AGM Notification

The 2018 AGM of the NWT Library Association will be held on Saturday, February 17 at 1:00 pm in the Yellowknife Public Library meeting room. Membership forms are available here (and at the meeting) and fees have not changed. New members are always welcome, so please feel free to pass this message along to colleagues who are not currently members. Any library and archives workers and supporters of those are invited to attend and join. Institutional memberships are also available.

We will be holding elections for the Executive this year. All positions are up for election and we need at least one new Executive member, as John and Trish are both stepping down. (Louise and Elizabeth have reached the end of their current two-year terms and intend to run for re-election.)

Please let Elizabeth know if you have any nominations or any agenda items to bring forward. Elizabeth will send out an agenda later this month, along with a proxy form for those who can’t attend.

The NWTLA Gumboot Rally Team Hosts Successful Book and Bake Sale

NWTLA Gumboot Rally team – Seussmania – held a Book & Bake sale at Centre Square Mall on Saturday, October 6, 2017. Seussmania team members – Elizabeth Ferch, Francine Dennis, Erin Palmer, Trudy Joosse, Louise Boettger and Brenda MacLeod – baked an assortment of cookies, cupcakes, etc. Funds raised – $447.50 – support the Gumboot Rally held each spring. Gumboot Rally supports The Yellowknife Association for Community Living.

The NWTLA Seussmania team thanks Yellowknife citizens for participating by purchasing bake sale items and/or donating money and a big thank you to friends who baked for the bake sale.

See you in the spring 2018 at Gumboot Rally.

-Brenda MacLeod

Aviva Contest – A Healthier Library, A Healthier You!

Voting for Aviva has officially begun! I hope you will consider casting a vote for the Yellowknife Public Library. We believe our holistically healthy public library idea is the first of its kind in Canada and will reap positive benefits for the entire community: (you will need to register the first time, but you can cast up to 18 votes).

Also, please help spread the word to your friends and through your social media channels. You may use the link above and/or this video:

Thank-you in advance for any support you may give!

-A message from John Mutford, Library Manager

Farewell and Congratulations to Vera Raschke

What a loss to Yellowknife!! So sad to see you go, Vera! But of course we we wish you the very best in your new home.

We know Vera will bring the same enthusiasm and attention to detail that we have admired so much, to all her new ventures.

Vera arrived here approximately 30 years ago, working for the Government In-Service Library, which eventually became the Legislative Library with the transition largely on Vera’s more than capable shoulders. The Legislative Library was right downtown, on the ground floor of the Laing Building, and it was very accessible and welcoming to all. Patrons never hesitated to ask for materials and advice. Vera was always ready with a quick answer and if a question required further research, she never hesitated to take the time to come up with the results. And so she continued, when she moved to her grander quarters in the Legislative Building. Nothing was ever too much trouble, and she made sure that her staff followed the same ethos. She never made anyone feel like they were wasting her time!

In her spare time, Vera has participated to the full, wherever she is needed. When Tai Chi does the dinner for the Seniors Society AGM, she is right there shopping and peeling potatoes. When the NWT Library Association does a barbecue for the NorthWords festival, Vera is on the spot, shopping, flipping burgers, and greeting all and sundry. When we clean up the park, Vera dons her gloves and stoops to fill her garbage bag. Fundraisers like the Gumboot Rally see her wearing her Tai Chi Tigers outfit, willingly playing silly games.

Thank you, Vera, for your many years of commitment to excellence, and volunteering your time.

(Thank-you to Carolynn and Janet for contributing to this post.)



Attending the Rural Libraries Conference at Grande Prairie

In September, I had the opportunity to attend the Rural Libraries Conference in Grande Prairie. The conference featured a variety of sessions on public librarianship with a focus on small libraries and rural settings. I wanted to share some of things I learned and ideas I picked up during my time there.


Richard Van Camp’s Keynote

Always an engaging speaker Richard Van Camp did not disappoint with a charming, wide ranging, and thoughtful keynote. One of my favourite ideas he shared was the community calendar. He gave the example of Fort Smith where the community has created a calendar based on local knowledge with information about the land, the changing seasons, birthdays, and even when the NHL starts. It was interesting to think about how to incorporate local knowledge into a library setting. He also shared some self-care models and talked about the cost of overstimulation in the modern world. The model he shared was HALT. To use HALT you simply work through the letters while checking in with yourself. They are: Hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?

