appreciated as we develop your 2017 conference.  And to add a little extra awesomeness to the 2017 conference, it will also be a celebration of BCLTA’s 40th anniversary!

    Here are a few details about the committee:

    • Duration will be October through May
    • There will be one meeting each month by teleconference
    • Meetings will be in the evening (most likely lasting one hour and never running past 9pm)
    • There will be some emails
    • You will be providing advisement to the BCLTA board on what makes a fabulous reception and conference – you are idea people, no arranging catering or doing clean up!
    • The BCLTA ED will take care of coordinating meetings, note taking, and the general carrying out of details and tasks.

    The 2017 BCLTA Conference will take place April 21st (evening reception) and April 22nd (full day conference) 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.

    If you are interested in joining the committee please email Babs at execdir@bclta.ca









Annual Survey

Much appreciation to all of you who took the time to fill out the survey before it closed on September 14th. Sarah Felkar, the amazing librarian at West Vancouver Memorial Library who has worked on past BCLTA surveys, has begun the initial work on analyzing the data. This year, we will be working with your survey input and some additional research to provide you with a governance and planning trends report in early 2017.

Please contact Babs at execdir@bclta.ca with any questions or comments about the survey and the upcoming report. 









Trustee Learning and Development Framework

Thank you!

The consultation phase of the research has come to an end (well, the research plan says it’s over, but I’d still be happy to hear from you) and I am grateful to all of you trustees who took the time (about 30 hours all-together) to inform the direction of this project. As well, there have been significant contributions from federation managers, chief librarians, TOP trainers and many others (about another 20 hours of interviews) who are keenly interested in the success of public library trustees.  I’ll say it again; this input will make the difference between a framework that I think is pretty good, and a framework that you think is pretty good.

The project will wrap up in December and a report will be shared with the membership in early 2017. Email me at execdir@bclta.ca if you have any questions or comments about this project.  









Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services

On September 21st the BCLTA sent a message to all public library board chairs regarding the opportunity to participate in the 2017 provincial budget consultation. More about the consultation process can be found here. The public consultations are already underway, but you have until October 14th to participate with a written, video or audio submission or through an online survey.

The BCLTA’s written submission to the committee can be found here. The priorities that BCLTA decided to focus on in our submission are based on what have heard from trustees and boards. As well, we have discussed these priorities with the BCLA, the BC Libraries Cooperative and with the ABCPLD. We are proud to be part of a collaborative community that is working together for public libraries.

And while we are on this topic of provincial priorities and collaboration, I think it’s time for a quick survey question! Your answers will inform BCLTA directions and work.

What do you want to see different for public libraries in the 2017 provincial budget?

Answer at http://fluidsurveys.com/s/October2016BulletinSurvey/









TOP and Chairing the Board

Find out about Top sessions in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca <insert bclta.ca>.

There are still spaces available in these upcoming sessions:

Nakusp, October 23rd

Fort St. James, October 29th

Cranbrook, November 19th 

If you would like a TOP session in your area, please 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.  









Linking with your Library World


BCLTA is a member of CFLA / FCAB and we encourage you to check out their website as it develops into a resource for national advocacy and programming news. The CFLA recommendations for the 2017 federal budget are:

  • Improve Rural Broadband Internet Access
  • Invest in library services and infrastructure
  • Indigenous education in library services

More about these recommendations and for a full view of the 2017 budget submission go to http://cfla-fcab.ca/en/advocacy/

The Redesigned BC Curriculum: Opportunities for Public Libraries

There has been much talk about what the redesigned curriculum means for libraries. Earlier this summer the West Vancouver Memorial Library hosted a workshop on this topic and they have posted the proceedings to their YouTube channel.

You may want to view these videos as a resource for your board discussion of “what do these changes mean for our strategic priorities?”.

You can find the videos of the workshop at https://www.youtube.com/user/WestVancouverLibrary

October Proclaimed as Library Month

Announcement from the Ministry of Education

Celebrate with us! from CFLA / FCAB  

  • A Visit Will Get You Thinking!
  • Canadian Library Month materials from OLA

Vancouver Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Announcement

Read more about this collaboration between VPL and LAC for enhancing public access to archival records here.

And from CBC, “Trove of historic documents heads to Vancouver Public Library: Move coincides with improved digital access to historic federal documents”  












Final Words and Thank you 

As public library trustees you provide governance and oversight to one of your community’s most cherished public spaces. While at UBCM, we asked delegates about the library in their community and WOW, but they were fierce about the importance of libraries. We heard about libraries as places for connecting with others, learning for school, work and curiosity, feeling safe, discovering new ideas, and participating in community whether as an avid reader and library visitor, a volunteer, or an advocate for library funding.

You and the work you do are important. Let us know how we can better connect with you. You can find us on FB at http://tinyurl.com/zzn9dk6 and on Twitter. As Donna pointed out, we also visit and have discussions! Whenever possible the BCLTA Directors enjoy meeting with trustees and I always enjoy hearing from you.

Your time, expertise, and perspectives are important. However connecting works for you, I will do my best to make it work for BCLTA. 


Babs Kelly

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