Friday, April 26

6:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Breakfast in Beauvert Dining Room (Breakfast in Moose's Nook available until 10 a.m. for Guests of delegates.)

8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m. Registration Desk open

A1 8:45 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Keynote speaker - Craig Silverman

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Exhibits open

10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Coffee break and time to visit the Exhibits

10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Registration Desk open

10:45 a.m.-11:45 a.m. Conference Sessions

B1 Part of the Job?: Dealing with Third Party Harassment in Libraries - Tami Oliphant and Danielle Allard 
The #MeToo movement has recently brought to popular consciousness the pervasiveness of sexual harassment in the workplace. In public libraries, frontline workers are often victims of harassment by the very people they endeavour to support--library patrons. In this session we will explore the problem of third party harassment for library workers by examining the multiple facets of the problem, inviting discussion about the issue by presenting a series of scenarios, and providing a set of "best practices" derived from professional and academic literature that can assist individuals and organizations dealing with this issue.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of the multi-faceted problem of harassment.
  • Create a deeper understanding of different ways of dealing with the problem.
  • Learn practical, evidence-based "best practices" for dealing with harassment.

B2 Not the Right Kind of Doctor: Finding a way to be a Librarian in Medical School - Joanne Rodger  
Joanne Rodger recently embarked on a new employment adventure as the Curriculum Specialist for the medical school at the University of Alberta. This is a new position that was not well defined and the past year has been spent finding ways to say yes to many new (and challenging) opportunities, think about things in new ways, and be persistent, even though, according to many of the physicians she work with, she is not the “right kind of doctor”. This session will highlight some of the professional characteristics that many librarians and library staff have and demonstrate how these skills can be effectively integrated into non-library environments. Using examples from her medical school experiences, the session will address how to leverage the knowledge, skills, and attitudes we all develop by working in libraries to help transform other types of organizations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how the skills and experiences that librarians and library staff develop can be leveraged outside the library environment.
  • Learn how to talk about and market those skills as part of a job search.

B3 Big Ideas for Little Libraries - Jane Skocdopole and Rhonda O'Neill
Rural library staff and their trustees too often doubt the impact that they can make with their limited resources.  They may not dream big enough, or they might play it safe because they are afraid of failing.  Conference sessions aimed at libraries of all sizes may not speak to rural library staff and trustees, because they often deliver library services with reduced access to resources (e.g. a lack of space, time, staff, money, volunteers and/or community members). Exploring the factors that have led to successes at some of Alberta’s littlest libraries, this session will share strategies that little libraries can use to build success in their own communities.  The presenters will be conducting a survey of small rural libraries, and will interview high-performing rural libraries to discover the secrets of their success.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about some initiatives undertaken by high-impact rural libraries in Alberta.
  • Explore the factors that contribute to their success.
  • Get ideas for low-effort, high-impact programming.

B4 Trustee 2.0 - Tanya Pollard
Are you a new trustee? Has it been a while since you have participated in the PLSB Board Basics workshop? Join ALTA as it presents Trustee 2.0: the next step for new trustees. You will learn the roles and responsibilities of a board member, boardroom best practices, the importance of the board-director relationship and many other skills that will make your job as a library trustee more efficient and enjoyable.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn specific skills needed for new trustees
  • Next steps after taking the PLSB Board basics workshop
  • Meeting basics; job descriptions; formulating policies and procedures; HR resources

B5 Engaging and Empowering Marginalized Groups - Jennifer McDevitt
One of the greatest challenges faced by rural public libraries is providing inclusive services and programming in heterogeneous, capitalist communities. When challenged by community members, it is essential for rural libraries to go beyond traditional services and work to foster understanding and critical thinking. They must resist calls to only spend taxpayer dollars on “neutral” services and programming; in order to uphold their responsibility to intellectual freedom, libraries must provide for everyone in their community. By focusing on building relationships, the community-led model emphasizes engaging with marginalized groups in order to effectively serve them. Explicitly bringing people in from the margins and showing them that the library is not just another place where societal norms are upheld enables libraries to create a safe space for everyone and build a stronger community.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the intersection between a rural public library’s duty to their community and to intellectual freedom.
  • Considering how to work with marginalized groups to create inclusive programs and services.

