The Passion of Newfoundlanders for their Libraries

“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.”…….

Newfoundlanders Fighting for their Libraries





Janet Diveky’s Contest Entry


“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…

Save the Date! October 21st is Canadian Library Workers Day

canadian-library-workers-day-3 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
Co-Chairs, CFLA-FCAB

Canadian Library Month: NWTLA Members Contest

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…


A public library in San Francisco. Great program ideas and made me reconsider the need for on-going programs when “one-offs” are also quite useful.


Alcatraz prison library: An important reminder that libraries are vital for every segment of the population!


Henry Miller Memorial Library. When I discovered that there were no books to borrow, just to buy, it really challenged my idea of what a library is. However, when I discovered that it is non-profit and the great number of community programs they do, I’m more comfortable letting them keep the “library” name (though I’d still prefer some borrow-able materials!)

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.