Network Updates

March 17, 2016

Little Ones in Libraries Symposium & Survey

On February 25 and 26, PLSB held a symposium for public library staff on early childhood literacy and development. Over 75 people attended, representing rural and urban public libraries across the province. Feedback received was overwhelmingly positive and PLSB staff members are now working on follow up activities. In the fall of 2015 a survey was sent out to all Alberta public libraries. The results of that survey are attached in this email. Please share as you see fit.

Alberta Library Conference (ALC) 2016

PLSB staff will presenting sessions at ALC on the following topics: Public Library Network update, library board essentials, school-housed public libraries, serving First Nations & Metis public library users, library legislation, and ideas from the Minister’s Awards.

Save the date! -- Symposium 2017

PLSB staff are starting to plan next year’s symposium, tentatively scheduled for February 23 and 24, 2017. The topic will be on providing library services to indigenous communities.

February 21, 2016

Little Ones in Libraries Symposium

We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to our upcoming symposium on early childhood library services. We are now at capacity and are adding people to a waiting list. We look forward to seeing all the participants at the event on February 25 and 26.

YRL Pilot: Online Accessibility Training

In partnership with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), PLSB hosted an online accessibility training pilot for libraries in the Yellowhead Regional Library System. The 4-week course wrapped up on February 4. We are currently collecting feedback from participating libraries, so that we can offer the course again in the future. Please let Kim Johnson know if your library or library system is interested in participating in the online training. Stay tuned for more details.

ME Libraries Manual Registration

This is a quick reminder that if for any reason a library patron is unable to register for ME Libraries online, a library may register the patron manually, keeping in mind local procedures. The ME Libraries Wiki has a sample training guide for manually registering ME Libraries patrons, created by Edmonton Public Library: Keep in mind that this is a sample only, and that libraries/systems may want to develop their own procedures based on local best practices.

Government-wide Standing Offers (available to library boards)

The Corporate Purchasing unit in Service Alberta, Procurement Services has developed a wide range of standing offer contracts on behalf of GoA departments. Access to these contracts is provided to Agencies, Boards and Commissions, and on request to the MASH sector as “Approved Organizations” (which library boards may fall under). To obtain access, send an email to: Director, Corporate Purchasing, Procurement Services, Service Alberta:

November 16, 2015

Little Ones in Libraries: Symposium on Early Childhood Library Services

PLSB is pleased to announce that the symposium on early childhood library services will be held February 25-26, 2016 at the Matrix Hotel in Edmonton. Registration opens in January. Stay tuned! The call for submissions is open until December 14, 2015: We are interested in featuring local experiences from libraries of all sizes, from across the province.

Photos from Pre-K Survey

Due to some problems with the survey, we will need libraries to re-submit their pictures. We received approximately 25 pictures in total that we would like to feature in our upcoming spring symposium. Please include library name and confirm that permission was received (for FOIP purposes). Please send photos to

SuperNet NGN Upgrade

Quotes have been submitted for all Nodes for the SuperNet NGN upgrade. Axia anticipates we will have the quotes back in the spring. We will keep you posted.

Launch of CELA educator access program

Educators who work with students with a print disability are now able to sign up for CELA’s educator access program. This initiative allows educators at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels in your community access to CELA services on behalf of their students with print disabilities, including a free Bookshare organizational membership. Like any user of CELA service, educators will need a public library card to sign up. Find more information, training and a link to the sign-up form at

October 9, 2015

The Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist Available in Accessible Formats

Thanks to the support of The Scotiabank Giller Prize, the shortlisted titles are available in accessible formats to readers with print disabilities through the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), on the same day that they are announced across the country. Check out the NNELS Giller Prize 2015 collection.

Alberta’s Public Libraries Welcome People with Disabilities

Please find attached the fall issue of the Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) newsletter. Alberta public libraries are featured on page 2! In the summer, we asked you to help us write a brief article about inclusive library service, and here it is! Thanks for all the feedback!