B6 Dewey Divas Present: Best New Books for Children and Young Adults, Spring 2019 - Rosalyn Steele, Andrea Colquhoun and Lahring Tribe
Publisher sales reps from HarperCollins and Penguin Random House present their picks for the best new children's and young adult books on their Winter and Spring/Summer 2019 lists.

Learning Objectives:

  • Readers' advisory
  • Suggestions for storytime 

B7 Finding Success on Social Media - Marina Fernandes
With the constant change of social media algorithms, how do libraries reach their fan base and keep them engaged with a finite amount of library resources? Since 2016, Facebook has made multiple changes to their algorithm that have impacted the way the News Feed functions. Post reach has declined significantly, and engagement is down. So how do libraries combat these changes? In this session, we’ll discuss how small changes can make a big impact on Facebook, and how you can use other social media tools to your advantage. We’ll cover Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. We’ll dish on how to decide which platform is the right fit for your organization, what works and what doesn’t. It’s a social media 101 for libraries!

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to combat Facebook’s algorithm.
  • Think critically about social media platforms best suited for your library.
  • Learn best practices for each platform and how you can leverage them.

B8 We Solemnly Swear: EPL’s Leadership Promise – Melanie St-Onge and Pilar Martinez
As JFK once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” What happens when a public library’s managers and senior leaders commit to improving their approach to leadership? The first step is a deep dive into the practice of leadership, with the goal of understanding ourselves as leaders, and learning tools to help us coach our teams. This is precisely what EPL did, by engaging the Roy Group to teach their Leader’s Discipline course to all managers and senior leadership. From this valuable learning experience arose the importance of making a commitment to EPL staff members that clearly outlined how we intend to show up as leaders. The Leadership Promise is the result of this commitment. We will provide an overview of the most useful tools we use to coach and support our staff, as well as how we bring to life the Leadership Promise with our teams.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about useful tools and techniques for coaching staff and team members.
  • Understand organizational impact of having a Leadership Promise.

B9 – Author - Cherie Dimaline


B10 The Interactive Library - Rena Traxel
Are you smarter than a middle grader? Come find out in this hands-on session that will walk through how to create tailored library lessons that are both fun and educational. But don’t get too comfy, as Rena will be putting you to the test! You will try your hand at the genre game. The game objective, originally created for middle school students, is to teach genre and exposure students to new books while engaging both collaborative and critical thinking skills. So move over book tasting, there is a new game in town! Bonus!!! The Interactive Library is all about creating challenges, such as the genre game, that are both cost and time effective.

Learning Objectives:

  • See how learning can be made fun!
  • Take away a game they can implement themselves.
  • Discover genres they may need to bone up on.

B11 Visit the Exhibits
Take this opportunity to visit the Trade Show!

11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Conference Sessions

C1 Embrace the Challenge: Creating Partnerships to Develop Research Services in an Academic Library - Kieren Bailey and Michele Jacobsen
One key to the success of library instruction programs is to develop partnerships with faculty to promote research services to students. In this session we explore one researcher-librarian’s collaborative exploration with faculty on how to integrate library instruction into a writing course. Three approaches were studied: the one-shot session, a partially embedded approach, and a fully embedded librarian approach. Come to hear how the fully embedded approach in a rhetoric and composition course and a business communication course offers a unique perspective on partnerships between librarians and faculty. The presenters will share how these librarian-faculty collaborative partnerships were established and the recommendations that have emerged to inform such partnerships more broadly.

Learning Objectives:

  • Establishing partnerships with faculty.
  • Integrating library instruction into writing courses.
  • Promoting research services to classroom instructors and students.

