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Beware Perfection... and Other Ideas for Balancing Your Life

Dr. Margaret Law

Audience: Everyone

This session explores different ways in which we can manage our lives to allow us to have time for work, self and family.

Broadening Perspectives

Twyla Lesko

Audience: School

Alberta Education curriculum includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) experiences and perspectives; this mandate is rooted in Alberta’s Expression of Reconciliation on March 27, 2014. As Learning Commons personnel, the statement and subsequent steps forward will land in our hands. What are ways to accommodate and advocate this learning? Take-aways include a broadened perspective, online resources, reading material and activities.


"Let us find a way to belong to this time and place together. Our future, and the well-being of all our children, rests with the kind of relationships we build today." Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C.

Person-in-Environment: Serving Vulnerable Populations in Your Library

Jocie Wilson and Kathleen DeSousa

Audience: Everyone

In our libraries, we strive to create inclusive spaces that serve all people. By utilizing a social work lens, we can enhance the great service that has always been given to patrons by operating in a manner that recognizes diverse needs. We will highlight available resources and services, provide case scenarios and engage in a conversation for how best to practice social work concepts in library services for seniors, families experiencing crisis and any patron who has come to your library looking for assistance.

Take Back the Power: The Role of the Library Board in Effecting Change

Joycelyn Pelkey and Robert McClure

Audience: Public, Trustee

Having recently undergone a period of tumultuous transition, and ultimately exponential growth, Yellowhead County Library Board has learned from mistakes, shortcomings and failed relationships. Moving forward with these lessons in mind, the board has strived to bring about a new day within their libraries. Joycelyn and Robert will share their story of hiring a new director and re-establishing trust with their municipality in the hopes of empowering other boards to bring about positive change.

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Diversity Benchmarking: Improving Diversity and Inclusion in Library Collections

Laina Kelly

Audience: Public, School

Adding diverse books to your collection provides "mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors" for readers of all backgrounds (Rudine Sims Bishop). Learn how to assess your collection’s diverse and inclusive content, how to use those numbers to plan for future collection development and where to find books that can help fill diversity and inclusion gaps in your collection.

Evaluating Success: Getting More from your Plan of Service

Jordan DeSousa and Miranda Maguire

Audience: Public, Trustee

Your plan of service is a powerful tool for demonstrating your library’s value and communicating success to stakeholders. We will cover the process of developing effective goals and objectives, explore various evaluation and assessment methods, and show you how a plan of service can help you tell a more meaningful story about your library's value. Go beyond simply meeting targets and start making connections that illustrate just how important the library is to your community!

Beyond Story Hour: How to Use Storytelling to "Sell" Your Library

Jill Scheyk

Audience: Public, Trustee

Hang out with a 10-year veteran of the advertising business and learn how to tell a different kind of story—the story of your library. Whether you’re looking to increase program participation or advocate for your funding, every library lover needs to know the tricks advertisers use to sell you on a product, experience... or donation. Learn best practices in marketing your library, no matter the budget.

Indigenous Canada: The Ripple Effect

Stacey Buga

Audience: Public, Trustee

We often hear the quote "education is our new buffalo" regarding Indigenous cultures and the education system. Libraries, schools and the public have an opportunity to provide learning experiences outside the classroom. Stacey will share her experiences in navigating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action and how libraries can actively participate in making meaningful changes within their community. From intensive programming like the Indigenous Canada MOOC to passive programs and art displays, she will share the successes and stumbles seen on the journey so far.

Bring your ideas and experiences so we can discuss what type of programs might work in your library and community. All voices are welcome as you continue the ripple toward reconciliation.

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Grant Writing: Get Ready for FUNdraising

Leanne Myggland-Carter

Audience: Public, Trustee

Grant writing can be intimidating at the best of times, but even more so when a funding opportunity comes your way just before its deadline. Wouldn't it be great to be so prepared that you can confidently submit a grant application on short notice? And to get other applications in well before they are due?


This session is designed to equip library staff and trustees with a grant writing toolkit that will set them up for success when applying for all ranges of funding, be it from the government, private corporations or other organizations. Each participant will leave with access to a file that includes templates for all the documents and resources presented.

It's Not Part of the Job: Third-party Sexual Harassment in Libraries

Angela Lieu, Danielle Allard and Tami Oliphant

Audience: Public, Trustee

Front line public library staff are often victims of harassment by the very people they endeavour to support—library patrons. We will present best practices and approaches for dealing with harassment in libraries taken from other fields like nursing and the hospitality industry. We will present various scenarios to foster deeper discussions about this critical issue and how library workers can support each other.

Library Boards and Councils: Building a Great Relationship

Ken Allan

Audience: Trustee

Are you a councillor who is newly appointed to your municipal library board? Have you never quite understood how boards and councils are supposed to relate to each other? Attend this session to learn about the ways in which library boards and municipal councils can interact with each other under the Libraries Act, and the roles that library boards and municipal councils play in developing a beneficial and productive relationship.

Library Learning Commons – Inclusive Safe Spaces as the Default

Brandy Lindsay

Audience: School

What does it mean to be an inclusive safe space and how does a library learning commons attain that? Every child should be able to see themselves reflected in the books on the shelves of their school library learning commons. Every student needs to know they are not alone and to have their own reality validated. Students face several challenges and identities including refugees and immigrants, LGBTQ2S+, autism spectrum disorder and mental illness, to name a few. These students need to see themselves in books as they offer a window to others, a chance to see the lives of people walking a different path or experiencing a different reality than their own. We will primarily focus on the "how" of an inclusive library learning commons—collection considerations, inclusive vs. non-inclusive language, biases to consider and resources to help us manage the endeavour.

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Human Resources Overview

Camille Thorsteinson and Elisa Wilson

Audience: Public, Trustee

Edmonton Public Library has an in-house human resources (HR) team that provide services and support in the areas of recruitment, performance management, employee and labour relations, employee recognition, workplace health, payroll, and benefits. This presentation will provide a broad overview of HR matters as they relate to public libraries and will offer some practical tools and resources that will be useful to those in small, medium and rural libraries with limited or no dedicated human resources support.


Learning Objectives:

  • Understand recruitment and performance management best practices.

  • Review problem solving strategies when faced with challenging employee matters.

  • Identify relevant Alberta legislation and how they impact the workplace.

Library Programming for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Andrew Plait

Audience: Public, Trustee

Medicine Hat Public Library has been hosting a weekly program since 2015 for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with 20-35 individuals and support staff attending each week. With the intent of improving program offerings, staff conducted a province-wide phone and email research campaign in 2016 and almost 97 per cent of Alberta's public libraries responded!


In addition to providing participants with a basic knowledge of the similarities and differences of intellectual and developmental disabilities, Andrew will share how they conducted their research and the resulting outcomes and personal experiences from offering these programs.

Lightning Strikes

Various speakers

Audience: Everyone

Get ready to be inspired by a new service, program or idea. This session will feature topics from a variety of speakers, including YRL staff. There will be something for everyone!

STEAM Olympics

Rena Traxel

Audience: Public, School

You have heard of the Olympics, but have you tried STEAM Olympics? This event issues a series of challenges in each category—science, technology, engineering, arts, and math—that participants race to complete. Rena will show you how to create your own STEAM Olympics including what she learned from running this event at several public libraries as part of the age 7+ inventors club program. But why should Rena do all the talking when she can get the audience moving? That’s right, participants will get to compete and see if they can take home the gold!


Takeaway: Tested STEAM challenges that participants can use as individual challenges or use as a collection to run their own STEAM Olympics.

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