Accessibility Assessments

Did you know that the Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) will do assessments of buildings to check for accessibility compliance? This is a great organization to contact if a library is considering building or renovating:

Pre-K Symposium

PLSB is currently planning a two-day workshop for front-line staff to learn about libraries serving the pre-k crowd. This is a two day event which will be held in Edmonton, February 25 & 26, 2016. Further details will be coming soon.

Happy Birthday to ME!

The ME Libraries initiative has been live province-wide for one year! How will you celebrate? We had cake. Just a quick reminder that all the promotional material is available on the ME Libraries wiki:

August 24, 2015

Library Service for People with Print Disabilities Operational Policy for Public Libraries

The operational policy for library service for people with print disabilities has been finalized and posted to the PLSB website. Please have a look at the policy here: Please pass along the policy to member libraries and library staff.


Simultaneous users are now enabled for all Alberta public libraries – this means that more people in the province will be able to access this resource at the same time without being turned away.

Provincial Archives of Alberta

Libraries may be interested in this exhibition. See attached brochure. “Alberta and the Great War, an exhibit that draws upon archival holdings to show the many ways that the First World War changed the province forever, has just finished its run at the Provincial Archives of Alberta. “ Your contact person will be: Edward van Vliet Program & Volunteer Coordinator Provincial Archives of Alberta 780.427.0356

July 28, 2015

Alberta Public Libraries and Accessibility: Opportunity to Share

The Alberta Committee of Citizens with Disabilities has invited us to write a brief feature for their print and electronic newsletter. The newsletter will go out to Albertans in both rural and urban communities. We want our message to be clear, and we want it to come from people like you who work in public libraries: what are some of the ways you want people with disabilities to be full participants in public library life? What do you want people in your community to know about your library? Please share this message widely (member libraries and branches, where applicable) and respond to Kim Johnson before August 5. We know this doesn’t give you much time, but we hope it’s enough to craft a compelling sentence or two. Thank you for your time! We look forward to hearing from you.

New and Faster CELA Registration Process!

Registering patrons for CELA service just got easier! The new registration form will ask only for the essential information needed to set up a CELA account and start service. You no longer need to gather detailed reading preferences from patrons to complete the registration process. Please visit the CELA Sign Up page for details: *Also, be sure to check out CELA’s new pages on making reading accessible: and compatible devices and software:

2-Year Extension for Current e-Resources

Just a reminder that PLSB intends to continue funding Hoopla, Zinio, and Mango for an additional 2 years, expiring September 30, 2017. (Additionally, keeping in mind the current contract for Press Reader expiry 12/31/2016).

June 26, 2015

Press Reader Terms and Conditions

Thank you to those who have already signed and returned. If you have not already done so, please do so before July 1, 2015. I will be returning the countersigned document to you once it is available.

E-content survey

Thank you for participating and sharing your feedback. I will be creating a summary document to share shortly.


Two items: if you are aware of any library moves coming up, please notify Katrina Borowski with those details. Additionally, a reminder that, as per the SuperNet Operational Policy, PLSB is not able to pay for new builds.

Announcement from NNELS -- Summer Reading Club Titles in Accessible Formats for Young Readers

Great news! NNELS and our partners have been working hard to get Summer Reading Club (SRC) titles for young readers in accessible formats, and today we're rolling them out! The BC SRC 2015 is a program that connects and engages children with books and summer programming, available through their local public library and other organizations in BC. The BC SRC features BC authors and illustrators, with this year’s theme: “Built It!” With over 100 BC SRC titles available, there’s something for everyone. Click here to visit the collection at The TD Summer Reading Club is a way to encourage children to enjoy reading Canadian and international literature. And with over 85 TD SRC titles, there’s something for everyone! Click here to visit the collection at

Announcement from hoopla

For those libraries who have chosen to add the e-book and e-comic package, note that hoopla has announced the addition of DC Comics and Vertigo this week. Enjoy!