Another thing Richard recommended was to create digital archiving programs in libraries. These would be archival stations were people could record stories or have previously recorded stories put on USB sticks. Similar to the community calendar this project is about preserving and celebrating community knowledge.


Creating Safe & Inclusive Spaces for LGBTQ Individuals

This presentation was by an employee from the non-profit organization HIV North. She gave some background information on the LGBTQ experience and then provided ideas of how to make public spaces more inclusive and welcoming.

These included:

  • Make safe spaces easily identifiable – with posters, stickers, and LGBTQ resources
  • Use inclusive language – don’t assume gender
  • Consider gender neutral washrooms
  • Make homophobic language and sentiments unacceptable


Quiet, Please: Conflict Resolution and De-Escalation

This session was mostly on conflict resolution in personal relationships (i.e., among family, between spouses, or with a co-worker). There were some interesting models to determine your conflict resolution style and ways to de-escalate conflict situations.

The presenter laid out five conflict resolution styles and made the point that while everyone can make the choice to practice any of them we all have a default mode.

They are:

Competing: “I win, you lose.”

Collaborating: “I win, you win.”

Compromising: “We can both live with this position.”

Avoiding: “I lose, you lose.”

Accommodating: “I lose, you win.”

In dealing with conflict she recommended using the STABEN model.


S: Source of Conflict. Identify the main issue at hand.

T: Time and Place. Chosen an appropriate and neutral time and place to discuss the problem.

A: Amiable Approach. Start positive with a genuine compliment about what you appreciate about the other person.

B: Behaviour. Identify the one specific behaviour that is causing the problem. Do not lump this one issue in with a whole host of other issues or resentments.

E: Emotion. Express your feelings with “I” statements as opposed to blaming “you” statements. “Because of this I felt…”

N: Need. “What I need to end this conflict is…”

E: Evaluation. Evaluate how this worked. If you need to make changes or address a different issue go through it again.

10 Things to Make Your Library More Accessible

This presentation was on ways to make libraries and library materials more accessible to people with print disabilities with a focus on how to use the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). The ten ways are:

  1. Understand the copyright act
    1. For example, libraries can record books (i.e., make an audiobook) for a patron as long as the book is not already commercially available
  2. Understand a bit of disability theory
    1. Using simply the medical definition of disability means “people can’t define their own disabilities and so are defined by them.”
    2. Whereas, the social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organized, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people.
  3. Be careful with words
    1. Be considerate in how you address people and the words that are used to describe a print impairment.
  4. Make sure the library publications are accessible
    1. Use headings and styles in Word Documents because they are recognizable by screen readers
  5. Include accessibility features on library websites
  6. Grow your tool kit
    1. com
    2. Dyslexic fonts (open dyslexic & dyslexie)
    3. Learn the accessibility features of different devices and operating systems
  7. Guide dog etiquette
    1. Do not excite, touch or try to play with a guide dog while it is working
  8. Build community, follow conversations
    1. Curiosity is 1000x more important than knowledge
    2. All staff should know the basics of services for people with print disabilities or where to ask the questions
  9. Create a library accessibility contact
    1. This is the go-to person for other staff to ask questions and the person who keeps up with changes or additions to services.
  10. Make sure everyone on staff knows how to set up a NNELS account
    1. The patron type will always be “print disabled” then they will be able to login into NNELS directly with their barcode & PIN

There were more sessions (and lots more library talk) but those are some of the highlights from my time at the Rural Libraries Conference.

-Megan Clark

anne and megan

Anne Walsh (left) and Megan Clark (right) having fun at the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum

Recommendation: Indigenous Canada Online MOOC via University of Alberta

I will state upfront that this is a personal recommendation, not an official NWTLA endorsement. If you know of similar or other free education opportunities that you would like to share, please feel free to do so in the comments.

– John Mutford

Recently I finished the 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course, Indigenous Canada available for free through the University of Alberta. (You can pay for a completion certificate if you are so inclined.) I cannot recommend this course highly enough, both as a non-Indigenous Canadian and as a librarian. Back in March, senator Lynn Beyak made the now infamous remarks that she didn’t need any more education, in reference to residential schools. Not to rehash the controversy too much, but this offended my librarian sensibilities, which view us all as lifelong learners and my humanity; how does one look to peoples who have been historically oppressed and tell them she’s heard enough?

