Aging in the 21st Century


Over 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day, and the fastest growing demographic in the U.S. is women over the age of 85, according to the 2015 White House Conference on Aging. Thorndike Press and Library Journal are partnering for a 60-minute webinar to discuss how libraries can support their aging communities in the 21st Century. One of the speakers is Wendy Pender, who presented at PLA this year on this very topic! We hope you can join us to discuss this important issue so we can all be more supportive of this growing group of our population.

43rd annual Alberta Association of Library Technicians Conference


Plans are underway for the 43rd annual Alberta Association of Library Technicians Conference to be held in beautiful Banff, Alberta from April 20-23, 2017 at the Banff Park Lodge Resort & Conference Centre!

The 2017 theme, “Bringing It All Together”, expresses the idea that library technicians / library personnel use various concepts, tools, and resources with a focus on collaboration, creativity and communication, not only to fulfill their duties as technicians but also in their daily lives.

Interesting speakers, fascinating keynotes, and fun filled tours are being booked as we speak! Keep checking the conference website ( as new items will be posted as they are confirmed.

If you think that you’d like to be a speaker at the conference, check out our call for speakers information at

We hope to see you all in Banff, AB for AALT’s 43rd Conference April 20-23, 2017!

Marcia Holmes & Melanie Belliveau AALT 2017 Conference Co-Chairs:


Teen Book Buzz

Get ahead of the curve and discover the latest and greatest hot reads during SLJ’s 2016 Teen Book Buzz webcast! Join us in conversation with Albert Whitman & Company, Harlequin TEEN, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books, and Sourcebooks about their most buzz-worthy titles coming out this fall. You’ll hear about some can’t miss new reads, from a novel about a teen witch grappling with her magic abilities to speculative fiction about a boy who gets the chance to reignite a relationship with his girlfriend—by resurrecting her from the dead with the help of cloning and memory implantation. Tackling everything from sports to bullying to romance, these selections are loaded with teen appeal. Don’t miss out!


ATTENTION STUDENTS: The Education Institute wants to hear your ideas!

Do you have an interesting topic that you’d like to share with library

professionals across Canada? Looking for a way to boost up your CV? Would

you like to gain experience speaking to virtual groups? The Education Institute is

seeking speakers to conduct webinars that would be of interest to Canadian

information professionals.

We value student research and want your voice to be heard. As the next

generation of library professionals, this is a wonderful opportunity to share your

research with people in the field and foster connections between academic

schools and professionals.

Interested students are encouraged to submit their proposal using the web


Student speakers will be a part of our “Bright Young Minds” webinar series.

Each speaker will receive an honorarium. The webinars included in this series

are free for all association members to join.


Thanks Adopt-a-Street NWTLA Volunteers

It was a beautiful day and the park was surprisingly clean when we arrived, but nonetheless NWTLA Adopt-A-Street volunteers donned their gloves and got to work. Following up with a small social gathering, it was a great chance to network, have fun, and all for a good cause. For more information about the Adopt-A-Street program check out the City of Yellowknife website.

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(Also thanks to Carolynn Kobelka for taking the group shot!)

A Special Thanks to our NWT Library Association Gumboots Rally Volunteers

“NWTLA jumps in with gumboots a-hopping at the 24th Annual Gumboot Rally. The NWTLA Seuss-Mania team has five members – Trudy Joosse, Erin Palmer, Francine Dennis, Elizabeth Ferch, Brenda MacLeod. The Seuss-Mania team raised funds for the Yellowknife Association for Community Living.  Fun was had by all members as we tossed gumboots, tossed items into gumboots and generally had a gumboot-good time.   The bouncy team is looking forward to 2017 – the 25th anniversary of the Gumboot Rally.  For more information, contact the Yellowknife Association for Community Living –  The more teams the merrier.” – Brenda MacLeod


BACK (left to right): Elizabeth Ferch, Brenda MacLeod, Trudy Joose, Francine Dennis FRONT: Erin Palmer

Seuss-Mania raised $405. Way to go!!!

Know Your NWT Library History: Editorial from Alison Welch 1986

The following was written by Alison Welch, editor of the Snowshoe, NWTLA’s Newsletter, 30 years ago…

Editorial: Canadian Library Yearbook

After sitting at my desk very unproductively through several lunch hours trying to come up with a topic for an editorial, I finally gave up and decided to browse therough the second edition of Canadian Library Yearbook (mainly because it has a bright cover and was right under my nose!). I know it isn’t high on everyone’s bedtime reading, but it contains some fascinating information. Apart from the directory of Canadian libraries, for which I am sure the Yearbook gets most use, it is a veritable el dorado of library statistics (useful and otherwise). And for once, the NWT has not been totally excluded.