May 29, 2015

Delivery Review

PLSB is reviewing the delivery structure in Alberta. We have sent a survey to the libraries. Please remind member libraries to fill out the survey found here

PressReader (2 items)

  1. Public Library Services Branch is pleased to officially announce the launch of PressReader, giving you instant access to more than 4,000+ full digital newspapers and magazines from Canada and the rest of the world. The new Radiant Access feature allows patrons to authenticate at the library, then continue to easily enjoy new PressReader content for up to 5 days offsite. See here for more info on Radiant Access.
  2. Attached is the PressReader Terms of Service for signature.

As was the case with Mango, PLSB can only sign an agreement stating what the province will do, which, in this case, is provide money.  Therefore, each Node needs to sign the service agreement individually.

A reminder: PressReader (via ProQuest) agreement runs until December 31, 2016. Please sign and return to Katrina Borowski by July 1, 2015.

E-Content Survey

A separate email will follow with questions regarding electronic content. This email is intended for Node Directors only.

March 30, 2015

Symposium Report

Please find attached a report on the Symposium on Public Library Services for People with Print Disabilities that was held at the end of February, 2015. There were insightful and lively discussions over the two-day event; we heard so much from the libraries about current services and future plans for library services. We thought we should share some of the insights.

Marrakesh Treaty

At the symposium, we heard about the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. The World Intellectual Property Organization treaty was created to facilitate international sharing of alternate format material, but has not been signed by Canada. The discussion about the treaty sparked quite a bit of interest among the librarians. For further information on the treaty, please visit the WIPO website:

YOU Libraries: Vote Now!

We invite you to vote for your favourite public library service or program: This is a new addition to the Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Library Service. The winner will be announced and recognized by Municipal Affairs at the Alberta Library Conference, being held April 30 to May 3.

Public Library Network website updates

The Network now has a significant amount of content up on including the Operational Policies:

March 6, 2015


We hope that by now all nodes have been contacted by a CVS Midwest tape representative regarding your top-up. We want to let you know that supporting hoopla is one of our priorities for our new fiscal year, as our budget allows.  The provincial budget will be tabled on March 26, so stay tuned!

Public Library Network website updates

The Network now has a significant amount of content up on Some of these pages are still under construction, so check back often!

2015 Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Library Service – LAST WEEK FOR SUBMISSIONS!

Do you have an outstanding library service?  How about applying for the 2015 Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Library Service.

Submission forms and additional details are available here.  The submission deadline is March 13, 2015.  If you have any questions on the awards program, please contact Karen Petch, Branch Information Co-ordinator, Public Library Services Branch, toll-free at 310-0000, then 780-427-9709, or at

Supernet Operational Policy

The Supernet Operational Policy has been updated. Please see here:

2012 Statistics are now online

Please see here for 2012 stats:

Symposium: Library services for people with print disabilities

The two-day symposium on library services for print-disabled Albertans that took place from February 26-27 was a tremendous success. Thank you to everyone who participated. The conversations were dynamic and very interesting. To capture what we heard and recorded from the two days, PLSB is creating a report that will be sent out in the next few weeks.

Survey: Library services for people with print disabilities

Early this year, we circulated a survey on current library services for people with print disabilities. The survey is still open for anyone who did not have a chance to fill it out: We are very interested in hearing how Alberta public libraries are serving print-disabled patrons.

January 9, 2015

Here is the first update in 2015 from the Public Library Network:

PressReader (formerly PressDisplay)

PLSB has officially secured PressReader! We expect that you have experienced a smooth transition in service as our contract was effective January 1, 2015. Katrina will be contacting you shortly for signing of Terms of Service (as with Mango).


Our process to acquire is now complete! With the signed Terms of Service (thank you to all!), we have successfully wrapped up this contract.

Operational Policies

In light of the resource-sharing meeting, the Resource Sharing Operational Policy for Public Libraries has been updated. The main changes are in the Operational Guidelines section. Please find the updated policy attached. It will be available on the website shortly. 

