Saturday, April 27

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

E1 8:45 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Keynote speaker - Terry O'Reilly

10:00 a.m.-1:15 p.m. Exhibits open

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

10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Registration Desk open

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

F1 Building Reading Culture: Public Libraries, Children, and Literacy – Joanne Rodger
As librarians and library staff, we want to support the reading practices of our youngest customers. We want to develop programs and services that encourage reading for fun, while also instilling a love of reading and books in our children. This session will talk about the ways in which public libraries can be innovative and find ways to support reading and literacy in new and interesting ways. Non-traditional programs and services that combine reading, making, design, and technology will help support and develop a culture of reading. Drawing on real life examples, as well as current research, participants will come away with ideas to integrate reading, literacy, technology, and books into great programs and services for children of all ages.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn about new ways to support reading and literacy in public libraries.
  • Participants will learn about programs that integrate reading, literacy, technology and books.

F2 Best Practices for Public Libraries – Kerry Anderson
Alberta public library boards often request information on basic service best practices in order to compare their library with those of similar size. In 2018, PLSB updated Best Practices for Public Libraries in Alberta to meet the need for this information. These best practices are: encourage equity in delivery of library services for residents of Alberta; provide a point of reference for self-evaluation; provide a framework for future development; encourage excellence. The document provides service levels that each board can consider as they assess and plan their library service, while taking into account the community’s expectations, challenges, and growth. PLSB is able to provide assistance to enable boards to use best practices and determine if their measures of success are comparable to other similar libraries. This session will provide an overview of implementation of this document.

Learning Objectives:

  • Overview of the Best Practices.
  • Document ideas for how to use the document to enhance public library service delivery.
  • Identify resources and support available from PLSB.

F3 Exploring Reconciliation through an Indigenous Public Space – Colette Poitras, Diana Davidson and EPL staff
Building on the success of Edmonton Public Library’s Voices of Amiskwaciy project, Public Libraries Services Branch engaged EPL in expanding a digital storytelling project to support Indigenous communities to create, share, discover and celebrate local Indigenous languages, histories and experiences. Digital storytelling is a practice that supports community to create and share information and knowledge through a process guided by ethics of inclusivity, informed consent, capacity-building and preserving the autonomy and authenticity of the storyteller.

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop awareness of digital public space as a way to gather and share stories.
  • Understand the role of public libraries in working with communities to generate community-created content.

F4 Speak Up: Advocacy for Trustees – Tanya Pollard
Advocacy is a task that is often daunting for library trustees. How do we get our message of the absolute necessity of libraries out into the community? How do we form a strong relationship with our municipal councils? How do we advocate to our elected officials at the provincial level? Advocacy does not have to be frightening! The Alberta Library Trustees Association has developed a toolkit to help trustees develop their own advocacy strategies and tailor them to fit individual libraries across the province. Bring your best practices and your questions, leave with new insights into advocacy across multiple levels.

Learning Objectives:

  • Skills for advocating for your library.
  • How to advocate at multiple levels: community, local government, provincial government.
  • Strategies to get the message across effectively.
  • Importance of strong advocacy and a unified voice.

F5 Rainbows and Riots: Pride Month at Your Library – Elisabeth Hegerat
This session will begin with a very brief primer on terminology and etiquette for working with the LGBTQ+ community, context about Pride celebrations, and recent highlights from Alberta communities. Library-specific content will cover ideas for Pride month programs and community participation, and ways to ensure your library is welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community year-round through staff training, policies, facilities and programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Pride's significance and current state in Alberta and beyond.
  • Etiquette and suggestions for working with the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Suggestions and resources for programming and staff support.

F6 What's the Deal with Public Library Collections – Angela Lieu and Quincy Hiscott
Edmonton Public Library’s Collections Assessment and Trends Intern Librarians will tell you how they found a way to turn collections data into meaningful information. The presenters will share findings from their research of EPL's physical and digital collections (including user analyses, floating, and interlibrary loan), and discuss how emerging trends in relevant industries might impact public libraries.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain insight into shifting collection usage and trends.
  • Learn ways to contextualize and analyze quantitative library data,
  • Consider more than circulation statistics to ensure decisions are community-led.

F7 Don't Judge a Book by its Cover – Caroline Moynihan and Jonathan Jarvie
The library is one of the last public spaces that is open to all. In many cases those who are homeless; suffering from addiction or mental health issues; and even those who do not meet society’s ideal standard of cleanliness are seen as undesirable. While we do sometimes see problematic behaviours in the library, this does not mean that we cannot strive to ensure that we provide excellent customer service to all who enter the library. These “difficult patrons” can often be a library’s most valuable patrons, treating the library and its collections with the utmost respect. Libraries offer these patrons a refuge from the hardships of life, while the patrons in question offer communities the chance to learn about understanding. Library staff should not chase these patrons out in an effort to provide a safe library; in reality they are just as concerned about creating a safe space as we are.

