Thursday, January 29, 2015
James E. Shanley Tribal Library has absorbed the Poplar City Library which was a branch of the Roosevelt County Library
Monday, November 10, 2014
Monday, September 1, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Engaging learning opportunities brought to Maskwacis college
Published: July 23, 2014 9:00 AM
Updated: July 23, 2014 10:44 AM
Invited by Khetarpal down from Edmonton was the Let’s Talk Science team, an outreach science organization affiliated with the University of Alberta, to engage the community in several topics.
“We grabbed activities that encompasses all the areas of science we cover,” said site lead Shakib Rahman.
Let’s Talk Science uses simple household items to further interest kids in learning. “The biggest thing is, if you make science approachable to the kids . . . you find a lot of them coming out,” said Rahman.
He says teaching children science isn’t about intimidating them with every detail but about fostering an interest and a passion. “It’s about self-discovery.”
He wants approachable science to break down barriers and attract students of all ages to learning.
In the spirit of furthering their education and knowledge, the students of the college are exposed to a sociology class taught by Yun-Csang Ghimn.
Ghimn joined the college almost six years ago and began teaching a course equal in value to those at the University of Alberta, making the course transferable and providing more post-secondary options to the students.
He also teaches sociology at the University of Alberta and feels the smaller classes are more beneficial in readying the First Nations students for other schools and experiences. “Academically, I would say they’re more than ready.”
The small size also allows for more emotional interactions between the students; heated arguments and debates are common, says Ghimn.
Ghimn focuses on social structure and inequality with a First Nations perspective.
“(It) seems like the last five years, my students have had some organic exposure to non-white ethnic people,” said Ghimn. “I believe it’s an important thing for native students to have.”
The open dialogue of the class deals with customs, traditions, and truths and myths behind stereotypes, both for First Nations people and the rest of the world. “That’s a quite unique Maskwacis sociology class,” said Ghimn.
“I believe the college has to work as a window for them to the outside world,” he added.
Unlike most academic courses, where one lesson segues into the next, Ghimn’s class jumps from one topic to another depending on what the students wish to discuss.
He finds some of the topics closest to students’ hearts include race ethnicity and the hierarchy of “white” people, which refers to immigrants and other styles of people in a traditional western secular society, such as Hutterites.
“Students tend to find a few or several topics they love to talk about and they’re on fire,” said Ghimn.
Maskwacis Cultural College, 40th anniversary
Maskwacis Cultural College is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a year of cultural ceremonies and celebrations.
The college was provincially sanctioned in 1988 and has graduated more than 2,000 students with degrees, diplomas and certificates. “We’re a provincial private institution,” said president Patricia Goodwill-Littlechild.
“We hire the finest faculty; highly qualified faculty and teach courses approved by the government of Alberta,” said Goodwill-Littlechild. Maskwacis Cultural College’s courses are transferable to many universities, including Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
First Nations Community Library Service development
Support by people, agencies, media, corporate organizations, tribal, provincial and federal government is gratefully acknowledged.
May 23, 2013: Library in a Box Service launched
May 29, 2013: Information Research Forum (Duty to consult)
June 10, 2013: CBC book drive mobilized $23,000 for the collection and development
July 17, 2013: ATCO Library Showcase BBQ (Community Collaboration raised $1400 and mobilized $3000)
September 28, 2013: Alberta Culture Days contributed $10,000
October 1, 2014: ebook reader borrowing service launched
December 2014: Viewing station by Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education $10,000
January 27, 2014: NoFrills Literacy day mobilized $10,000
February 28, 2014: New Horizons for Seniors Grant for computer training and digital literacy $23,000
April 15, 2014: Indigenous Library Training and Mentoring program proposal submitted
July, 2014: Online catalog in collaboration with Soutron Global http://demo3.soutronglobal.net/Library/Catalogues
July 16, 2014: 160 indigenous community members registered for the summer reading program at the library showcase on July 16, 2014. http://setuppubliclibrarywithfncommunity.blogspot.ca/2014/07/160-people-registered-for-tdsrc-on-july.html
Join in the conversation right now and visit http://setuppubliclibrarywithfncommunity.blogspot.ca
The 10 new priority occupations are: geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists, and lawyers.
