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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Crowdfunding the Library

Crowdfunding the Library

By Caroline Lewis on April 17, 2013

Since Kickstarter launched in 2009, everyone from indie bands to technology developers to non-profit organizations has asked themselves, "Will crowdfunding work for me?" Libraries, which often turn to more civic-minded crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo and Fundly, are no exception. But the question remains: does it work?

Cassandra Elton got the idea to establish the Antelope Lending Library in a well-traversed mall on the Southeast side of Iowa City while she was working at an after-school program in a local elementary school. Elton found that her students—primarily from low-income and immigrant families—did not have access to the literary culture for which the city is known.

"We talked to the public library about it and they said, 'Oh we serve the Southeast side from our downtown location.'" Elton disagreed. "I said, 'We need to do more.'"

Elton sought to raise $20,000 to lease a space for the library for a year. She initially looked at Kickstarter, but found that running a library "didn't really fit with the terms of service." Kickstarter explicitly states that a project is "something with a clear end" that can "eventually be completed" and prohibits raising money for "causes."

"And so we found out about Indiegogo, which functions just like Kickstarter, but you can do non-profit endeavors," Elton said.

Non-profits, including libraries, can be found on Kickstarter, but it is most effective for art projects and technology development, according to a recent infographic in the Economist. Indiegogo goes the extra mile to provide non-profits with an additional network of donors by allowing visitors to the site to browse "Causes" with subcategories like "Education" and "Religion." It also permits continual fundraising for the same organization.

One Indiegogo campaign, a few road-bumps, and several helping hands later, the Antelope Lending Library is set to open as a book mobile in June.

The library ultimately did not reach the fundraising goal it set on Indiegogo; the campaign only raised about $13,000. But this did not deter the project. By the time the campaign was over, circumstances had changed, the goal had shifted, and, most importantly, the project had found new local collaborators.

The option of "flexible funding" is a key reason why alternatives like Indiegogo and Fundly appeal to libraries, which also generally have local investors beyond their online crowd campaigns. Kickstarter, which has an "all-or-nothing" policy, returns any money raised to donors if the full fundraising goal is not reached within the set time frame.

Elton said she was frustrated, however, by how much of the money raised on Indiegogo was taken as commission. If a campaign doesn't reach its full fundraising goal on Indiegogo, the site takes a nine percent commission, whereas, if it is reached, it takes only four percent. Across all fundraising platforms, donations made through PayPal sacrifice an additional three percent of the money raised.

Still, Elton said she would use Indiegogo again (albeit with a more moderate fundraising goal).

"You can't really learn about it until you do it," Elton said, "because every project is different and you don't really know how it's going to work out."

There are, however, some insights to be gleaned. For one thing, short-term projects and new projects may benefit most from crowdfunding.

Last year, the Santa Cruz Public Library ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund its participation in a global art project called Inside Out. Project facilitator Mariah Roberts had received a green light from the city, but no money.

In addition to raising the $5,000 required to print the large-scale portraits of community members that would adorn the facade of the downtown library branch for four months, the campaign also raised the profile of the project, which brought future opportunities.

"[Kickstarter] is a great publicity format," Roberts said. "For example, we had folks from the paper who were able to get an email saying, 'Check out the Kickstarter,' and then they watched the video and, all of a sudden, they had something to ask us about. It's just an easy way to start a conversation and buzz around your project."

So, what does open digital textbooks means to academic, resource and public libraries?

So, what does open digital textbooks means to academic, resource and public libraries?
VICTORIA - Twenty open textbooks will be developed for skills training and technical post-secondary subject areas. These 20 open textbooks are in addition to the open, online textbooks already being developed for 40 high enrolment first- and second-year subject areas.

"We're focused on making education more accessible throughout the system, and free online textbooks mean savings and more flexibility for students," said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. "These 20 open textbooks for skills training and technical programs will help us prepare British Columbians with the skills they need for jobs we know are coming."

Subject areas for the additional open textbooks will be aligned with priorities in the BC Jobs Plan and Skills and Training Plan, and could include tourism, technology, trades, or other areas where there is a need for skilled workers. Specific subject areas will be determined over the next few months.

The first 10 additional open textbooks for skills training will be available online for instructors to review them and consider using them for their courses starting September 2015.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Free Occupation-specific Language Training for newcomers offers

Want to improve your workplace communication skills?

Free Occupation-specific Language Training for newcomers offers

  • language training geared to your occupation.
  • practical exercises based on actual workplace communications tasks.
  • career-planning assistance.
  • opportunities to connect with local employers, industries and resources.

