Canadian Library Month: A Vital Reminder of a Vital Institution

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

Work in a School Library? Know Someone Who Does?

The Canadian School Libraries (CSL) organization is moving toward full incorporation.  CSL news, a new digital form of Leading Learning as well as the PDF, Treasure Mountain Canada papers and SLiC issues, as well as many other resources that could support you and your colleagues in your school library learning commons adventures are ready for use at

CSL can also post news about forthcoming school library learning commons events or projects that could be of national interest from associations or provincial/territorial contacts.

Fall Courses through the Education Institute!!

Fall Courses through the Education Institute!!

  • Pathways Singing Program:  Learning Through Song
  • Legal Resources for Librarians
  • Questions Every Library Administrator Needs to Ask
  • From Public Libraries to the Office: Using Knowledge Management in Information Organizations
  • Team Teen: Programming With (Not For) Your Teens

CFLA-FCLB meeting in August, 2016

Our NWTLA Treasurer, Louise Boettger, attended the CFLA-FCLB this past August.

The CFLA-FCLB is “the national, bilingual voice of  Canada’s library communities. The Federation is an association of associations, with membership from library associations across Canada.” Their mandate is to:  advance library excellence in Canada;  champion library values and  the value of libraries; influence national and international public policy impacting libraries and their communities.

In Louise’s own words:

The meeting was well attended with a representative from every province and the three territories.

Carol Rigby from Nunavut works from her home in Edmonton as they don’t have an official library to pay her full salary.

All of the libraries had major issues with boards, finances, and collections.

Of course the group from Newfoundland were busy doing mail outs for support with their libraries closing.

Round table discussions of issues and a  brief summary of individual library took place the first morning.

In the afternoon we went to a trade show.  It was huge and with many vendors.  The plan was to give the bigger library centers ideas and contacts if they wish to put on such an activity. 

That evening we had an informal supper where again we mingled and talked library issues and offered solutions.

The last morning we had a talk about the Partnership publication and how she would appreciate more participation from all the libraries.

Robin is the lady in charge and she wants to keep the publication informative and full!!!

The short afternoon saw everyone sharing what they would be taking back and what should be on the winter agenda.

The winter one will be in January and in Toronto.  It seems it is always held in Toronto at the OLA building.

I was very happy to go and would volunteer to go again next summer.

It was very interesting and informative for anyone who plans to leave the north.

The people were very friendly and helpful.


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.