C2 Emotional Labour - Kyla Lee
In the fall of 2018, Kyla Lee conducted a pilot study at the University of Alberta to learn more about how emotional labour manifests in public library workers’ interactions with difficult patrons. This session will begin with a brief history of the research on emotional labour, and then go over the pilot study and its findings. Through the stories of the anonymous public library workers we can better understand the emotional labour demands of public library work. Ultimately, emotional labour will never disappear from library work, but together we can find a way to recognize its existence and value, and leave with some tools to better manage it.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what emotional labour is.
  • Understand how emotional labour manifests in frontline public library workers’ interactions with difficult patrons.
  • Find better ways to manage emotional labour in library work.

C3 Digital Collections and Decolonization Practices - Larry Laliberté
In light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, the presenters will highlight various ways forward to begin to reframe and decolonize digital collections that have historically served as repositories of settler/trespasser ephemera (postcards, maps). Moving beyond the initial, albeit critical step of modifying/enhancing catalogue and metadata records to reflect terms and associations related to Indigenous groups, the presentation will “map out” how these collections might be reimagined to allow individuals and groups to embed, or via other digital and in-person means, become co-curators in the re-telling of prairie history. Utilizing examples, the presentation will undertake a “side-view” that locates oneself within the landscape in order to challenge, and draw attention to superimposed colonial co-ordinates, and their linear delineations that continue to serve as signposts in supporting the narrative of conquest.

Learning Objectives:

  • Using the “side view,” attendees will be prompted to step into the collections they curate.
  • This session will serve to inform directions for future research.

C4 Find a Way: Understanding Access and Privacy Legislation - Shannyn Rus
Shannyn was a municipal councillor, library board trustee and local board member from 2013- 2017 when she became a privacy breach victim. With a unique work-related knowledge of access and privacy legislation, Shannyn embarked on a challenging journey to understand Alberta’s access and privacy legislation as it relates to public bodies and individuals' rights. Her experience as a trustee and breach victim can help public bodies such as libraries understand that serious consideration should be given to preparing privacy breach response plans, including communication strategies that are as open as possible. A good communication plan with the affected individuals by the head of your privacy team is a cornerstone of an organization’s response to a privacy breach, but only if that plan is in place and tested before the breach occurs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Be able recognize a privacy breach.
  • Be prepared and confident in the 5 step response plan.
  • Become a privacy champion for your library!

C5 How to Hire a Library Superhero - Tanya Pollard and Jane Skocdopole
Finding your community in need of hiring a new Library Director? You need someone who can leap over stacks of books and resources in a single bound! Find just the right resource with their laser sharp vision, build fortress-like policies and grant proposals, stretch a dollar like it is made of “elasto-steel,” and still have the energy to wrangle cranky toddlers at Read and Rhyme! Finding this person seems like a tall order, and a daunting task, but fear not! ALTA is here to help you! This session will leave you with the tools and knowledge to seek out, identify and enlist the loyalty of your very own Library Superhero.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain knowledge about hiring a new director that fits their space
  • Developing job descriptions
  • Interview techniques
  • Where to post job openings

C6 Is Tango All We Get? – Alissa Droog, Danielle Bettridge, Alyssa Martin and Ashleigh Yates-MacKay
The LGBTQ+ community has had to continuously fight for their rights, including their right to be represented in the library. Amazing strides took place this year, seeing programs such as Story Time with a Drag Queen and an increase in publishing LGBTQ+ literature, but these strides were met with pushback. We must find a way to ensure that everyone is represented in the library. In 2018, we examined the representation of LGBTQ+ characters in children’s picture books and noticed some trends in how these stories are told and who is included. Session attendees will become familiar with available titles and their strengths and weaknesses. Through this we can make better informed decisions when incorporating LGBTQ+ children’s picture books into programs, readers' advisory and collections. This helps to ensure positive LGBTQ+ representations in our libraries, while resisting censorship.

Learning Objectives:

  • Become familiar with the canon of LGBTQ+ children’s picture books.
  • Learn to evaluate LGBTQ+ children’s picture books.
  • Inspire attendees to expand their collection holdings, programs, and services.