Workplace Communication Skills for Child and Youth Worker

Participate in FREE work-oriented language training

This practical and innovative course will help you

  • understand human services workplaces in Ontario, including child-care centres and schools.
  • interact clearly and effectively with colleagues, clients, supervisors and the public.
  • network and connect with local employers, agencies and employment resources.
  • learn how to use your workplace communication training in settings such as
    • nursery schools.
    • centre and home-based daycares.
    • elementary schools.
    • high schools.

Small-group exercises based on everyday communication tasks in working with children and youth will help you

  • practise common on-the-job communication to improve your workplace language skills.
  • develop strong interviewing, networking and career-building communication skills.

This course is for you if

  • you have training or experience in the following:
    • early childhood education.
    • child and youth work.
  • your English is at an intermediate level (Canadian Language Benchmarks 6 to 8 or Niveaux de compĂ©tence linguistique canadiens of 6 to 8 for courses offered in French).
  • you are a permanent resident of Canada or protected person.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is looking for proposals for projects related to the political and social development of the NWT.  Territorial Development projects might include meetings, workshops, capacity building or research. For information contact or 669-2856.  The deadline to apply is November 15, 2013.

Elder and Youth Legacy Program

Elder and Youth Legacy Program
Through the Canada Council Elder and Youth Legacy Program Aboriginal arts organizations can help Elders pass on the many art forms being practiced to the next generation. The next funding application deadline is November 15, 2013.

The Recycle My Cell challenge takes place between October 21 and November 22, 2013

About Waste Reduction Week in Canada (WRW)

Waste Reduction Week engages and empowers Canadians to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. WRW is currently held in the third week of October each year.

WRW's "take action" message calls on all Canadians to adopt more environmentally conscious choices. The Waste Reduction Week educational resources provide information and ideas to reduce waste in all facets of daily living. Reducing waste is one solution to the many environmental challenges we face: climate change, water pollution and preservation of natural resources.

History of WRW

Recycling and Waste Reduction Weeks started in the mid-1980s, when a number of recycling councils and environmental organizations began holding provincial events. In 2001, these organizations came together, pooled their resources and expanded their efforts into a national event called Waste Reduction Week in Canada (WRW). 

Since 2001, Waste Reduction Week in Canada has been organized by a coalition of non-government, not-for-profit environment groups and governments from each of the 13 participating provincial and territorial jurisdictions across Canada.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ATESL resource library

ATESL resource library

The Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language (ATESL) is a professional organization that promotes the highest standards of teaching and English language program provision for all learners in Alberta whose first language is other than English.

ELMO - Exemplary Literacy Materials Online - Reviews

ELMO - Exemplary Literacy Materials Online - Reviews is a free, interactive, online database of adult and family literacy resources and reviews. It was developed to meet the ongoing need adult literacy providers and learners have for appropriate and high quality instructional and learning resources. The Web site launched in May 2008.

ELMO Reviews bring together literacy resources + best practice in using them.

You can add your review online, or you can mail, fax or email it to us using this form:
(pdf) (Word)

1. Who is ELMO Reviews For?
What Can I Do On ELMO Reviews?
3. What Kinds of Resources Will I Find?
4. What Kinds of Reviews Will I Find?
5. Must I Register For An Account to Use ELMO Reviews?
6. How Was ELMO Reviews Developed?
7. What are the ELMO Reviews Committees Responsible For?
8. How Can I Support ELMO Reviews?


October is Cyber Security Awareness Month.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) – celebrated every October - was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

Since its inception a decade ago under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM has grown exponentially, reaching consumers, small and medium-size businesses, corporations, educational institutions, and young people across the nation.

This year, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Our Shared ResponsibilityWe lead Internet-connected, digital lives.  From our desks and homes to on the go, we work, learn and play online. Even when we are not directly connected to the Internet, our critical infrastructure—the vast, worldwide connection of computers, data, and websites supporting our everyday lives through financial transactions, transportation systems, healthcare records, emergency response systems, personal communications, and more—impacts everyone.

Cybersecurity is the mechanism that maximizes our ability to grow commerce, communications, community and content in a connected world.

The Internet is a shared resource and securing it is Our Shared Responsibility. Our Shared Responsibility is once again our theme for National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2013.

No individual, business, or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet. Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use. Individual actions have a collective impact and when we use the Internet safely, we make it more secure for everyone. If each of us does our part—implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating young people, training employees—together we will be a digital society safer and more resistant from attacks and more resilient if one occurs. 