Government of Canada Helps More Skilled Newcomers Get Jobs in Their Fields Faster
July 18, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Employment and Social Development Canada
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism, and the Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister, announced that the Government of Canada, in partnership with the provinces and territories, will improve foreign credential recognition for 10 additional priority occupations including the skilled trades and healthcare. They made the announcement today at separate events in Vancouver and Toronto.
The 10 new priority occupations are: geoscientists, carpenters, electricians, heavy duty equipment technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, audiologists and speech language pathologists, midwives, psychologists, and lawyers.
Minister Kenney explained that occupations in the skilled trades were selected because they are in demand in some sectors and regions of the country, while occupations in health care were emphasized because they help address skills shortages and improve the quality of life of Canadians.
These occupations are part of a national framework that aims to streamline foreign credential recognition for priority occupations. For priority occupations, service standards are established so that internationally trained professionals can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada.
- Under the Framework, high-skilled newcomers in the 14 priority occupations, including some 2,000 pharmacists, 1,200 dentists and 5,600 engineers, are already benefitting from improvements to foreign credential recognition.
- The Government also launched the Federal Skilled Trades Program to facilitate the immigration of skilled tradespeople to Canada and help address serious skills shortages in the construction industry. Applicants are selected according to criteria that put more emphasis on practical training and work experience. Altogether, there are 90 occupations currently eligible for processing under this program.
- On May 13, 2014, Minister Wong launched the NHSP 2014-2015 Call for Proposals for Community-Based Projects. Through this call for proposals, organizations may receive up to $25,000 in grant funding for projects that are led or inspired by seniors. The call closed across Canada on July 4, 2014, except in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, where it was extended until July 18, 2014, as a result of significant damages caused by flooding in June.
- The Government of Canada also offers a microloans pilot project to help internationally trained workers cover the cost of having their credentials recognized. To date, more than 1,300 skilled newcomers have benefitted from microloans.
"Our government's top priorities are creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity. We recognize that skilled newcomers help fill shortages in key occupations and make an important contribution to Canada's economy. That is why we are speeding up foreign credential recognition for 10 more occupations, including jobs in the skilled trades and healthcare. This means that even more new Canadians can put their skills to work sooner across Canada."– The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development and Minister for Multiculturalism
"To ensure that immigration continues to support our future prosperity, our government is building a faster and more flexible immigration system that ensures this country attracts the best newcomers who are able to contribute to their communities and the Canadian economy while helping address Canada's labour market needs. This includes the launch of Express Entry next January, which will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants and get them working here faster."– The Honourable Chris Alexander, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister
- Employment and Social Development Canada: Credential Recognition
- Applying for Foreign Credential Recognition Loans
- A Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Credentials
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
- Express Entry
- Job Bank
Office of Minister Kenney
Thursday, July 3, 2014
7 surprises about libraries in our surveys
The Pew Research Center's studies about libraries and where they fit in the lives of their communities and patrons have uncovered some surprising facts about what Americans think of libraries and the way they use them. As librarians around the world are gathered in Las Vegas for the American Library Association's annual conference, here are findings that stand out from our research, our typology of public library engagement and the quiz we just released that people can take to see where they compare with our national survey findings: What kind of library user are you?
1Each time we ask about library use, we find that those ages 65 and older are less likely to have visited a library in the past 12 months than those under that age. Equally as interesting is the fact that younger Americans (those ages 16-29) are just as likely to be library users as those who are older.
2Although 10% of Americans have never used a library, they think libraries are good for their communities. We've identified this group of library users as "Distant Admirers," and they are the majority of the nearly 15% of Americans ages 16 and older who have never been to a library. Despite their lack of personal use of libraries, their positive views of libraries might stem from the fact that 40% of Distant Admirers report that someone else in their household is a library user. About two-thirds of them or more say libraries are important because they promote literacy and reading, that they play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed and they improve the quality of life in a community. Finally, 55% say the loss of the local library would be a blow to the community.
3E-book reading is rising but just 4% of Americans are "e-book only" readers. The incidence of e-book reading has been steadily climbing during the course of our libraries research. It now stands at 28% of the population who have ever read an e-book. But this has not really affected the number of those who read printed books. The vast majority of e-book readers also enjoy printed books.
