I’m at Evraz Place where P. Jackson from the Alberta government is talking about his library experience.
Alberta was giving about $7/person to libraries in 1993.
1996 they connected all the libraries by dialup. Some libraries didn’t have a phone before then.
A “new vision” was not welcomed by library people, they wanted more money, not having had an increase since 1993.
When MLAs toured libraries they got a new perspective, libraries were suddenly more than books and fines to them. They identified a Single Integrated Libray System as a key efficiency. Tens of millions were budgeted for libraries, but the market crash impacted the level of increase to closer to $9 million.
Municipalities were being overlooked as major contributors to libraries.
Rural libraries were to get increased funding, and it probably staved off amalgamations in some locations.
Alberta Libray enabled 30 million records to be available to Internet connected patrons.
A multitude of ILSes are in use around Alberta. Sask. Is working on implementing SILS now, so AB must catch up there.
Librarians have incredible community organizing skills and knowledge.
It’s difficult to have local autonomy and do things provincially. It’s supposed to be about building partnerships and “selling ideas”.
What technologies will be available in 10 years?
Supernet sounds like Sask’s CommunityNet.
Colocation of libraries with public schools is another efficiency. Canora’s library is in the school.
He wasn’t afraid of ADMs and talked to them as human beings. For libraries to “compete” with other community services they have to tell success stories and to have a plan. Be “assertive, positive”, and don’t say ‘it’s just libraries’.