- See more at:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The AAAL Fall 2013 meeting is on November 21, 2013 at NAIT

Fall 2013 Meeting Details (Agenda Forthcoming)

The AAAL Fall 2013 meeting is quickly approaching.  Please join us on November 21, 2013 at NAIT in Edmonton for an opportunity to welcome & involve new AAAL members, share knowledge, collaborate, and engage in workshops& lightning strike presentations. This year’s fall agenda will be shortened to allow for the Post -Secondary Library Directors to meet from 3:00-5:00 pm. Please join us for coffee and pastries at 8:30 am.


Date: November 21, 2013

Time: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm

Location: NAIT

Room: North Lobby (01X3)

Address: 11762 – 106 Street NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5G 2R1

Host Contact: Isobel Rancier, NAIT Library (780.471.8796,


Cost of lunch: $20 (please bring cash)


Please confirm your attendance (including any special dietary requests) with AAAL Membership Coordinator: Liz Fulton-Lyne

Deadline for confirmation: November 14, 2013


Meeting agenda will be posted soon


Who's eligible

Microsoft strives to make its software donation programs to be as accessible as possible to nonprofits globally. That's why we give, on average, $2 million in software donations a day to nonprofits across the globe.

Eligible Organizations

Nonprofits and non-governmental organizations must be recognized as charitable organizations in their respective countries in order to be eligible for Microsoft Nonprofit Programs. Eligible organizations must also operate on a not-for-profit basis and have a mission to benefit the local community that could include, but is not limited to:

·         Providing relief to the poor

·         Advancing education

·         Improving social welfare

·         Preserving culture

·         Preserving or restoring the environment

·         Promoting human rights

·         Establishment of civil society

Ineligible Organizations

The following are ineligible for Microsoft software donations:

·         Nonprofit organizations organizations that have not obtained recognized charitable status in their respective country;

·         Governmental organizations or agencies, including international governmental organizations and United Nations Entities. Visit the Microsoft Volume Licensing for Governments website for more information;

·         Schools, colleges and universities eligible through Microsoft academic volume licensing programs and are not eligible for Microsoft Nonprofit Programs, including nonprofit schools. Please visit the Microsoft Volume Licensing for Education website for more information;

·         Healthcare organizations included in Microsoft Health Programs are ineligible for Microsoft Nonprofit Programs. Visit the Microsoft Volume Licensing for Health website for more information. Exceptions include independent nonprofit community, behavioral and women's health clinics; hospices; emergency services; and blood banks.

·         Commerce and Trade Associations without charitable aims or activities benefitting non-members;

·         Sponsorships of events, tables, exhibitions, or performances;

·         Fund-raising events such as luncheons, dinners, walks, runs, or sports tournaments;

·         Political, Labor, and Fraternal organizations;

·         Refurbishers that will be installing the donated software on refurbished computers to be distributed or donated to nonprofits or schools. Please visit the Registered Refurbisher Program;

·         Religious or faith based organizations that have not obtained recognized charitable status; and

·         Individuals.

Microsoft Higher Education Support

Microsoft Higher Education Support

Microsoft University Recruiting works to attract and hire the best and the brightest from around the world. We seek out diverse talent at all schools and specifically target historically underrepresented institutions.

·         Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Morgan State University, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T State University, Spelman College, Tuskegee University, and Xavier University.

·         Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs): Florida International University, Instituto Tehnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, University of New Mexico, University of Puerto Rico, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Texas at Pan American, and University of Texas at San Antonio.

·         Women's Colleges: Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Wellesley College, and Spelman College.

In addition to recruiting at these schools, Microsoft focuses on diversity recruitment through campus organizations and national chapters such as Minority Engineering Program (MEP), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Anita Borg Institute, Association of Computer Machinery- Women (ACM-W), Computer Research Association-Women (CRA-W), Women in Engineering Pro-Active Network (WEPAN) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world's premier student technology competition. It is designed for high school and college students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution that addresses the Imagine Cup yearly theme.

In ten years, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a truly global competition focused on finding solutions to real-world problems. Since 2003, over 1.4 million students have participated in the Imagine Cup with 358,000 students representing 183 countries and regions.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Microsoft supports Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) with technology investments that enable TMCF and its member schools to strengthen their IT capacity, broaden the institutions' instructional and communications capabilities, and work to build sustainable learning environments. The technology partnership empowers university and college faculty, administrative personnel, and students with access to current technology, it promotes and demonstrates the benefits of new technology to students, faculty and staff, and it allows access to IT resources through the institutions for residents of the surrounding communities.

