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 

Dear Members and friends,

   As we descend into the dark of the northern winter, it’s so wonderful to think of the warmth and twinkling lights of libraries all over our province. Not to mention the books, DVDs, CDs, computers, and wonderful staff found therein.  All help to get us through the winter!

   October was a busy month for your association, as we worked on finalizing our strategic plan (it’s looking really great – you’ll see in January!). And of course we’re not going to just file it; it will be our daily guide as we continue to support and advocate for trustees and public libraries.

   Speaking of plans, you may already have seen the provincial vision document (Inspiring Libraries, Connecting Communities). If you haven’t, there’s a link to it later in this Bulletin. BCLTA was pleased to provide advice on the consultation process as the vision evolved over the summer and fall months.  The board has now reviewed the final document, and are looking forward to the implementation of some of the important directions and initiatives in it.

   We’ve also set a new record by beginning to plan next April’s conference…and it’s only November! We have a committee in place, including some non-board members, and the dreaming and scheming have begun.

   I want to thank Tom Duncan (from Duncan, of course!) who joined our board in May, but who has resigned this month due to shifts in his life and workload. We appreciate the contributions he made. The board is currently seeking a replacement director as under our bylaws we can appoint someone to complete the term.

   Have a safe and productive November. And remember – only five weeks until the days start getting longer again!

Best 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 a submission from BCLTA Director Erin Carlson (Okanagan Regional Library Trustee) and Stephanie Hall (Okanagan Regional Library Chief Librarian).

What’s new at the ORL? 

In a nutshell, new strategic directions, new partnerships, new website, and new buildings.  Over the past year, the ORL board has finalized a new strategic plan, which is aimed at being brief, readable and action-oriented, acknowledging the increased role that libraries are playing in learning, creativity and imagination, and helping us better align with the needs of our communities.  If you’d like to take a look, it’s available here. While you’re there, you may want to check out our new webpage:

Other initiatives over the past year include the finalization of our 8,000-square-foot Summerland Branch, which was recognized with a 2016 Thompson-Okanagan-Kootenay Commercial Building Award of Merit, and we are on track to commence a phased renovation of our main Kelowna Branch (just under 40,000 sf), which will be connected on two floors to a six-story Innovation Centre for tech companies and non-profits. The renovation will involve mobile shelving, the compressing of collections (not reduction, just having fewer empty shelves), and the creation of active learning classrooms and group study areas to help us better embrace our learning and partnership roles. A future phase, we hope will include more innovative features, such as a maker lab or recording studio (and our thanks go to Vancouver Public Library and Edmonton Public Library, who have been extremely generous with sharing their experiences with developing and running this kind of space), but for now, we are very limited in budget and focussing on facilitating the learning spaces.

We are continuing our partnership with UBC Okanagan where they have an academic librarian embedded in our downtown Kelowna branch, and we are experimenting with some research partnerships with UBC at our Vernon Branch, where students have been creating marketing plans for the library as class assignments.  A new facility is being contemplated in the fast-growing West Kelowna area, which will be more like a learning lab than a traditional library, with a strong focus on technology training. Our new strategic plan also challenges us to celebrate Indigenous culture and the diverse cultures of the Southern Interior, so we will be taking some baby steps with that in 2017.

 Award winning Summerland Branch, ORL












BCLA Perspectives Interview with Donna Macdonald

This delightful interview with BCLTA President and Nelson Public Library trustee Donna Macdonald shares some insights on library governance, the role of BCLTA, the Three Bears analogy, and women in politics. After the interview, you will want to read Donna’s recently published political memoir, Surviving City Hall.  


BCLTA President Donna Macdonald.   



Your 2017 Conference Planning Advisory Committee

The committee had their first meeting in October and already the conference is shaping up to be a special event! The committee members are:

  • Donna Curtis, Greater Victoria Public Library
  • Ron Shimoda, West Vancouver Memorial Library
  • Paul Tutsch, Whistler Public Library and BCLTA Director
  • Kyla Epstein, Vancouver Public Library and BCLTA Director
  • Roberta Burris, Greater Victoria Public Library and BCLTA Director

The committee is advising on the theme, sessions, and the over-all experience of the conference. And to add a little extra awesomeness to the 2017 conference planning, it will also be a celebration of BCLTA’s 40th anniversary!  There is still time to join the committee and it would be great to have trustee representation from a regional library board and from a small or rural community.

Here are a few details about the committee:

  • Meetings are by phone, one evening a month, through to May,
  • The committee provides advisement to the BCLTA board on what makes a fabulous reception and conference – big ideas and creative thinking, 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 or have any questions please email Babs at execdir@bclta.ca









BCLTA and the new Societies Act

Many of you are involved with societies or not-for-profit organizations and know that the new Societies Act comes into effect on November 28, 2016. BCLTA operates within a regulatory framework that includes the Societies Act and we are ready for this transition. The mandated updated Constitution and By-Laws will be posted to the BCLTA website later this month. These mandated changes have minimal impact on the work of BCLTA and will be brought to the 2017 AGM.

