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 


  When I start these messages, I always intend to open with something other than the weather. But I just can’t seem to do it. We Canadians are fascinated (and sometimes frustrated) by our changing conditions, and this month is no different. We’ve had a wild and woolly welcome to winter!

  Luckily our libraries are bright and warm, and provide shelter and inspiration no matter what snowy, windy or icy conditions are happening outside.

  A lot of BCLTA’s focus just now is preparing for our conference, and making sure we make it irresistible to all of you. We’re responding to feedback from 2016 attendees to make the event (and our AGM) fun and fulfilling.

  We also have to remember an important event coming in May – the provincial election. BCLTA intends to circulate some information to our members so that you can be vocal in your communities at all-candidates’ meetings, in letters to the editor, etc. We need to continue to educate our friends and neighbours, as well as political candidates, about the invaluable and enduring work of libraries in building healthy and sustainable communities.

  I mentioned last month that we had a board vacancy due to a resignation. The BCLTA directors have now appointed Mike Gagel to fill that vacancy. Mike is a trustee with the Prince George Public Library, and brings valuable experience and skills to our board. Welcome, Mike!

  I want to acknowledge and thank all of the BCLTA directors with whom I have the privilege to work. These folks are volunteers on their home library boards, and likely with other organizations in their communities too. Some of them have jobs and families. And yet they’ve carved out time to dedicate to BCLTA, in support of trustees, boards and public libraries in general. Very impressive, I think.

  I also want to thank our staff – Barbara Kelly and Jan Thomas. They work so hard on your behalf, with the guidance and direction of the board. We would accomplish very little without them, and they’re just lovely women to work with.

  Finally, thank you for all your contributions this past year. I hope the holiday season brings lots of stories, books, laughter, and warmth.

  And then, onward into 2017!

Best wishes,

Donna Macdonald
President, BCLTA    






2017 AGM












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 Ernie Ingles (Library Trustee, Penticton Public) and Heather Buzzell (Chief Librarian, Penticton Public Library).

Borrow a Librarian at the Penticton Public Library. 

Whether it’s doing your banking, borrowing an e-book, or using Skype to keep in touch with friends and family, digital literacy is becoming increasingly important in our daily lives and can be an enormous challenge for our patrons. While library staff try to help over the information desk, it’s difficult to give the undivided attention some patrons need. 

In response to this need, this fall the PPL launched “Borrow-a-Librarian”. This exciting new service, funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen, has two goals: build capacity in Library staff, and provide personalized one-on-one service to help all patrons. The patron is booked for an hour with a librarian or library technician, and only need to let staff know what they want to learn during the appointment. 

Since its launch library staff has spent more than 20 hours helping people with everything from Windows 10 to setting up email accounts, to Facebook and Twitter. And even our most technophobic staff members are embracing technology and confidently helping our patrons.

Borrow a Librarian at the Penticton Public Library






Save the Dates! 2017 BCLTA Reception and Awards and Conference

The 2017 BCLTA Conference will take place April 21st (TOP sessions and 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.

And to add a little extra awesomeness to the 2017 conference, it will also be a celebration of BCLTA’s 40th anniversary!

The BCLTA Conference Advisory Committee meets monthly to advise on the theme, sessions, and the over-all experience of the conference. Your January Bulletin will have conference updates, including a link to the BCLTA Conference and Reception 2017 webpage.

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









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.

Your January Bulletin will have AGM updates, including a link to the BCLTA AGM 2017 webpage where there will be further information and regular updates regarding the board nomination process, resolutions, proxy voting, and remote attendance.

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.

Nominations for the board will open in mid-January and will be accepted until nominations-from-the-floor is closed during the AGM. 









BCLTA and the new Societies Act

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









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

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.

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. 









Connecting and Communicating

The BCLTA communication strategy 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.

This is a priority for your association and to do this well, we need to be communicating about what matters and in a way that works for you.

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!

With fewer Bulletins, we want to make certain that our members are kept up to date with the work of the association. As such, after the monthly BCLTA board meeting, board chairs will receive a brief update email from the BCLTA executive director regarding progress on the execution of the board’s strategic initiatives.

Our community on FB at http://tinyurl.com/zzn9dk6 and Twitter is growing as we share conversations and information about libraries, governance, community engagement, and social and economic development. @BCLTA particularly likes retweeting and sending shout-outs to the amazing work being done in the BC public library community. If you are a trustee who is using social media, let me (ED Babs) know how BCLTA can connect with you there, or follow us on Twitter and we will follow you. And yes, we like tweets about your cat and morning coffee.

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.   

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. You can find out more about the BCLTA directors here

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

Greater Victoria Public Library Issues Free Admission Passes to Craigdarroch Castle 

From the Times Colonist, December 1, 2016 

Craigdarroch Castle is the latest of more than 120 partners GVPL has worked with to expand its offerings. Examples include a seed library, mobile outreach vehicle Olive and DigiLab at the Esquimalt branch. “We feel more and more like we’re the community living room,” Sawa said. 

Read more at http://digital.timescolonist.com/epaper/viewer.aspx?noredirect=true. 

Why We Still Need Public Libraries in the Digital Age

CFLA/FCAB Truth and Reconciliation Update

From the December 2, 2016 update:

As one of CFLA-FCAB’s top priorities, the Truth & Reconciliation is the first CFLA-FCAB committee formed. The membership of this committee spans all of Canada and includes representatives from our member associations and the library community.  The T&R Committee has a mandate until February 1st when a report will be delivered to the incoming CFLA-FCAB Board recommending further actions that CFLA-FCAB should consider to support Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) peoples of Canada over the long term.

Read more here.  

The Future of the Profession

This post has some interesting thoughts on the skills and competencies of librarianship and may be of interest for your recruitment and succession planning. 

New Chief Librarians

Congratulations to the Burnaby Public Library Board on their appointment of Beth Davies as their Chief Librarian!

From the BPL website:

Her work in this role and others has focused strongly on a community engagement approach to library service. In Beth’s words, “I am passionate about the critical role that public libraries play in connecting with communities, in making our library spaces accessible to all community members, and in meaningfully engaging with communities outside our walls to provide relevant and responsive service.”


Congratulations to the Richmond Public Library Board on their appointment of Susan Walters as their Chief Librarian!

From the RPL website:

Susan is a strong leader and an excellent communicator, adept at effectively balancing the needs of the Library Board and the community while equipping staff with the tools they need to provide great customer service.













Final Words and Thank you 

As 2016 comes to a close, I am grateful for a year of getting to know trustee and board work through your stories and your commitment public libraries; you have generously shared your time, expertise and perspectives through surveys, phone conversations, and emails – thank you!

I wish you all a peaceful and healthy 2017. 


Babs Kelly

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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