PLSB is pleased to announce that the Electronic Resources Operational Policy for Public Library Services Branch is finalized. The policy outlines the principles and guidelines for PLSB’s selection of provincial electronic resources. Please find attached this new policy. It will also be uploaded to the website shortly.

Both policies fall under the Public Library Network Policy. This overarching policy is available on the website here

ME Libraries Statistics

We discussed collecting ME Libraries statistics at the resource-sharing meeting, and we agreed to collect basic circulation statistics for 2014. Could we get the ME Libraries circulation statistics for your libraries for Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2014? Please send whatever data you have available to Kim or Kerry by January 31.

Symposium on equitable library service to people with print disabilities

PLSB is planning to host a symposium on serving people with print disabilities on February 26-27. Please save these dates. Details to come.


Thank you to the libraries who have sent in their 2013/2014 reimbursements; I look forward to receiving all by January 22, 2015. Once the reimbursements have been made/completed, access to Zinio will be paid for up to October 31, 2015.

December 5, 2014

Government Courier Review

PLSB is undertaking a review of the government courier service. As part of this review, we are soliciting feedback from libraries and library systems. We would like to know what you think of the service, how it could be improved, if you have had any experience with damaged material, etc. Please send any comments or opinions about the service to Kim Johnson by December 31, 2014. A survey will be sent out in January, 2015.

Resource-Sharing Meeting

PLSB hosted a resource-sharing meeting on November 21, 2014. The meeting was well attended and, we believe, very productive.
Highlights include:

  • A review and modification of the Operational Guidelines section of the provincial Resource Sharing Policy. We will be sending out the updated version once it is officially approved.
  • Discussion about the government courier service, in light of PLSB’s current review of the service.
  • Preliminary conversation about a replacement for VDX, as it is end-of-life on December 31, 2016.
  • A decision to create a best practices document for interlibrary loans. We anticipate that the document will be available early 2015.


PLSB’s agreement with Mango is now complete. Similar to the Hoopla process, there will be Terms of Service that need to be signed by each node. These will be sent out shortly.

PressReader (formerly PressDisplay)

PLSB is currently in negotiations with PressReader for January 1, 2015. There have been substantive changes to the pricing model along with modifications to service. We are in on-going discussions and will keep you updated with our progress.

Zinio reimbursement reminder

As stated in the earlier update, we have $130,000 to reimburse for the period of November 1, 2013-October 31, 2014. In order to determine the percentage reimbursement, we will need a copy of your invoice for the period noted. If you already haven’t done so, please email the copy by December 10th to Kerry Anderson.

E-resource Operational Policy

PLSB is aiming to have operational policies available for viewing in early 2015. The intent of the policy is to outline our acquisition and decision-making process in regards to e-resources.

Finally, coming in the New Year, we are working on creating a web archive for these updates (in the new Public Library Network section of the Municipal Affairs website). We’ll notify you when it is live!

November 7, 2014

ME Libraries video

The ME Libraries video is available on youtube: It might be easier to embed the link on your libraries’ websites rather than trying to upload the video from the wiki. It is a great little video!

ME Libraries promotional material: EPS files

There are two types of files on the ME Libraries wiki promotional page: EPS and PDF. The EPS files were uploaded so that libraries would be able to manipulate and personalize the material. The files are designed to be used in Adobe Illustrator, so they will look strange and not print properly if they are opened in an incompatible program. The PDF files are the finalized items that are ready for printing. To avoid confusion, just make sure to check the file extension when downloading and printing the material.

Resource-Sharing meeting

We are very much looking forward to the upcoming resource-sharing meeting. Just a quick reminder: if you have not done so yet, please send the name(s) of your resource-sharing representative(s) to Kim Johnson by November 14. A meeting package will be sent out to all attendees on that day.


We are excited to announce that Calgary and Edmonton are live with NNELS. Phase 2 is well underway and should be completed by the end of November.