Statistics on the salaries of librarians and library technicians are included for both territories and all provinces except for Quebec. At first glance there appear to be huge discrepancies. For example, starting salaries for government librarians range from approximately $19,000 in Newfoundland to $34,000 in the NWT and Yukon; and for techs. from approximately $14,000 in Newfoundland, P.E.I. and New Brunswick to $27,000 in the NWT and Yukon. Then I noticed the date of the figures. The NWT and Yukon salaries were as of March 1986, while those from the provinces were for 1984 or 1985.

For those living in the western NWT, we are used to being compared to Alberta, so I did a few calculations based on the starting salaries of the lowest levels of government librarians and library technicians. With the cost of living in Yellowknife 36% higher than Edmonton (NWT Bureau of Statistics. Spatial prices indexes: Yellowknife-Edmonton, June 1986), an Alberta government librarian has to make $25,000 in order to have the same standard of living as a Yellowknife librarian, whose starting salary is $34,200. Yet in 1984 Alberta librarians had a starting salary of $24,200. Similarly, the NWT library technician’s 1986 salary of $27,200 translates to $20,000 in Alberta, where techs made $18,500 in 1984.

After examining the statistics closely, they are not quite as astounding as they first appeared. I recommend browsing through the Canadian Library Yearbook, if you ever have a spare minute; however, I must emphasise the caveat contained in the introduction to this section. One thing that still bothers me; why aren’t there rates of placement given with the salaries of 1984 MLS graduates from Canadian schools!?

Alison Welch


To read the rest of this Snowshoe, Winter-Spring 1985-86, or to read other past editions, click on Past Newsletters (Snowshoe) at the top of this page.



An Open Letter to Minister Dale Kirby on the Closures of Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries

Honorable Mr. Kirby
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Dear Minister Kirby,

By this time, we are sure that you are well aware of the amount of public and professional discord with your government’s decision to close more than half of the province’s public libraries.

While we sincerely believe that these messages are giving the government pause for thought, it is more crucial to us that the decisions will be reversed. Here is but a brief review of many of the points made against closing the libraries.

Newfoundland and Labrador is plagued by low literacy rates. By closing libraries and taxing books, the government is assuring the continued low literacy rates amongst the population of your province. There has been a great deal of research proving the positive effects that libraries have on literacy.  But since the government is concerned about money— and it is entirely reasonable that that they would be— it might be more convincing to look at the plethora of research that shows the high financial costs of illiteracy.

Much of this research can, admittedly, be found easily on the internet. But this brings us to another point: many foresaw the internet as a replacement for libraries. They were wrong. With a surplus of information, and much incorrect, librarians are there to help people navigate, to find quality information efficiently. But even if one was to insist (erroneously) that the internet has diminished the need for librarians, for many folks the library is their source of internet. Your province is facing tough times, Mr. Kirby; everyone understands that and is sympathetic, but your government is punishing those who feel the tough times the most. There are many who cannot afford computers and internet in their homes, who cannot afford books that are more expensive, who cannot afford to drive half an hour away for library access.

Furthermore, libraries are not just about books and internet. A well run library is a community hub, a place where people meet, share ideas, hear different opinions and points of view. These gathering places strengthen communities, even financially, Mr. Kirby. By shutting these down, the government is depriving people of such opportunities.

Mr. Kirby, you recently stated that the previous government signed “rotten” library deals. You clearly understand what it feels like to inherit a bad legacy. We implore this government then to reconsider these library closures because it surely is a rotten legacy the current government will be leaving the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. The rest of Canada is also watching, with grave concerns that this will start a trend across the country. The government’s small savings now, Mr. Kirby, will have much larger costs down the road. We are sure that is not the legacy that this government wishes to leave behind.


John Mutford, President
Northwest Territories Library Association

A suggested reading list:

The Conference Board of Canada (2014). Adults with inadequate literacy skills. Retrieved from

Krolak, L. (2006). The role of libraries in the creation of literate environments. International Journal of Adult and Lifelong Education. Retrieved from

Literacy Foundation (n.d.). Consequences of illiteracy. Retrieved from

May, F., & Black, F. (2010). The life of the space: Evidence from Nova Scotia public libraries. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. Retrieved from

Taylor, N. G., Jaegar, P. T., McDermott, A. J., Kodama, C. M., & Bertot, J. C. (2012). The role of public libraries in community building. Public Library Quarterly, 31(3). DOI: 10.1080/01616846.2012.707106