C7 Dewey Divas Present: The Best New Adult Books for the First Half of 2019 – Rosalyn Steele, Andrea Colquhoun and Lahring Tribe
Publisher sales reps present their picks for the best new books for adult readers from their Winter and Spring/Summer lists.

Learning Objectives:

  • Readers advisory
  • Book clubs
  • Collection development

C8 Under the Cover: Linking Books to the Lives of Their Previous Owners – Sarah Fisher
How do you find a way to engage historians and genealogists with your collection? Give them what they are looking for… primary resources! We all have books in our collections with inscriptions, letters, bookplates and flattened objects inside. But what do we do with them? The Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island, has identified a number of in-house books with interesting ownership stories. Researching the connection between the book, as artifact, and its previous owner(s), the UPEI Library has created a VRE (Virtual Research Environment),, for genealogists and historians. Learn about this new primary source (held within your own library stacks) and hear some of the stories of book lovers from the past.

Learning Objectives:

  • Seeing the book as an evolving artifact of history.
  • Why provenance (ownership history) is important.
  • How to find, research, and document provenance within your collection.

C9 Great Libraries Make Great Cities – Mary Kapusta, Ben Henderson and Evan Woolley
Join Ben Henderson and Evan Woolley – library board members and city councillors from Edmonton and Calgary – to explore how great library systems directly contribute to the health of our cities. These passionate library advocates will share how libraries provide civic solutions, how your city can support your library beyond funding, and offer practical advice on creating advocates on council. This session will include a Q&A opportunity.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to improve your relationship with local government.
  • How to advocate for and structure funding requests.
  • How to address community need.

C10 Disrupting White Supremacy in the Library: It Starts with You – Carley Angelstad
This presentation will help library workers say "yes!" to taking responsibility for a history of racial oppression that continues in libraries today. When we think of racism or white supremacy we often imagine extremes like Trump or the KKK. However, racism is still embedded in our libraries. By not actively working to disrupt this power imbalance, library workers are (intentionally or not) supporting it. This session will explore the harmful effect this has on marginalized patrons and highlight ways that white library workers can disrupt racism both individually and within their library. Finally, we will explore resources and tools that can be used to continue the unlearning and help forge new paths that will better serve everyone in our community.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the embedded racism in libraries and how it limits service to marginalized groups in your community.
  • Learn about resources and tools to help white librarians take responsibility & action.

C11 Visit the Exhibits
Take this opportunity to visit the Trade Show!

2:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m. Coffee break

2:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Conference Sessions

D1 Closing the Cultural Gap: Outreach Services to Hutterite Communities in Stettler County – Brandi Roper
Learn how the Stettler Public Library partnered with local Hutterite Colony schools to build relationships and spark a love of reading among children. This session will focus on lessons learned while establishing and running this outreach program and will look at strategies that have worked to build relationships and expand community participation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify strategies for building relationships with Hutterite Colonies.
  • Learn the benefits of providing outreach services through Colony schools.
  • Learn how outreach visits are planned and operated.

D2 Library Support Inside and Out: An Academic Library Partnership with a Native Studies Course – Allison Sivak, Kayla Lar-Son, Kyla Lee and Leigha Rind
Academic libraries don't come first to mind when one thinks of community partnership. But a partnership between librarians, university faculty, and a barrier-free university course will show how you can find a way, no matter where you work. A chance conversation between an instructor and a program officer at an Edmonton women's prison was the start of a partnership that will see incarcerated women attend two university courses on-campus. Our presentation will outline the ways in which we navigated institutional barriers, found champions, and created a team of complementary strengths. We will discuss how we worked to connect these students to the complex, cryptic world of academic information materials and spaces. One could not find any more rule-bound institutions than the university and the prison; our project can show how to work through and around barriers in the name of access.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examples of creative, big picture thinking within a rule-bound institution.
  • How to find the champions you need.
  • How to bring your services to people who can't easily access them.