PLSB’s agreement with Mango is now complete. Similar to the Hoopla process, there will be Terms of Service that need to be signed by each node. These will be sent out shortly.

Zinio reimbursement
As you know, we have $130,000 to reimburse for the period of November 1, 2013-October 31, 2014. The reimbursement will need to be done in two steps: 1) In order to determine the percentage reimbursement, we will need a copy of your invoice for the period noted. To expedite this process, please email the copy by November 26th to Kerry Anderson. 2) Once we have determined the percentage, we will let you know the amount. We will then need an invoice from you for that amount.

October 21, 2014

Just wanted to do a brief review of last week’s discussion on the econtent scenarios.  The consensus was that option 2 was the most desirable, with two changes:

  1. eliminate NFB and put that money into hoopla
  2. use the Zinio amount for platform reimbursement rather than subscriptions

So, as a result of our conversation last week, the budget for the 14/15 fiscal year (i.e., April 1, 2014-March 31, 2015) now looks like this:

Product Scenario 2
Mango $   155,000
Zinio – platform reimbursement $   130,000
hoopla $   155,000
Press Display $   160,000
ebook project $   200,000

A couple of things:

  • As recommended by the group, PLSB will not at this point be entering into any arrangement to provincially acquire and/or subsidize Zinio magazine subscriptions – each Node will continue to select and acquire those subscriptions individually.  Our support will continue to be for the platform itself.  Depending on your current needs, you may wish to contact either Christa Foley at TAL or Bryan Messersmith with Recorded Books to discuss subscription arrangements. 
  • The Zinio platform reimbursement and the hoopla distribution have yet to be determined.  In light of the conversation around hoopla in particular, it may be worth investigating options for distribution other than population size (in the case of hoopla) or circulation traffic (in the case of Zinio).  If anyone has thoughts on this, I am happy to hear them.
  • Just to reiterate from last week:  the Mango agreement extends service to October 30, 2015.  In light of shifting Government of Alberta (GoA) priorities, it is possible that we may not continue with the product beyond that date in order to accommodate resources in other areas, particularly the area of early childhood development/literacy (which features quite prominently in the current GoA strategic plan).
  • We plan to have the Press Display agreement in place before the expiry of the current subscription (December 30, 2014) so that there will be no disruption in access to the resource.
  • If you or your staff have time, please review the document distributed by Ken Feser outlining criteria for our ebook project.  Please forward your comments directly to him at

October 10, 2014

Here is a very brief update from the Public Library Network:

Resource Sharing Meeting

With the implementation of Alberta-Wide Borrowing, we are looking to incorporate feedback from the ME Libraries initiative into our current resource-sharing policies and procedures. We will be hosting a resource-sharing meeting on Friday, November 21, 2014. Please be advised and pass along that we will be in contact with your identified resource-sharing representatives; let them know to save the date in their calendars. If there is anyone else from your organization that you feel should be at the meeting, please let Kim Johnson know. Details to follow shortly.

That is all we have to share for now. We are very much looking forward to the Nodes meeting next week.

October 2, 2014

Alberta-Wide Borrowing is officially here!

With the completion of the ME Libraries connector for TRAC libraries, Alberta-Wide Borrowing is effective for all participating libraries in the province. We are very excited to have everyone live in time for Canadian Library Month, and we are very thankful to Andrew Nisbet from EPL for all his hard work on the project. For more information and promotional material, please visit the ME Libraries wiki.

ME Libraries outage

Please be advised and pass along that there will be an outage for and on Sunday October 5, 2014 from 8:00am-10:00am.


We will be discussing Econtent at the upcoming Nodes meeting. We look forward to hearing your feedback on the scenarios spreadsheet that was forwarded out as part of the meeting package. Kerry and Katrina will use the scenarios as a starting point for discussion regarding Econtent priorities. Please consult with your staff and bring your thoughts to the table on October 15. We are aiming to reach consensus on the Econtent budget at the meeting.