4Those who read both e-books and printed books prefer reading in the different formats under different circumstances. One of the reasons many book lovers read in both printed and e-book formats is that they feel each format has its own virtues. In a head-to-head competition, people prefer e-books to printed books when they want speedy access and portability, but print wins out when people are reading to children and sharing books with others. When asked about reading books in bed, the verdict is split: 45% prefer reading e-books in bed, while 43% prefer print.
5One of the big concerns in the publishing industry about selling e-books to libraries is that allowing free access to e-books through libraries might eat into book sales. In fact, Pew Research data show that those who use libraries are more likely than others to be book buyers and actually prefer to buy books, rather than borrow them. Among the 78% of Americans 16 years and older who had read a book in the previous year, according to a survey we did in 2011, a majority of print readers (54%) and readers of e-books (61%) said they prefer to purchase their own copies of these books rather than borrow them from somewhere else.
6One of the foundational principles of librarians is supporting the privacy of patrons. Librarians have long resisted keeping or sharing records of the book-borrowing or computer-using activities of their patrons. However, in the age of book-recommendation practices on all kinds of websites, many patrons are comfortable with the idea of getting recommendations from librarians based on their previous book-reading habits. In a 2012 survey, 64% of respondents said they would be interested in personalized online accounts that provide customized recommendations for books based on their past library activity. Some 29% said they would be "very likely" to use a service if it were made available by their library.
7Many librarians are struggling to figure out how to think about their book collections in the digital age. The responses in a 2013 survey was the most divided verdict we got in the range of changes in the library world that we probed. Some 20% of respondents said libraries should "definitely" make changes with the ways they arrange their books, such as moving some print books and stacks out of public locations to free up more space for tech centers, reading rooms and cultural events, according to our 2013 survey. However, 36% said libraries should "definitely not" make those changes and 39% said libraries should "maybe" consider moving some books and stacks.
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Sustaining Communities, Sustaining Ourselves
"When everything is online, why come to the library at all? The library of the future most certainly is not about storing books, but what is it? Well, we get to decide. That means, we get to do what we want, and everything is allowed."
- Chrystie Hill at TEDxRanier - Libraries Present and Future
Aarhus Public Libraries in Aarhus, Denmark, built their new library using a process they call Participatory Democracy in Action. They did so by asking their community the question in the quote above, "If everything is online, why come to the library at all?" Feedback came from all over, children and adults, and had a huge impact in shaping the plan for the new Aarhus library building, Dokk1, which will open later this year on the harbour front in Aarhus.
What they achieved in Aarhus is not just a beautiful new library building offering innovative services, but a library that was planned, from the ground up and with the participation of its community, to serve the community in the ways that the community said it wanted to be served. Since the new library hasn't opened yet, it's still too early to say what impact this type of participatory planning will have, but odds seem good that the library AND the community will thrive because of this connection between the two throughout the entire process.
When the services and space of the library meet the needs of the community, the library will help to sustain that community and the community, in turn, will sustain the library.
[Take the poll: What makes a library sustainable?]
Chrystie Hill presents at TEDxRanier on Libraries Present and Future. Video uploaded to YouTube on December 28, 2011. Courtesy of TEDx Talks.
Sustainability starts with communication
You can call it advocacy, marketing, or demonstrating impact; you can call it outreach or "embedding" or engagement - whatever you call it, though, sustaining communities (and sustaining libraries) starts with communication. In Aarhus, that involved communication from concept through completion, and it seems like a good model to follow. Of course, we can't all build new libraries just to test this practice, but we can look at the services we are providing, the space we have in our buildings and what we are doing with it, and we can invite the community into a conversation to talk about these things and tell us what they want.
Are we really talking about DIY -- it's starting to feel like 'do it together.' Now what does that look like?
- Beth Farley, Bellingham Public Library (WA)
In our recent webinar on Transforming Library Space, Beth Farley shared some of her experiences conceptualizing and creating SkillShare, an alternative programming space that's now located in the sweet spot between holds, new books, and the self-check stations that many library visitors never venture beyond. The library wanted a space with fewer hurdles than their traditional meeting rooms, one that would serve as a venue for community members to present and engage in a more informal setting.
But it didn't take shape under library steam alone. Friends groups purchased technology and worked late hours. Architects donated ideas and time. Visionary volunteers emerged and brainstormed. The result was an amazing restructuring of space that was built not only with community needs in mind but with community involvement through every step of the process.