Learning Objectives:

  • This session will provide you with some insight into how better support and understand patrons from a variety of backgrounds.

F8 Byte Me: Coding in Libraries – Grant Stewart
This session will show library staff strategies to create a coding-based program for their library. We will discuss the how and why of coding programs for children, as well as resources that are available to them. We will discuss the use of coding tools like the Sphero and Code-a-Pillar, as well as online games that can be found on and The session will explain what to do to make the program fun and interesting for patrons and show library workers that it is an easy process to develop an effective coding program. This session will also explain where a coding-based program could go wrong and give staff strategies to get around these potentially program-ending issues. There will be time at the end of the session for attendees to have some hands-on time with some of the websites and gadgets discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Resources available for a coding program.
  • How to plan and execute a coding program.
  • How and why to engage children in coding.

F9 Demystifying Alberta's Local Governments – Ian McCormack
Sometimes libraries have to ‘Find a Way’ to build – or rebuild - a relationship with their local governments. That relationship can be a positive, mutually reinforcing one; however, it can also be something less desirable. Municipal council members are elected by the people of their communities to deliver a wide range of programs and services, and there is always more work to do than there are resources available to do it. This is complicated with the notion with some that libraries have outlived their useful life, and some councillors will wonder why they waste money on a service that nobody uses. If trustees understand how local governments work, how they identify their priorities, and where they get their information, the library board stands a better chance of creating a positive relationship with local governments. Together trustees and staff can find a way to make it happen.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand Alberta local government structure.
  • Learn how local governments choose from competing priorities.
  • Discuss ideas about how library colleagues have kept the profile of libraries high.

F10 Increasing Membership and Awareness in Your Library with a Card Drive - Emily Paulsen and Kerri Twigge
In October 2017, the Fort Saskatchewan Public Library embarked on a year-long Library Card Campaign. While most card campaigns may last only a week or a month, this year-long endeavour gave the library time to be creative in reaching new members, and raising awareness of the library within the community. They overhauled branding and promotional tools to create an exciting new face of the library. Then they took that outside of the library walls and into the community. They not only achieved our goal of 5,000 new and renewed cards in one year but have blown it away. And now we're ready to share what we learned through this enriching experience. At this session the presenters will share the success and lessons learned from this campaign that included card sign up tables, a fun mascot, and other unique marketing, outreach and library events.

Learning Objectives:

  • Creative promotional tools for future growth.
  • Importance of outreach within the community.
  • Events and initiatives that will excite the community.

F11 Visit the Exhibits - Last chance!

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

1:15 p.m. Exhibits close

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

G1 Student Athletes: How to Connect – James Murphy
Student athletes can prove to be a challenging group for the library and library staff to connect with. They are often on the road and have training demands that put pressure on the already busy student schedule. What are some ideas, strategies, and programs that academic libraries or school libraries looking to connect with this group can use? This session will explore the hurdles and successes that the University of Calgary Libraries have had over the past few years trying to improve the information literacy skills of this important student group.

Learning Objectives:

  • Strategies for connecting with a busy student group.
  • Information literacy modules for off-campus students.
  • Student marketing and outreach: successes and failures.

G2 Library Boards and Councils – Ken Allen
Library boards and municipal councils are both independent corporations. The relationship between library board and municipal council is very important in the provision of local library service. Both bodies have specific roles to play as defined in legislation, but can also take steps to make sure their relationship is productive and mutually beneficial. Councils may also provide administrative services to library boards, but if this relationship is not defined in writing the lines between these two corporations can blur. This session will define the roles each body has in providing effective service, how to work together effectively, and when their roles should be defined by a written letter of understanding.

Learning Objectives:

  • The roles and responsibilities of library boards and councils in relation to one another.
  • How library boards and councils can cooperate to benefit their relationship.
  • When to have a written agreement.

G3 Trustee Connect – Tanya Pollard
Join members of the Alberta Library Trustees’ Association for an open discussion. ALTA welcomes trustees from all libraries of every size and shape to join the conversation and share the trials and successes of library trustees from across the province.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participate in discussion to generate ideas.