As always, members are encouraged to participate in the business of BCLTA. Please watch for upcoming 2017 AGM announcements regarding the Nomination Committee and nomination process, the Resolutions Committee and resolution process, proxy voting, accessing the AGM remotely, and the time and place of the AGM. 

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









We asked and you responded – thank you!

Provincial Budget Priorities

In the October Bulletin we asked “What do you want to see different for public libraries in the 2017 provincial budget?” and here are some of your responses:

  • Public libraries are key community resources that drive personal and economic growth. Therefore, it is time for a separate line item for funding and that funding needs to be greatly improved.
  • Status quo for too many years and too many years of "hiding" this poor level of funding under the umbrella of other departments is just not good enough!
  • Restore the dedicated line item specifically for libraries, and add annual inflationary increases.
  • Transparency when reporting the funding going to public libraries (currently included in the educational line).

As well, we heard that Donna’s letter to board chairs that outlined our discussion of provincial budget priorities with our colleagues at BCLA, ABCPLD and BCLC, and how boards and trustees can participate in the submission process, was helpful and a strong demonstration of BCLTA supporting trustees and boards in their work. We also received appreciation for the BCLTA submission letter and encouragement for the BCLTA board to continue and strengthen its advocacy role on behalf of boards and libraries. One trustee wrote,

I would very much like to see the continuation of the excellent work of the board. We have to continue to advocate for adequate financing of libraries. I would like the board to continue to connect the libraries in the Province in sharing ideas and innovations. I would like us to get more involved with the communities. Perhaps twice a year or quarterly publish articles about the work of the board, and what is being done in BC libraries. Thank you.

Annual Survey and the Learning and Development Framework

Over recent months trustees and boards have responded to the annual survey on governance and planning and have participated in the trustee learning and development consultations. Expect reports from both of these community informed research projects in early 2017.

Email me at execdir@bclta.ca if you have any questions or comments about research projects at BCLTA.









TOP and Chairing the Board

Find out more about upcoming TOP sessions, such as the November 19th session in Cranbrook in the Trustee’s Education section of the website at bclta.ca.  There are still spaces available in this session and check back often as we post upcoming sessions.

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. 









Connecting and Communicating

BCLTA is committed to strengthening communications and connections with its members. This fall the board began working with a communication strategy that emphasizes membership service and engagement; information sharing between the association, membership, partners, and community stakeholders; and strengthening the voice of trustees throughout the province. Key to this strategy is the involvement of the membership. This is about how we connect with and communicate with each other, not just about us sending and you receiving.

To do this we need to be communicating about what matters and in a way that works for you. To get started on this work we are reviewing the purpose, usefulness, and schedule of the Bulletin and planning for a website renewal.

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

Libraries Branch Releases Strategic Plan 

From the provincial government website.

Our vision is one where public libraries provide British Columbians with access to the information and tools they need to learn, work, create and thrive in today’s changing world. The strategic plan, Inspiring Libraries, Connecting Communities: a vision for public library service in B.C. sets out our direction for the coming years. Contributions from the library community and partners formed the foundation of the vision and plan. It is through strong partnerships and commitment to our strategies, we will be able to deliver on our vision, and all British Columbians will benefit from access to information that inspires them. 

Read the strategic plan here. 

Taking it to the Streets: Summit on the Value of Libraries, Archives and Museums in a Changing World

The summit will be in Ottawa on December 5th and 6th.

From the summit abstract:

We live in digital times, when memory itself might seem unnecessary. But memory institutions are not dead; they are not even gasping for air.

Read more here. 

Library and Archives Canada Announcement

On November 3rd LAC announced a new database with enhanced access to over 600 digitized Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples documents.

“When I first arrived at Library and Archives Canada, I said that our fundamental mission was to help Canadians know themselves. As we continue to enhance access to our history, notably by launching digitization initiatives like this one, we contribute to fostering an environment where genuine reconciliation can happen.” – Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada

More information here. 

Ottawa Public Library Releases Economic Benefits Study

The study focused on impact, return on investment, and direct and indirect benefits to the community and to individuals.

The report can be found here

2016 Imagine BC Winner Report

The final report from the 2016 Imagine BC Winner, LinkVan, a website project designed to connect residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) with nearby resources, is available here from BCLC.

Imagine BC is a partnership project from BCLC, Irving K Barber Learning Centre at UBC and Simon Fraser University Library.












Final Words and Thank you 

With the work on strategic priorities, a policy refresh, and a website redesign, the upcoming year is looking like a time of review and renewal. And this is perfect for an association that will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017!  Don’t forget to save April 21st and 22nd in your calendars for the BCLTA reception and conference.

Our community on FB at http://tinyurl.com/zzn9dk6 and Twitter is growing as we share conversations and information about libraries, governance, community engagement, social and economic development, and the occasional library cat video.

We also know that communicating and connecting isn’t just about social media and online experiences. Whenever possible the BCLTA Directors enjoy meeting with trustees in person and look forward to receiving invitations to your meetings and events.

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

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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