BCLTA Bulletin


President's Message 

Dear friends, 

Well, the season has turned. We’ve had a challenging summer in many parts of BC, with soaring temperatures, windstorms, heavy rains, fires and smoky air – the whole gamut! Hopefully fall will be more peaceful. 

I hope you all enjoyed some summer sunshine and rest, and are looking forward to your upcoming work on behalf of BC’s public libraries. At BCLTA, we’ve been busy getting ready for the UBCM convention where we and the three other provincial library organizations will host a booth at the trade show. We’ve found it to be very valuable to engage elected officials about their libraries, and make sure they’re as keen as we are. And they usually are! 

As well, we’ll meet jointly with our new Minister, Mike Bernier. We look forward to welcoming him to the world of libraries, and will have a chance to brief him on our work and our goals, and explore how we can work closely with the ministry and of course with Libraries Branch. 

Minister Bernier has also just launched the new school curriculum, and we look forward to learning more about that and how public libraries can continue to be centers of education in our communities. 

Following the UBCM, the BCLTA board will meet for a day of learning and planning to set priorities for the upcoming year(s). 

Thank you for your support of BCLTA, and as always we welcome your questions and comments.

Best wishes,
Donna Macdonald,
President, BCLTA   












BC Public Library Director's Compensation Survey 

We are busy compiling our 2015 survey of BC Public Library Directors' Compensation.

This year, we are excited that 64 of our 72 libraries completed the questionnaire, an impressive 89% participation rate. This compares to a 58% response rate when we last conducted this survey in 2012.

The higher response rate in 2015 means that we have a more complete and reliable picture of chief librarian compensation in the province of BC. This will also be true when we break down the results by size and region.

We are on schedule to distribute our report by the end of September and look forward to sharing our findings. Our sincere thanks to everyone who participated. 

To view results from previous BCLTA surveys, such as the Membership Survey 2014 and the Planning and Governance Survey 2013, visit the Surveys/Research page in the member's section of our website. 






The Trustees Orientation Program (TOP) is BCLTA’s flagship training program. This full-day course introduces trustees to the provincial context for public library leadership, including legislation and services, community advocacy, current issues and strategies for success.

If your library would like to host a TOP training session, please contact us at office@bclta.ca.





There are a variety of resources available on our website to support you in your work as a public library trustee, including: 

Advocating at the Local Level – A Toolkit: Building and Maintaining Relationships: This 5-page toolkit provides quick tips and strategies at a glance to assist your advocacy efforts with elected officials and non-elected community leaders. Available for free download. 

BoardSource Governance Series
BCLTA has partnered with BoardSource, an international organization dedicated to strengthening not-for-profit boards through printed and e-material and education.  We are pleased to offer their Governance Series, valued at over $150, to BCLTA members free of charge. 

The Governance Series is a set of six publications on the basics of board governance for non-profit boards. All of the following titles are available for immediate download:

  • Ten Basic Responsibilities
  • Legal Responsibilities
  • Financial Responsibilities
  • Fundraising Responsibilities
  • Mission, Planning, and Evaluation
  • Structures and Practices

Tech Soup Canada
Since 2003, over 20,000 non-profits, charities and libraries in Canada have received more than $250 million worth of software and hardware donations. Visit their website at www.techsoupcanada.ca for more information.












Save the Date!  UBCM Trade Show September 23-24, 2014

BCLTA will be sharing a booth with other provincial library organizations at the Union of BC Municipalities Trade Show. This event, taking place in conjunction with the UBCM 2015 Convention, will be at the Vancouver Convention Centre September 23-24, 2015. There will be people to meet and prizes to be won, so please drop by if you’re attending UBCM. We would love to see you!



Around BC

Surrey Libraries Marks International Literacy Day with New Report Demonstrating Monetary Value of a Library Card

Surrey, BC - Surrey Libraries' fourth annual Literacy Day Report reveals that the average cardholder realizes more than six hundred dollars in value with their free library card. The information is part of new research presented in the report which demonstrates the benefits of the library in the community.

Key facts revealed in the 2015 Literacy Day Report include:

  • the total value of benefit provided by Surrey Libraries to the community in 2014 was about $111.4 million;
  • on average, Surrey Libraries cardholders realized a benefit of $610 each;
  • an average cardholder visits the library 43 times and borrows 24 items;
  • traditional print items like books and magazines are still the number one material accessed by cardholders at the library;
  • on average, Surrey residents spend 113,500 hours per week using library resources and facilities.

"These numbers are a sign of the important place of libraries in Surrey and the role they play in providing for so many of our society's needs," said Surrey Libraries chief librarian Melanie Houlden, "With a wide range of reading materials in many languages... programs for kids and adults... and free wifi and access to computers, it's no surprise that the value of a Surrey Libraries card has been calculated at $610."

Surrey Libraries board chair Linda Stromberg said "About 95 per cent of our funding comes from public sources - $16 million dollars this past year. I am, therefore, particularly happy to see that for every dollar in public funding Surrey Libraries receives, our branches provide $7 in value to patrons." 

Surrey Libraries also announced that it had met and surpassed its 2014 Get Carded campaign goal, with 21,112 new cardholders joining Surrey Libraries in the past year.  

Is Your Library up for the Challenge? Nelson Public Library Is! 
The City of Nelson is involved in a Community Voter Challenge with the goal of increasing voter turnout.  Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak has challenged all local governments in the region to try to increase their turnout in the Oct. 19 election compared to 2011. This completely non-partisan initiative is intended to foster democratic participation, and get people (especially youth) involved in our future.                 

In support of the Challenge, the Nelson Library will host an on-site voter registration event on Sept. 16. Volunteers will hand out information on where to vote, ID requirements, what to do if you’re away on Election Day, etc.  Volunteers will also assist people to register either electronically or via regular mail. 

The Library is also developing a one-page information sheet with voting information on it, to be available to everyone interested. 

Libraries across the province can assist with building awareness of the importance of everyone’s vote by hosting voter registration events. Contact your local Elections Canada office for information on how to do that. The Nelson Public Library will help by providing interested libraries with the one-page information sheet.  Contact Chief Librarian June Stockdale at jstockdale@nelson.ca

Success for Surrey Libraries' Soirée: First-ever gala for literacy sells out
The inaugural gala fundraiser for Surrey Libraries' Literacy for Life campaign was held on July 11, 2015, raising more than $80,000 in gross revenues for the Library's literacy programming. The crowd of 300 was entertained by renowned Canadian jazz artist Denzal Sinclaire, following an elegant dinner al fresco in the Surrey City Centre plaza.

"We're thrilled by the tremendous community support," said Surrey Libraries chief librarian Melanie Houlden. "The money raised will contribute to our programs for children and adults who need help with basic literacy. Last year, our programs assisted more than 150-thousand people, and in the year ahead we want to do even more."

The Literacy for Life campaign supports Early Literacy, Workplace Literacy, Diversity/Multicultural programming and Read-Ability Services provided by Surrey Libraries.

To view pictures from this great evening, visit Surrey Soirée on Facebook.





We want to hear from you!

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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