G4 Cyber Hygiene 101 – Stephanie Thero
When it comes to cyber security, you are the last line of defence – and you are also the weakest link. As stewards of patron information, you have a responsibility to know the risks and how to mitigate them. Geared toward non-IT staff or anyone who has thought that they have nothing to steal, this session will ensure that attendess will leave armed with some simple precautions and habits that you can employ at work and home, that will protect you and your data.

Learning Objectives:

  • Increase awareness of your role in cyber security.
  • Recognize main threats and how to defend against them.
  • Implement best practices to reduce risks for your patrons and yourself.

G5 Midlife Crisis: Programming for Adults – Melanie St.-Onge and Carla Iacchelli
Programming for adults isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be notoriously difficult! Unpredictable attendance, hard to reach audiences, competing for a space in busy schedules – these are just some of the reasons you might be tempted to turn your focus to safer programming bets (early literacy anyone?). Edmonton Public Library’s Adult Services Team has tried to break out of this comfort zone by piloting a variety of previously untested adult programs to see what sticks: passive programming like the Summer Reads ’18, to extremely active programming like the Tour of EPL library bike tour, special events like a literary and local themed spelling bee, volunteer-led DIY workshops, live concerts, guest lectures, “Learn Local” discussion groups, and more. At this session the presenteters will share what they've tried, what they’ve learned, and where they’re going next to keep growing great adult programming at the library.

Learning Objectives:

  • A wide variety of adult programming ideas to try.
  • Lessons, tips, and tricks.
  • Creative inspiration

G6 Teen ‘Zine – Kelly Higgins and Shannon Stolee
In the fall of 2018 the Camrose Public Library was looking for a way to connect with older teens and give them reason to come into the library. After being approached by a teacher from the Camrose Outreach School they created a program and space for teens to come and create zines. By creating zines they have been able to give the students from the outreach school a platform to express their interests, ideas, and passions. By working on these projects the teens have been able to earn credit for Art and English. The presenters will give a short history of zine culture, talk about how they started this program, their successes and challenges, and how others can create a zine program in their own library.

Learning Objectives:

  • Connecting with teens in the community.
  • Working with community partners to create engaging programming.
  • Giving a voice to marginalized groups within the community.

G7 No Money, No Staff, No Makerspace, No Problem – Lisa Stormer
Answering community demands for a makerspace when you have no money, no staff, and no space is a daunting task. Despite the challenges of staffing, budget, and space constraints, St. Albert Public Library successfully launched its Makerspace in 2018. The presenter will share lessons learned by SAPL including how to conduct interdepartmental staff training, selecting and training volunteers, how to operate without a permanently allocated space, and options for libraries on a limited budget. The SAPL makerspace brings together a broad demographic, including 30-49 year olds who normally do not participate in library programs. The makerspace is open two times per month overseen by one staff facilitator and 2 to 3 volunteers. Attendees explore different technologies, connect with others in the community, and move from being consumers to creators.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the benefits of offering a makerspace service.
  • Learn how to build a robust network of staff and volunteers.
  • Identify options for different budgets and spaces (or lack of space).

G8 123 Read and Play with Me – Rachelle Macomb and Anna Wolkowski
Early literacy is so important and by starting early, we unearth the potential of children right from birth. This hands on presentation for participants will provide program examples, themes and strategies that are friendly for both baby and toddler programs. It will also cover how Anna adapted her program to suit her audience better. Participants will learn how to plan, structure and present these programs, and the presenters will share some of their favourite ideas to promote early literacy, play and physical literacy in libraries, including information on their 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program and in-house made multi use activity centres.

Learning Objectives:

  • Ideas for early literacy in programs.
  • Ideas for play literacy in programs.
  • Ideas for physical literacy in programs.

G9 Digital Content: We Haven’t Been Baking Brownies When the House is On Fire - Sharon Day
Digital content access for libraries has become even more precarious in 2018, from new eBook content embargoes, eAudiobook licensing models which restrict availability, disappearing Globe and Mail content and the continued affordability issues with eBook pricing models. Join the taskforce as they review the current status of these issues, discuss the work underway to advocate for changes, and learn how you can participate in this important work. Learn about the “One eRead, One Nation/Un livrel, une nation" Canada-wide program which will be available to all libraries to foster awareness of Canadian literature. And finally, join the presenters as they update the recommended licensing terms discussion. With the impacts of new privacy legislation and changes in the digital landscape, it’s more important than ever to be able to effectively understand and transform the terms into a workable solution.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about the work of the task force, and receive updates on key initiatives, including eBook and eAudiobook awareness campaigns, and advocacy efforts related to accessibility of digital content.
  • Find practical applications for use of the CULC Public Library Principles for Licensing Digital Content.
  • Learn about the One eRead Canada program and find out how you can participate.
  • Learn about and have the chance to participate in a discussion around what is currently being done to address challenges of library licensing models, particularly around content, pricing, and access.