New PLSB website

Public Library Services Branch has a new website! Our previous address still works, but it will now redirect visitors to our new site under the Municipal Affairs umbrella. Because we changed our webhost, you  will need to go in and re-bookmark any individual pages you have saved,  and/or update any links you may have on your website. We ask for your patience during this time of change as there is still work that needs to be completed and new content added. We encourage you to check back often and welcome feedback about our new website.

September 18, 2014

ME Libraries

Great news! Testing of the ME Libraries connector for Polaris is underway, and we anticipate that TRAC will be live with ME Libraries on October 1. This comes just in time for Canadian Library Month!

ME Libraries Kit

Please find attached the ME Libraries Kit. This kit is meant for use in planning a ME Libraries event, which we hope lots of libraries will undertake in the next couple of months, now that the ME Libraries rollout is all but complete.  It includes a detailed event plan, media communication templates, and promotional material. Please distribute the kit to member libraries. The kit will also be uploaded to the ME Libraries wiki:

Mango Languages

PLSB is finishing up securing Mango for 2014-15. Libraries should expect continuous access to Mango as PLSB assumes the cost for the language learning tool. Node Directors will be asked to sign terms of service agreements with the vendor which will be coordinated with Katrina Borowski from PLSB. Keep an eye on your inbox for this forthcoming document.


PLSB will be taking a new approach to allocating our budget for the coming year. A special email will be sent out to Node Directors two weeks prior to the October 15 meeting. This email will provide 2 scenarios for econtent in the coming year and we will be seeking your feedback on how to proceed based on your needs. Stay tuned.

Press Display

Thank you to all Node Directors and staff for their feedback that was sent out in August. The numbers are being evaluated and this will inform a new contract with the vendor. The current subscription with TAL ends Dec 30, 2014 and all indications show that there will be a successful transition.

Board Basics Workshops

Just a quick reminder about the upcoming Board Basics workshops:
September 27: Chestermere
October 4: Bon Accord
October 25: Stony Plain
November 1: Stettler

September 5, 2014

ME Libraries Project

We are very excited to announce that ME Libraries should be going live for TRAC at the beginning of October. With the addition of TRAC, ME Libraries will live province-wide.

ME Libraries Wiki

The  ME Libraries Wiki is a great resource for participating libraries. Please have a look through the wiki and feel free to add your own contributions. Of particular note is the ME Libraries Promotional Resources page, which has a variety of materials to help libraries advertise the initiative. As well as pre-made promotional material, we have uploaded editable EPS files to the wiki. Your tech-savvy employees will be able to manipulate these files to create personalized marketing material. You are welcome to use these files; we only ask that you share the final products with us once they are complete. The short url for the promotional materials is:

ME Libraries Mailing Flags

In order to streamline the interlibrary loaning of material, we are asking participating libraries to use the mailing flags that we have created. I have attached a copy of the flags (which you can also find on the wiki). Please encourage your libraries to use these flags when dealing with returned items from other library systems.

ME Libraries Kits

To roll out the ME Libraries initiative province-wide, we are developing promotional kits for participating libraries to use. The kits will be ready by mid-September. Included in the kits are: promotional material, a media release template, and event/launch ideas. We encourage libraries to use these kits during October, Canadian Library Month, and potentially in conjunction with Snapshot Day.

The National Network of Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

We continue to work closely with the BC Libraries Cooperative to move the NNELS project forward. The technical lead for the project is working on a connector for the various ILSs. The connector will allow for direct patron authentication and access to the NNELS digital repository. As some of you know, Parkland has already gone live with NNELS, and we are hoping to have the rest of the province up and running by spring 2015. Next to be set up are: Calgary Public Library, Chinook Arch Regional Library System, Red Deer Public Library, and Shortgrass Regional Library System. We will be in touch within the next week to get contact information for your technical leads—those in your organizations who are best to talk to about the technical details of your ILS.

*Please note and pass along that even if your system has not been set up with the connector, residents are still able to go onto the NNELS website and register based on location.

  • Date modified: 2016-10-18