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Here’s a dated article on this topic, but different arguments are explored and they aren’t any less relevant today. Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Deborah Bruser stepped into her first role at the Yellowknife Public Library (YPL) as Public Services Librarian in 1996, becoming Library Manager in 2003. She had attained her MLS at the University of British Columbia, and moved to Yellowknife with Brian and their family in 1986.
Through the years, Deborah has shown herself to be an intense, focused and passionate librarian with a very strong interest in promoting and maintaining professional ideals within librarianship. In practice, she’s an expert in collections development. Her inquiring mind, wide-ranging interests and knowledge of our unique northern community have been integral in creating a truly outstanding collection that both she and the City of Yellowknife should be proud of.
Her expertise in public librarianship doesn’t end there. Over the years, she’s promoted a robust suite of programs that range from intriguing (Human Library) to engaging (Yellowknife Reads) to just plain fun for children (like the very popular T.A.I.L.S. Read to a Dog program).
Her understanding of the importance of a welcoming and comfortable environment led her to successfully lobby for physical improvements to the YPL that are today appreciated by patrons and staff alike. She arrived to a dark and rather dingy facility, and managed its transformation to an open and colourful space filled with timely displays designed to catch the eye and interest of toddlers, teens, and beyond.
Deborah is retiring from her position amidst accolades from the staff at both the YPL and the City. That she should be held in such high esteem by the people she’s worked most closely with says a lot about her as a professional and as a person. Over the years, she’s been an exemplary colleague to many of us. To me she’s a cherished friend.
Deborah and Brian are pulling up stakes … leaving Yellowknife for the exceedingly green and leafy Victoria where they will pursue their many and varied interests, though probably not a lot of skiing.
– Carolynn Kobelka
“You know the government is in trouble when a public library consultation erupts into a near riot.
The scene at the public library consultation Thursday night in St. John’s was a remarkable one — both in terms of gauging public anger at the government, public passion for the endangered provincial library system, and the emerging level of awareness among the public of government techniques for manipulating public discourse.” TheIndependent.ca…….
Always new classes coming out!!
“When we sailed into Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur, Mexico, we visited the Mahatma Gandhi Library, which was sadly very poorly stocked with reading materials. But, hey!! Lots of really old government publications which looked like lists of stuff … Didn’t seem to be anything written by Gandhiji.” – Janet Diveky
Thanks for the entry Janet and good luck! Want to give Janet some competition? There’s still lots of time to enter the contest…
A message from the Canadian Federation of Library Associations:
Great libraries can be about great collections or great buildings but in the 21st century they’re also about great people. Without library workers libraries simply cannot function. Libraries rely on their staff to provide service to their communities and to help their libraries and communities grow. The vital contribution of library workers to libraries and communities across our country deserves national recognition.
CFLA-FCAB has designated the third Friday in October as Canadian Library Workers Day. CLWD is a day for Canadians to recognize the valuable contributions made by all those who work in and for the public, academic, school, government, academic, corporate and private libraries that are integral to our communities.
Canadian Library Workers Day is recognized during Canadian Library Month, an annual celebration of libraries, library workers, and the services they provide to their communities.
On behalf of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération Canadienne des Associations de Bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) we are very pleased to proclaim October 21, 2016 as Canadian Library Workers Day.
Donna Bourne-Tyson & Paul Takala
This summer, vacationing around California, I found myself once again popping into libraries whenever I happened to stumble upon them. I know I’m not the only one to do this as I’ve also heard from co-workers who do the same. Perhaps tellingly, I never heard of this when I worked in other professions. So why is it different for us?
I suppose we have a natural curiousity but more than that, I think it shows our respect for information. We visit to see what programs they have, how they organize their resources, even what furniture they use; all to make us reconsider our own work environments and reflect upon ways to improve.
This year, the OLA coined the phrase “A Visit Will Get You Thinking,” as a way to encourage the public to visit libraries during their Ontario Public Library Week. It’s a great slogan and in an earlier blog post, I tried to work with that sentiment to encourage the public to visit our libraries during Canadian Library Month. Of course, it’s just as important for us.
With that in mind, the NWTLA exec would like to see and share photos of you visiting other libraries. If you have some photos of a library you visited while on a past vacation and don’t mind us sharing on this blog, send them our way! Don’t have any? Get out to another library this month, even something local (i.e., one where you don’t currently work) and take a few snaps. Feel free to add a small blurb about something that impressed you about that library or how it made you think.
For all of those that submit entries this month, we’ll enter your name in for a $20 gift certificate from the book store of your choice.
I’ll get you started…
October marks Canadian Library Month. If recent news stories are any indication, an event to highlight the importance of, and to celebrate libraries, is needed more than ever. In Newfoundland, public libraries are facing drastic cuts and closures. Here at home, the territorial law library is converted to a less than sufficient “resource center” while school districts cut the hours of school library staff and reduce budgets.
All of these cases, I believe, stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of libraries. They are based on an assumption that libraries are no longer relevant in the internet age. Self-fulfilling prophecies from a lack of investment have sabotaged library effectiveness.
But the people who use libraries regularly know differently. Our understanding about literacies has changed and the range of resources has grown in response. Libraries still proudly house books, of course. We see them as vital to improving community. But libraries today are about so much more.
They provide much needed internet access to many people. Qualified and knowledgeable staff help patrons navigate the vast amount of information to find timely and quality resources. Librarians encourage and teach critical thinking. Libraries host programs that unite and inform the public, and much, much more.
This holds true for academic, public, law, or other specialized libraries. Whenever cuts and closures such as the above examples are announced, regular users speak out. Sometimes their voices have an impact, as in Newfoundland, where local and national outrage resulted in a suspension of library closures pending a more thorough review.
Those actions and voices came after the fact. This Canadian Library Month, I invite anyone who works in a library to commit to talking up what we do because most of us do great things. Of course, this does not mean we cannot do more, but we also need support.
If you are a library user, speak up now! Whether you are on social media or just chatting among your friends, talk about that last great library find or that exceptional service.
And if you are not a frequent library user, visit one during Canadian Library Month. You may be pleasantly surprised at how they have evolved. If not, share your ideas about how we can improve. We are here for you—as we have always been. With your help, libraries will continue to be an important community resource into the future.
– John Mutford, President of the Northwest Territories Library Association