G10 Settling into the Library: Newcomer Perspectives - Allan Wilson, John Shepherd and Larissa Petrillo
This session will focus on issues of researching newcomers to the public library and their perspectives, including the difficulties in eliciting detailed responses from varied age groups, diverse families, ethnic and cultural sensitivities, language and other barriers; all with a view to better understanding how newcomers use a public library.  Includes some library literature review to more fully inform audience of the challenges and rewards of such research as libraries seek to address the issues of serving more diverse audiences. Newcomers are often suspicious of researchers due to their experiences with government institutions from their home country, and face many challenges in their adopted country related to language, bias, technology and other issues that native Canadians may take for granted.  How newcomers use the library can be surprising based on their experiences.

Learning Objectives:

  • Empathy in research, listening to user responses, quantifying anecdotes.
  • Time-based metrics and determining significance in research
  • Adapting/adopting research methods for specific audiences.

2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Coffee break

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Conference Sessions

H1 Say “Yes” to Publishing – Tanya Ulmer
Did you institute a great service, do an assessment or run a study that you’d like your colleagues to know about? Have you considered publishing an article previously but aren’t sure where to start or what’s involved? Are you wondering about the peer review process and it works? This presentation will briefly give an overview of the publishing process, particularly at Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research. It will cover what journals are looking for in terms of content and quality, what timelines to expect in the publishing process, and what do we mean by ‘peer review’. A discussion of the common challenges encountered by first-time authors will be discussed as well resources available to help. This presentation will hopefully make you say ‘yes’ to publishing and getting your work out there!

Learning Objectives:

  • State the main criteria scholarly journals are looking for in an article.
  • Describe the peer review process.
  • List available publishing resources.

H2 Evaluating Success: Getting More From Your Plan of Service – Jordan DeSousa and Miranda Maguire
Public libraries must find ways to prove their value to stakeholders. Thankfully, one of the most powerful advocacy tools available is something libraries already have: a Plan of Service. In this session we’ll show participants how they can use their Plan of Service to demonstrate value and communicate success to stakeholders (community, funders, decision makers). We will briefly cover Plan of Service basics before focusing on the process of developing effective goals and measurable objectives that support meaningful evaluation. Participants will learn various evaluation and assessment methods, and understand how their Plan of Service can inform future strategic direction.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn to write more effective goals and measurable objectives.
  • Discover evaluation methods and how to communicate your value.
  • Learn how your Plan of Service can inform future strategic direction.

H3 Titans of Industry (The Part Before the Party) – Salvy Trojman
Over the last 29 years, Salvy has had the opportunity to share and receive knowledge from the greatest minds in our industry. He's visited hundreds of libraries and met with over a thousand librarians. Two librarians will join him for a conversation about their life in libraries. This session will be a colourful, humorous and meaningful experience for attendees that will illuminate the most important aspects of librarianship past, present and future. Over the last 4 years Salvy has hosted this event at our Gale annual engagement summit and has interviewed librarians from all over North America to help shed a light on what matters most to them. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Inspire librarians with great personal stories.
  • Understanding the ups and downs in career development.
  • Learn important keys to success to improve your library organization.

H4 Ogres Are Like Onions: Physical and Virtual Layers in Pop-Up AR Programs – Kristen Lemay
Augmented reality books can help readers explore a topic in new ways, allowing them to control the movements of a Mars rover or watch a whale swim across a page. The drawback for younger readers is that AR takes precedence over information in the physical book. How then to create a story that is physically and virtually engaging? Learn how to combine AR and pop-up books in a program that encourages youth to express their creativity as they add physical and virtual layers to a story. While teens develop skills in paper engineering, prototyping and AR, they will consider how paper mechanics and AR can enhance the reading experience. Will these features offer details that drive the plot forward, or will a virtual character offer a story that complicates the main narrative? This session will provide a step-by-step guide about how to run Pop-Up AR programs in your own classroom or library.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to create basic pop-up features.
  • Consider the role of augmented reality in storytelling.

H5 Lightning Strikes 2

Filter Bubbles – Rob Hudson
Filter bubbles are personalized search results based on predictions of user preferences. The internet searching we all know increasingly limits our ability to search based on these isolating filter bubbles. After filter bubbles are defined and demonstrated, techniques for coping with this rising issue in digital literacy will be discussed. Schools of thought on the nature of filter bubbles include a utopian idea of a world of our own creation and a counter model of a fragmented population.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify filter bubble impact on digital research.
  • Learn suggested methods for countering filter bubbles.
  • Evaluate filter bubbles schools of thought and future trends.

