Last time I wrote, I invited you to tell me what is going on in your library, and wonderful stories came from here and there. Here are the things that I heard.
Elaine from the Lucky Lake Library told me that their programs about Remembrance Day for children in Grades 1-2 and 3-4 featured a theme of animals that helped in the war. She said with all the students busy, it was a 'zoo' in there for a while, hahaha!
Merrilee from the Kelliher Library says that their library is small but the heart of the community. She has been making a habit of working collaboratively with the local school to have school children come to the library for special events: this year, they made Halloween critters in October, and they will be back making homemade ornaments for the library's Christmas tree. Enjoying books together is always part of the fun, of course.
At the Ada Staples Library in Oxbow, Janell sent me some photos of what they are doing to inspire and engage their community: they have recently hung student artwork from the local school in the library, they hosted a reading by two local writers, and they did an interactive display where people were invited to share what inspires them.
A lot of vibrant things are happening in Saskatchewan libraries, big and small. Thanks for sharing your stories, Ladies, about the importance of your library to your community.
Saskatchewan Library Week happened in October, and I would like to take a moment on behalf of the Board to thank our staff and volunteers who made this year's contests and events so dynamic and enjoyable. I also really enjoyed meeting and chatting with friends old and new at the Saskatchewan Libraries Happy Hour in early November. Visiting live community-to-community during the event, via FaceTime and Skype, was a silly but fun illustration of how we use today's technology to connect libraries and people across the Province on a regular basis. We are using our skills and creativity to build new and better services together all the time. If I saw you in person or digitally that night, thanks for coming out. A special thanks to the folks at the Creighton Library for taking us up on our challenge and hosting their own party. If you are reading this, maybe your community can host an SLA party next year!
Finally, in business news, the SLA Board and staff are hard at work on projects big and small. We spent a day recently in Watrous with a SaskCulture facilitator, workshopping our organization's diversity plan going forward. More news on that will come out soon. Financially, we have made a new investment plan for our savings to ensure that we are maximizing our interest, and we made a commitment to increase the amount of the Mary Donaldson Award of Merit (award to a SK Polytechnic Library Technician Student) from $750 to $1200. The amount of this award has not changed in many years, and $1200 will reflect the current cost of program textbooks for the student. At the committee level, we are starting to plan next year's big events, we are making statements on library issues, we are working on the style of the newsletter and the website, we are identifying sponsors for our programming, and we are planning the big conference.
The Board has revised the SLA Personnel Handbook, and are doing a pilot project to adopt a consent agenda format for our Board meetings. We are connecting with associate organizations, in meetings big and small, to strengthen relationships and identify common ground going forward. We are working on a plan for the Mary Donaldson Trust; the amount of money in the Trust has been steadily dwindling over time, and now it is time to determine what to do next. It is also time to start to build a strategic plan for our organization for 2015-2018. Our first step will be to ask you, the SLA membership, what future directions you want. Stay tuned for that, and we would really appreciate it if you fill out the survey when it comes.
It is great to have so many volunteers involved in our day-to-day work, bringing member involvement in a meaningful way to what we do. Thank you for what you do.