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



Research Study Survey Request from Robin Bergart

You are invited to participate in a study on the value of Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research.

Even if you have never heard of this journal, we would really like to hear from you.

We welcome responses from every sector of the library community, including librarians and library technicians in public, academic, school, and special libraries; scholars, students, vendors, consultants, and retired library workers.

This survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

The results of this research will be of interest to library and information professionals who want to know more about the library literature landscape in Canada and the professional reading and research practice of their colleagues. This research will contribute to knowledge about scholarly communications within the Library and Information Science community.

If you choose to participate in this study, please click on the link below to access the online survey:

This research is being conducted by Robin Bergart (University of Guelph), Leanne Olson (Western University) and Nathalie Soini (Queen’s University).

Thank you,
Robin Bergart

Vous êtes invités à participer à une étude sur la valeur de la revue Partnership: La revue canadienne de la pratique et de la recherche en bibliothéconomie et sciences de l’information (Partnership : the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research).

Votre connaissance de cette revue n’est pas nécessaire et nous acceptons les réponses de chaque secteur de la communauté des bibliothèques, y compris les bibliothécaires et les bibliotechniciens/nnes dans les bibliothèques publiques, scolaires et spéciales; les spécialistes, les étudiants/tes, les vendeurs/ses et les consultants/es.

Il vous faudra environ 15 minutes pour remplir ce sondage.

Les résultats de cette recherche intéresseront les professionnels en SIB (sciences d’information et bibliothéconomie) qui veulent en savoir d’avantage sur le paysage de la littérature de la bibliothèque au Canada et à la lecture et à la recherche pratique professionnelle de leurs collègues.

Si vous voulez y participer, veuillez cliquer sur le lien maintenant:

Cette recherche est menée par Robin Bergart (University of Guelph), Leanne Olson (Western University) et Nathalie Soini (Queen’s University).

Robin Bergart

Copyright Education and Awareness Day – April 26th

A message from Lesley E. Harris:

It is just about that time again to say “Happy World IP Day!” It is the day to celebrate the wonderful contribution of intellectual property in our lives.

In 2000, member states (currently 188) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) designated April 26 as World IP Day. Why April 26? It is the day that the WIPO Convention came into force in 1970. The purpose of World IP Day is to increase the understanding of IP among the general public beyond copyright, patent and trademark lawyers. More specifically, WIPO sees World IP Day as an occasion “to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity.”

This year, the World IP Day theme is Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.

What Are You Doing on World IP Day?

Organizations around the world are seizing the opportunity on World IP Day to educate others about IP and the people and processes involved in creating IP. You too could join in and host a film festival, organize a concert, or exhibit inventions of local inventors. WIPO makes several suggestions of activities you can do, including:

  • mounting a public exhibition displaying how consumers benefit from IP
  • organizing a workshop to educate specific users such as artists, musicians and inventors about how IP rights benefit them
  • promoting IP through social media
  • running a photo contest to manifest creativity and the working of copyright in practice
  • creating and distributing World IP Day publicity materials such as posters, brochures, et cetera for specific audiences

Spreading the IP Word

A celebration of World IP Day could be as simple as discussing downloading (legally!) music with your children around the dinner table. Or sharing with a colleague a URL to an article about legally using trademarks. Or posting a message on your Facebook page about others obtaining permission to use your photos. Whether we create or use IP, it is easy to see how IP is an integral part of our daily lives.

One of my favourite quotes about understanding copyright law and “spreading the copyright message” comes from U.S. Register for Copyright, Maria Pallante, where she states that copyright is a life skill:

It’s one of those life skills now, right? When you graduate from high school or college, you should know how to read a map, you should know how to use GPS, you should know a little bit about copyright. If you are somebody who is going to be in a field where you will encounter copyrighted materials all the time, you should know more. If you’re going to be an artist or musician and you’re getting a red-hot degree in the performing arts, you should know a lot. And I don’t think that’s quite the case — I don’t think it’s been built into the curricula.

What are you doing April 26th to celebrate the role of IP in libraries and other cultural institutions?
For more copyright info like this, I invite you to join my free email list at

Lesley is also offering a course entitled Are You Legally Using Images? beginning April 26th:

Have you ever asked yourself the question: Are these images I’m using legal to post, share or distribute? You’re not alone!

Here are some other common questions:

  1. Can I use an image I found on Google?
  2. How about a book cover to go with the book review on my blog?
  3. Are all Creative Commons images free to use?

These are some of the many questions I’ll answer in my eTutorial on Legally Using Images.

Join me and learn how to legally use images in an efficient and timely manner. Begins May 26th (on World IP Day!) See

Learn anywhere, anytime and on any device. Nine emailed lessons will guide you on legally using images and avoiding legal hassles, and a final self-marking quiz.

After taking this eTutorial, you will be confident that you are legally using online images in Canada, the U.S. and globally. Learn:

  • how copyright applies to images
  • the meaning of public domain
  • how Creative Commons licenses work
  • how to work with stock photo agencies
  • about using images from Google and other search engines
  • what to do if you cannot locate a copyright owner
  • when you need permission to use an image
  • what fair use and fair dealing mean
  • how to obtain copyright permission
  • how to negotiate terms and conditions and payments for the use of images
  • how global permissions work
  • situations that may not require copyright permission
  • best practices for legally using images

You will complete a final self-marking multiple-choice quiz at the end of the course. You will receive a Certificate of Participation for this eTutorial.


Lesley Ellen Harris
P.S. My hands-on course on writing a copyright policy or guidelines begins May 9th. Registration will soon open. Stay tuned!

Library Marketing: Should We? Should They? Should Anyone?

I thought I had heard all the arguments for and against library marketing. At one end, I’ve heard people argue that if we’re offering products and services that people really want and need, people will come. As an addendum to that argument, it is often said that librarians need to spend more time improving those things than on advertising.

There’s some naivete in such statements. Patrons still need to hear about them and word of mouth will only go so far. Plus, we need to convince funding agents that what we’re doing has value.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that would see us selling t-shirts, handing out flyers on street corners, and spending the bulk of our time Tweeting/ Instagramming/ Facebooking/ Vining/ SnapChatting/ Tumbling/ YouTubing/ Blogging every move we make. Sure, there’d be a possible initial increase in patrons but they’d get there and realize are offerings are scant, disorganized, and ill-prepared because our human resources are limited and all the focus went on promotions.

Fortunately, most of us fall somewhere in the middle.

Yet, PC Sweeney has managed to find a third angle that I’ve not considered before, arguing that the vendors of our products should be the ones who do the marketing. He uses Pepsi to make his point (and you can read his entire thoughts here), stating that people go into a store to buy Pepsi because Pepsi has convinced people they want it, not the store. Similarly he adds, vendors should be convincing the public that they want their obscure databases and if enough people want it, then libraries should get it and the patrons will show up. In this limited example, I think he has a point.

However, I have a couple of concerns. One: we’re about more than products, we’re about services. Two: vendors are not interested in selling to our patrons, they’re only interested in selling to us. Why? Going back to the Pepsi analogy, the store isn’t giving the Pepsi away as we would. Our vendors are interested in sales and we are not and that changes the dynamic.

Your thoughts?

– John Mutford



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