Why come to the library at all?
Everyone who is strongly connected to libraries has their own answer to this question, but does your library understand it's value to the patrons that use it? What about the people who aren't using the library? What answer can we give them to this question that will bring them in the doors and make them active, participating members in the library and in their community?
Every community is different, but there is some broad research that can help libraries get started answering these questions. Lee Rainie, Director of the Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center, has given some excellent talks about people who use the library (and people who do not). In his examination of patron profiles, Rainie explores who our patrons and non-patrons are, what their information needs are, what kinds of technology they use, and how libraries can meet the varying needs of their patrons.
Pew surveys obviously cover a very wide net, but there are many ways that libraries can use similar tools to touch the pulse of their communities. In our recent webinar on Library Surveys for Success, Colleen Eggett from the Utah State Library shared strategies on how to create successful surveys to make, measure, and meet your library's goals.
And if you don't want to make your own survey instrument, there are tools out there for you to use. The Impact Survey, evolved from the 2009 Opportunity for All study, makes the complex job of surveying patrons easy and fast at no cost to library staff. Libraries can implement this survey quickly, run it for 2 to 6 weeks, and the day after they close it they will receive a suite of professional, full-color reports customized with your library's survey results. In addition to graphs and charts analyzing your survey responses, the standard reports include an op-ed customized with your survey results ready to submit to your local paper; an advocacy flyer featuring your survey results with regard to education and employment; and a ready-made presentation about your library's outcomes, ready to share with the city council, commissioners, service groups, or others.
Lee Rainie presents as the Tuesday Keynote speaker at Internet Librarian conference, 2013. Lee starts his presentation around the 6m 28s mark. Video courtesy Steve Nathans-Kelly on Vimeo.
We get to do what we want, and everything is allowed
The library that is sustained by the community will be the library that sustains the community; the two are inextricably linked. Library staff need to not just be a part of the library, but also a part of the community; they need to talk to other people in the community (both inside and outside of the library) and find out how they can, as people and as an organization, help the community thrive.
The best part is, we get to be a part of figuring that out. Maybe we can't all build a new library on the harbour front, but we can listen and we can learn and we can make changes, and we can tell ourselves and our communities that the library that will hold up for years and years to come is going to be a new library, whether or not it is in a new building, and everything is, in fact, allowed.
A new state library project in Arizona explores yet another e-book path for libraries
We've heard a lot about the progress libraries have made in the e-book realm. But the underlying story of public libraries and e-books remains nettlesome: research shows that most people still do not know that libraries lend e-books, that the lending infrastructure itself remains fractured and restrictive, and that the content is mostly licensed—not owned—and is often costly. As a result, there has been growing concern that public libraries are losing ground to more consumer-friendly private companies eager to become the exclusive e-book providers of the future.
Just last month, for example, the subscription services Oyster and Scribd announced that they will offer Simon & Schuster's entire backlist (over 10,000 titles), along with titles already on offer from HarperCollins and a growing number of indie presses. Such developments are at once exciting and unsettling for public library administrators, who can't help but question their future in such a digital world.
In response, some libraries have leaned on their traditional strengths—collections and resource sharing—to create new opportunities in the library market. Most famously, the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries pioneered its own e-book platform. And in the same vein, the Arizona State Library this month signed an agreement with South Carolina–based BiblioLabs to offer a new service called Reading Arizona.
Arizona State librarian Joan Clark said that the project drew its inspiration from the Douglas County Libraries platform, and like that platform, is a direct response to the pronounced shift toward the consumption of digital products. "More libraries are beginning to develop projects like this, where they have their own platforms, select their own content outside of the usual third-party vendors, and find innovative ways to bring content to patrons," she says. "Reading Arizona will not only provide relevant e-books to its patrons—it will contribute to a national conversation about how libraries can best meet growing demand for e-content."
Powered by BiblioBoard (BibioLabs' multimedia content delivery platform), Reading Arizona will offer Arizona-related e-books and other materials via the state library's website starting in August, and eventually via local libraries in the state. The program will use geolocation to allow registration from within Arizona; thus, no library card will be required. All of the content will be available for unlimited, multiuser access, and patrons will be able to have up to three books at a time on offline bookshelves.