D3 Copyright and Licensing in Libraries – Rob Tiessen
From loaning books to interlibrary loan, the Copyright Act affects how libraries do their work. With the move from print to digital, increasingly libraries lease rather than own subscriptions to journals, ebooks, and databases. The terms of the licence (contract) signed determines how a library can use a product. This presentation will be an overview of copyright and licencing basics.

Learning Objectives:

  • What is the definition of a library under the Copyright Act?
  • What are some of the differences between fair dealing and fair use?
  • Why is jurisdiction important in a licence?

D4 It's Dangerous to Go It Alone – Nicole Bannick
Camrose Public Library created The Bunker, our LGBTQ Safe Space, in 2015, and since then, it's been an uphill battle to normalize library programs, services, and space for our marginalized members. We're detouring around roadblocks and slogging through forests of feedback, but with the guiding light of partnerships, we're finding our way toward a more inclusive, connected community. In this session, I will detail Camrose Public Library's history of service for LGBTQ community members; what we do, why we do it, the feedback we've gotten (both negative and positive), and how we deal with the negative. I'll also speak about partnerships and how they can not only be wonderful for programs and services, but how those partners will also be advocates when we are faced with challenges.

Learning Objectives:

  • Libraries as community builders.
  • The power of partnerships
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts (responding to challenges to programs and services which are protected by Canadian Charter Rights).

D5 Opening Calgary's New Central Library – Sarah Meilleur, Janet Hutchinson, Avnish Mehta and Evan Woolley
Calgary’s New Central Library opened in the fall of 2018. Partnership, collaboration, and determination were required to make this project a reality. This panel conversation will highlight the significant role the City of Calgary played in supporting the project, the role of the library board in site selection and the ensuing design competition process, the community driven process to select the public art, and the library’s design thinking work and prototyping and trialing approach that ensured the patron experience is as fantastic as the building design. The library was identified by Architectural Digest as one of the most anticipated buildings of the year in 2018; come learn about the partnership process that brought this great building from concept to reality, highlighted through a visual tour of the new building, including lessons learned post opening.

Learning Objectives:

  • The impact of city council support.
  • The governance role of library boards in new facility design.
  • How design thinking processes transform library services
  • Living in a new building; lessons learned.

D6 Say the Right Thing! Intro to Key Messages – Mary Kapusta
Since joining the library, Mary noticed that library communications with media and the public seemed siloed and stifled, with many staff afraid of “saying the wrong thing.” By creating structured messaging documents and providing extensive staff training, she empowered staff to promote the library while controlling the message. Not everyone needs to be “camera ready,” but all staff have a responsibility to share our library story effectively and positively. Mary hopes to adapt her media and messaging training to be a helpful resource and inspiration for smaller systems to support staff confidence, improved communication, and more media coverage for libraries across Alberta. Mary considers herself an upbeat, and entertaining presenter who likes to create an open and often funny place to share what works, and what doesn’t!

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand key messages and how to use them.
  • Receive the tools to create messaging documents that you can use.
  • Hear helpful tips on handling challenging questions with confidence

D7 How to Create a Harry Potter Escape Room – Megan Clark
After a focus group revealed that the citizens of Yellowknife were short on affordable family friendly (and adult non-pub) activities the Harry Potter Escape Room was born. This session will describe in detail how to plan, promote, and execute a successful literary themed escape room. To date the Harry Potter escape room has brought over 200 people into the library and the current waiting list includes over 25 more teams eager to be part of the fall sessions.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to plan, promote and execute a literary escape room.
  • How to create programs that respond to focus group data.
  • How to create engaging programs on a budget.

D8 Human Resources Overview for Small, Medium, and Rural Libraries – Elisa Wilson and Camille Thorsteinson
Edmonton Public Library has an in-house Human Resources team who provide services and support in the areas of recruitment, performance management, employee and labour relations, employee recognition, workplace health, and payroll and benefits. The focus of this presentation is to provide a broad overview of human resource matters as they relate to public libraries including best practices for recruitment and performance management, and a brief summary of relevant legislation. In addition, this session will offer some practical tools and resources that will be useful to those without dedicated human resources support. This presentation will be of most interest to those who work for small, medium and rural libraries with limited or no human resources support.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recruitment and performance management best practices.
  • Problem solving strategies when faced with challenging employee matters.
  • Relevant Alberta legislation and how these impact the workplace.