Though I think I follow indigenous issues closely, I still know I have barely scraped the surface. I learned much through the Indigenous Canada MOOC. I only had, for instance, a foggy grasp on the Idle No More movement and some of that grasp was incorrect. The MOOC helped clear this up. Besides indigenous activism, other topics included trading relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, residential schools, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, and contemporary Indigenous life, and art. While any one of these could be at least a course onto itself, the instructors openly acknowledged that the MOOC is meant as a primer.

If you are like me, you will nonetheless learn a lot; not only about indigenous peoples throughout North America, but also about yourself. I believe it helped me to become a better listener (granted there is a discussion forum available should students want to discuss and ask questions). I also believe it has given me more context about the people I serve as a librarian.

Job Opportunity: Manager, Library and Information Services (Aurora College, Yellowknife North Slave Campus)

Manager, Library & Information Services

Location: Yellowknife

Department: Aurora College

Job Code: 14539

Salary: $87,263 – $104,208

Job: Full-Time

Term: Regular

Job Description: View full job description

Department Information

Aurora College is focused on student success and is committed to supporting the development of our Northern society through excellence in education, training and research that is culturally sensitive and responsive to the people we serve.

Job Information

The Manager, Library and Information Services reports to the College Librarian. Working independently, the Manager performs professional level work which makes a significant contribution to the organization by ensuring that appropriate library and information services, resources and programs are made available to all faculty and students of the Campus as well as the Community Learning Centers (CLCs) served by the Campus.  The Manager provides distance library services for the Yellowknife North Slave Campus and regional CLCs, and is responsible for assisting with developing and monitoring electronic access to the library’s collections for distance students. The Manager also provides professional advice and leadership, when requested, in the development and delivery of Aurora College library services and promotes cooperative projects with other college and regional library services.

The Manager is responsible for advising faculty and staff of the campus and campus region regarding copyright matters and for providing Copyright Act compliance and licensing information.

The provision of such programs and services has a profound impact on student academic success and on the ability of faculty to develop and deliver instruction, and conduct independent research. The Manager supports the College Librarian with strategic planning and development of library services in conjunction with strategic program planning, and the effective functioning of the library. He/she is responsible for the implementation of library policies and procedures, for the selection, organization and cataloguing of materials and for the quality and accuracy of responses to research requests. The Manager provides library and information services to external organizations and members of the public in all regions of the Northwest Territories.

The Manager makes purchasing decisions on the acquisition of library resources, and supplements this by obtaining funding for additional resources from campus programs. The Manager is accountable for a budget of approximately $300K, is responsible for a collection of approximately 6,000 print titles valued at over $500K, and electronic subscriptions valued at approximately $20,000.  The Manager directly supervises a staff of 1.0 Library Technician position, plus several part-time casual assistants who work evening and weekend library hours.

Library management includes recruiting, selecting, training and supervising library assistants as needed. The total budget impact is approximately $1M.  On average, there are more than 40,000 annual visits to the library by students, staff and members of the public.

The library is a necessary component to all academic programs, and in particular to the certification of the baccalaureate Nursing Program. Failure to provide sufficient and appropriate library services would result in de-certification of this program.

Typically, the above qualifications would be attained by:

  • Completion of a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science
  • 3 years’ experience in an academic library at the professional librarian level
  • 2 years supervisory experience in a library


Equivalent combinations of education and experience will be considered.

Salary Information

The salary range for this position is from $44.75 per hour to $53.44 per hour (approximately $87,263.00 – $104,208.00) plus an annual Northern Allowance of $3,450.00.


Eligibility lists may be created from this competition to fill future term and indeterminate positions.

Criminal Records Check

Candidates must provide a satisfactory criminal record check. Failure to provide a satisfactory check may deem you disqualified from the competition.

Affirmative Action

Candidates must clearly identify their eligibility in order to receive priority consideration under the Affirmative Action Policy.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Government of the Northwest Territories is an inclusive workplace.  If you have a disability and you require support during the hiring process, you are encouraged to identify your needs if you are contacted for an assignment or interview so that you may be accommodated during the hiring process.

Job Opening Information

Job Opening ID # 14539

Closing Date: Open Until Filled

To Apply:

GNWT Inquiries

Inquiries Only:

Management and Recruitment Services
Department of Human Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
Yellowknife Centre 5th Floor
P.O. Box 1320, Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Fax: (867) 873-0445