The collection guidelines include everything from fiction, history, and travel guides to public domain books and manuscripts stored in archives around the state. Resources from other cultural institutions and libraries, such as the Amerind Museum and Northern Arizona University's Cline Library, will also be included. In addition, the project will have a self-publishing portal.
Mitchell Davis, the founder and chief business officer of BiblioLabs, says it is significant that the program aligns with the library's mission: to preserve and promote Arizona history. "They are not trying to provide bestsellers free to everyone in the state," he says. "Rather, they are providing access to books that are much more difficult to discover and, sometimes, to obtain."
Davis has long been invested in finding ways to offer alternative paths to content. He is the founder of BookSurge, which was acquired by Amazon in 2005 and eventually became CreateSpace, Amazon's self-publishing platform. And, in 2007, he launched BiblioLabs, which now has projects similar to Reading Arizona up and running in Massachusetts (MA eBook Project) and North Carolina (NC Live).
Clark says that BiblioLabs is an attractive partner, presenting a powerful platform for hosting statewide e-content, for "a reasonable" annual fee. "We had initially envisioned building our own platform and acquiring content ourselves, but partnering with BiblioLabs provides us with an experienced information technology team, content acquisition, and marketing professionals at a much lower cost."
The agreement with BiblioLabs is confidential, but state library officials say they have committed to spend $50,000 on content in the first 18 months. In addition, while self-published authors included in the project retain the rights to their works, the library, for the most part, owns the items they collect for the program and can move the collection to a different vendor platform, if they one day choose to do so.
Massachusetts and North Carolina had similar motives for working with BiblioLabs, Davis says. By partnering with the company, libraries can spend less time trying to play technological catch up and focus more on what they do best. "We allow them to provide their content on a cutting-edge platform, and they don't have to create and maintain their own e-book infrastructure," Davis notes. "Most libraries cannot absorb these costs and provide solutions that compete with the user experiences that readers are accustomed to from the likes of Apple, Amazon, and Google." Davis says his company invested over $8 million in platform development over the two years leading up to its 2013 launch.
Clark says that it was also important for the library to provide a platform for self-published works that could draw on experts in local communities. "Many libraries are beginning to assume a library-as-publisher role, and, with the coming release of BiblioLabs' self-publishing module, it seemed like an appropriate addition," she explains. "We want content about Arizona that is relevant to Arizonans, so it makes sense to invite authors to share how they interpret the landscape."
As part of the project, the Arizona State Library is also reaching out to large commercial and academic publishers to acquire content, Clark says, as well as negotiating with local publishers, like Scottsdale-based Poisoned Pen Press. State librarians have also provided BiblioLabs with a list of desired titles that the company is working to include in the project. In addition to providing hosting, BiblioLabs has its own collection of content (about 125,000 e-books and five million pages of curated content), which is offered to libraries in modules that they can subscribe to on a multiuser, simultaneous-access basis.
Changing the Game
It may not be a commercial blockbuster, but Davis says projects like Reading Arizona matter—in part, because they show publishers that libraries will spend money to support viable alternatives to the dominant e-book regime.
"Today's library e-book models strive to imitate the print world to the point of absurdity, with hold lists and checkout periods for digital items," Davis says, adding that the protections that publishers and e-book vendors use to "ensure against cannibalization of the consumer revenue stream" for their frontlist titles make it very difficult for libraries to offer a decent user experience.
"If libraries move away from bestsellers and focus on those e-books and collections that offer other value, they can foster different business models that lend themselves to creating an excellent user experience and don't penalize them for being successful at promoting individual books," Davis says. "But if libraries say they want one business model, yet spend their money on another model, the model where they spend their money is the one that will survive and thrive."
Friday, May 30, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
State of America's Libraries Report 2014
Libraries continue to transform to meet society's changing needs, and more than 90 percent of the respondents in an independent national survey said that libraries are important to the community. But school libraries continue to feel the combined pressures of recession-driven financial tightening and federal neglect, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, and school libraries in some districts and some states still face elimination or de-professionalization of their programs. These and other library trends of the past year are detailed in the American Library Association's 2014 State of America's Libraries report, released today during National Library Week, April 13– 19.
Press release: ALA releases 2014 State of America's Libraries Report