D9 Comics: The Other Literature – Lorisia MacLeod, Jonathan Anuik and David Lewkowich
Comics and graphic novels are more popular than ever but are not well understood by most library staff. Jonathan Anuik analyzes Archie as a text that imparts the norms of North American childhood. The perennial teacher Miss Geraldine Grundy assures readers that their teachers provide a life in high school that resembles the one Archie and his friends enjoy. David Lewkowich will detail the visual responses created by a group of preservice teachers, while reading a series of contemporary graphic narratives about adolescent life. This visual practice of transmediation allowed readers to work through and at the limits of what can and cannot be expressed through language and representation. Lorisia MacLeod will review how having comic collections benefit libraries and will touch on new areas of publishing in comics including areas such as self-published comics and those on Indigenous topics.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how a comic may educate readers and support areas like ESL and inclusion.
  • Learn about the power of the form by having the audience respond in a hybrid logic and textual form.

D10 Lightning Strikes 1

Breaking Down Barriers in Unexpected Places: Accessible Comic Books – Leah Brochu and Rachel Osolen
While working for the National Network of Equitable Library Service, we were faced with an unusual user request: Could we make an accessible version of the comic book The Walking Dead? We soon discovered there is little work focused on this type of project. When it comes to television shows, movies, plays, museums, or even dance performances, there are Best Practices guides that can be referred to if a person or organization wants to create an accessible version of their medium. However, one visual medium has been overlooked: the comic book/graphic novel. Therefore, as we created a “Described Comic Book” for our user, we also wrote a detailed set of guidelines for the creation of future works. In a world where Persopolis and Maus are assigned readings for university English courses, and where comic books are an ever-present part of the cultural conversation, this work is worthwhile.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the importance of making graphic works accessible to all users.
  • Understand what Comic Book Description means.
  • How we approached the creation of Assisted Readers for Comics.

Audiovisual Editing Technology in Academic Libraries – Marc Stoeckle
The University of Calgary’s main library, recently completed an overhaul of its Audio/Visual Editing Suites for research and learning purposes. The former set-up was broken, limited, out dated and insufficient for supporting research and learning. This session will cover how the implementation of new technology is working to foster interdisciplinary research into e.g. oral history, music, film. The new suites include professional audio/visual editing soft- and hardware: microphones, midi-keyboards, speakers, audio-interfaces, etc. We will focus on a step-by-step explanation on how to set-up an A/V suite in an academic library, policy development and pre- and post-assessment outcomes. The presentation seeks to inform and help other academic librarians with the implementation of audio/visual editing space to support learning and research for undergraduates, graduates and academic staff.

Learning Objectives:

  • Technology needed to create a budget recording studio in your library.
  • Learning and teaching possibilities.
  • Policy development.

Virtues: A Gift of Character – Susan Parkinson
Susan will touch base on The Virtues Project and what it can bring to the library world. Her library has incorporated The Virtues Project into their team building philosophy and plan. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Learn about The Virtues Project.
  • Learn the benefits of The Virtues Project.

Library of Things – Andrea Johnson
The Cochrane Public Library’s “Library of Things” has grown exponentially over the past 2 years. From gardening and power tools, to lifejackets, to board games, the library offers a diverse collection to our patrons. Come find out where they received funding, how they maintain the collection, and lessons learned!

Learning Objectives:

  • How to start a Library of Things
  • How to maintain a Library of Things
  • Lessons learned

D11 Visit the Exhibits
Take this opportunity to visit the Trade Show!

4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. ALTA and LAA Annual General Meetings. Be sure to attend the meeting for your association.

4:00 p.m. Exhibits close

6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Dinner

Evening Networking Events TBA

7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Author Talk - Kate Harris

8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Author Talk - Pauline Dakin

Printable Friday Schedule coming soon!

Floor Plans


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