Mentorship 101 – Veronica Bergsten
The goal of this presentation is to highlight the importance of mentorship in libraries. It provides an opportunity for established librarians to share their expertise and knowledge with new professionals and future librarians. Mentoring allows mentors to share the lessons they learned from their experiences and unique insight of librarianship. It provides opportunities for experts in our field to contribute to the library community by empowering new professionals. Mentoring allows mentees to share their experiences with mentors, facilitating the discussion of the future of the field. Mentorship allows mentees to develop a sense of belonging to the library community, allowing them to find their own way in their new career and to blaze a path for others to follow. It enables librarians from all paths to develop and strengthen our library community, enabling us to better serve our user communities.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of mentorship as a mentor and mentee.
  • Establish the significance of mentorship to librarianship as a field.
  • Adopt mentorship in the librarian community and user community.

Finding a Way to Support the Legal Information Needs of Rural Albertans
Libraries are known to be access points for people to find all kinds of information to meet their needs. But what happens when the library is the only place in your area that you can go to for information and you’re faced with a legal dilemma? Find out about a brand new CPLEA project that aims to remedy this problem by partnering with libraries in Alberta’s rural communities!

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the important role that libraries play in access to justice
  • Engage in a new initiative aimed to improve support for Alberta’s rural communities

More than “personal communication”: a citation template for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers – Lorisia MacLeod
NorQuest College Libraries worked with the Indigenous Student Centre to develop new citation templates to be used in APA and MLA for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. These citation formats are meant to promote the culturally respectful use of Indigenous knowledge and people in research and challenge the status quo of who we cite.

Learning Objectives:

  • Consider limitations of traditional citation templates
  • Consider improvements for citation templates
  • Learn about NorQuest’s new citation templates

H6 Public Library Services Branch – Public Library Network Update – Katrina Peachey
It has been a busy year for PLSB! This session will highlight the current network initiatives that the Public Library Services Branch has to offer to support Albertans through Alberta's public libraries.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand what the Public Library network is and how it supports public libraries
  • Learn about current initiatives that have been delivered via the Network and new projects under development.

H7 Finding Many Ways to Literacy: Global Young Albertans Become Readers – Margaret MacKey
I will present twelve case studies of Albertan readers, aged 18-25, interviewed after they created a digital map of a site important to their childhood reading. The format of the study allows for subtle observation about developing childhood literacy, and the cultural and ethnic diversity of the participants offers new insights into variations and commonalities among very different readers. The project was designed to explore the impact of childhood environment on reading and it did so, but it also revealed very complex accounts of the role of reading in the lives of children and young adults.

Learning Objectives:

  • Become more acutely aware of the diversity of readers appreciating the complexity of reading processes.
  • Understanding the role of place and environment for developing readers.

H8 Trustee Solutions – Tanya Pollard
Alberta Library Trustees’ Association presents Trustee Solutions: a comprehensive condensed synopsis of the 2018 ALTA/PLSB Symposium We’re Only Human. This session will provide you with an overview of the most common human resources challenges faced by trustees. We will cover topics such as occupational health and safety, workplace legislation, benefits, hiring (and termination), and many other HR hot spots. While we won’t be able to address each topic in depth, we will provide links and resources to help with your HR adventures!

Learning Objectives

  • Overview of 2018 We’re Only Human Symposium
  • Gain Knowledge of the most common HR issues for libraries
  • Hiring, termination, benefits, workplace legislation, occupational health and safety

6:00 p.m.    Closing Dinner

Blue and green is the theme! Find a way to incorporate these colours into your outfit for the evening - or not – you do you! Winners will be drawn for door prizes and the winning Mystery Town Tour team will be announced! You must be in attendance to win.

7:30 p.m. Author Talk:  

8:00 p.m.   Panel Discussion

Details forthcoming. Cash bar will be available.

9:00 p.m.    Dance! 

Don’t be shy about attending the dance:  you don’t need a partner and you don’t even need to dance. Just plan to have some fun socializing and celebrating the end of a great conference with your colleagues. Be sure to get your photo in the photo booth – bring your own props, or use ours.


Sponsored by TBA

Sunday April 28

Breakfast is served from 7:30 until 11 a.m. If you need to leave before 7:30 you can reserve a breakfast-to-go. Book it at the Concierge desk before noon on Saturday!

Printable Saturday Schedule - available in December

Floor Plans


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