Public Library Services Branch
Alberta Municipal Affairs
Public Library Services Branch
#803, Standard Life Centre
10405 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5J 4R7
Phone: 780-427-4871 or toll free in Alberta 310-0000
The Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) is part of the Corporate Strategic Services Division of Municipal Affairs. The Branch has nine FTE staff members. It provides policy, planning and administrative expertise required to develop and maintain provincial legislation related to public library service. It is also accountable to the Minister for ensuring library board compliance with the Libraries Act and Libraries Regulation. Branch staff:
- Provide consultative support to 225 municipal and intermunicipal library boards and 7 library system boards established under the Libraries Act in areas related to legislation and management of public library service.
- Deliver orientation programs for public library trustees.
- Consult with staff and trustees of municipal and system boards on planning and policy development for municipal boards and regional service delivery at the library system level.
- Develop financial policy and deliver a grant program to assist public library boards in the provision of municipal and library system service.
Branch staff collect and publish provincial public library statistics which provide a summary of library funding and performance indicators for all public library boards.
The Branch also encourages and enables seamless access to library resources for Albertans. It works with municipal boards at the local level and library system boards at the regional level to create a province-wide network so that the libraries can cooperate and share their resources. The Branch funds public library access to high speed broadband through the Alberta SuperNet. It supports interlibrary loan management and delivery through agreements with Chinook Arch Regional Library System and Service Alberta. It also supports networked initiatives through the Alberta Public Library Electronic Network (APLEN) including access to digital content and staff training. PLSB is in the process of working with network library partners to develop and implement a plan for a province-wide technology plan and library card.
In addition, the Branch continues to provide support for development of an integrated library policy which will encourage provincial government ministries to work together to ensure that Albertans can access resources and services from all publicly-funded libraries in the province. It provides funding to The Alberta Library (TAL) in recognition of library initiatives that support access to resources from all library sectors.
The Branch also supports Ministry initiatives including the annual Minister’s Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Public Library Service. It liaises with other ministries on library related issues and works with representatives from library associations and agencies within the province and throughout the country on emerging trends and issues in library service. It is also consulting with First Nations in Alberta to support their efforts to deliver public library service.