United Negro College Fund

Microsoft's support of United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has provided software and technical assistance as well as staff and student training across the organization's member colleges and universities. Through these capacity building efforts, UNCF and its member schools have modernized their technology frameworks and are able to provide a quality education to all students. This technology partnership ensures UNCF schools have the most current Microsoft software which enables ease of communication for member schools and to constituents, real-world application of technology for students at school and in future career efforts, and a strong foundation upon which schools can build and grow their IT platform.

Learn more about Microsoft diversity outreach programs 

We attend the following diversity conferences each year and encourage you to visit the sponsoring association website for date and location:

·         Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Conference

·         National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Conference

·         Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) Conference

·         Women in Engineering Pro-Active Network (WEPAN) Conference

·         Tapia Conference

·         Society of Women in Engineering (SWE) Conference

Monday, October 21, 2013

October is Canadian Library Month “libraries connect” Bow Valley College's Stories from the field blog

It is a pleasure to see literacy practitioners talk about libraries inclusiveness.
October is Canadian Library Month. This year’s theme is “libraries connect” and across the country, people are celebrating the roles that libraries play in connecting people and communities. This is the first of two Stories from the Field articles exploring how libraries connect with people and with literacy—in Canada and abroad.

Over four years, the project identified six key lessons learned:

·         Library culture, along with rules and procedures, created significant barriers to inclusion.

·         Libraries must recognise that same or consistent customer service, which does not take into account socio-economic disparity, results in inequitable services that further disadvantage socially excluded people.

·         Planning relevant and effective library services for socially excluded community members requires a collaboration of equals between community members and the library.

·         Relationship building is at the core of effective service planning.

·         Staff “soft skills” such as empathy, interpersonal competence, and open-mindedness are essential.

·         People want to see themselves represented in the library and to have an opportunity to participate. (Community-Led Libraries Toolkit 2008, 8)

An additional outcome of the project was the development of a community-led service-planning toolkit designed to help libraries engage with their communities. The Community-Led Libraries Toolkit includes sections on community entry, community mapping, relationship building, partnerships, program planning, computer training, collection development, and customer service. The Working Together Project’s success and its Toolkit provide an exciting and useful blueprint for libraries interested in better serving their diverse communities.

The library’s relationship-building initiatives included professional development for staff on diversity issues. As a result of the library’s efforts, more people with disabilities, immigrants, and the First Nations community came to the library and used the services (Khetarpal 2013).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

October 11 is International Day of the Girl Child

Toolkits and more toolkits!

Need some last minute help with your events or ideas to make change? Need help thinking of an event to hold next month? Maybe even next year? Check out our new Actions Toolkit and Events Toolkit for tips and ideas!

Funding: New Horizons for Seniors Program deadline Nov 13,2013

Funding: New Horizons for Seniors Program

Organizations that want to help seniors make a difference in the lives of others, and in their communities, are eligible to receive federal grants and contributions funding. Projects must be led or inspired by seniors and address one or more of the following five program objectives:

  • promoting volunteerism among seniors and other generations;
  • engaging seniors in the community through the mentoring of others;
  • expanding awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;
  • supporting the social participation and inclusion of seniors; and
  • providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and/or programs for seniors.

Continue reading about the New Horizons for Seniors Program

Organizations can apply for funding for community-based, pan-Canadian and pilot projects in the same year.

Current Funding Opportunities

StreamLocation(s) Deadline Date
Call for Proposals for Pilot ProjectsCanada2013-11-13

Wednesday, October 9, 2013



Adult Learners' Week (ALW) celebrates lifelong learning, one of several essential factors in developing more inclusive societies. ALW, which was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2000, is celebrated in many countries where there is a growing interest in lifelong learning and its positive role in developing viable societies.

Adult Learners' Week in Canada upholds the fundamental principles specified in a Declaration of principles [PDF, 123.8 KB]prepared by five partners. These values in relation to adult learning are:

·         Equitable access

·         A participatory approach in developing policies on training and prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR)

·         Advice, counseling and support for all adult learners in using a variety of learning methods

·         A critical, forward-looking vision

·         Promoting a culture of lifelong learning

·         Respect for all types of knowledge


The Canadian Commission for UNESCO urges everyone involved in preparing ALW – learners, trainers, learning support assistants, PLAR specialists and others – to work together and use this opportunity to encourage each other, listen to each other, and share successes and experiences. I'm still learning! encourages each of us to realize our potential and work better and more effectively to achieve our goals. Examples of previous ALW activities in Canada For everything to do with ALW 2014 in Canada, visit the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD)

A new group–let’s call them “versatilists”–has emerged

The knowledge world is no longer divided between specialists and generalists. A new group–let's call them "versatilists"–has emerged. They apply depth of skill to a progressively widening scope of situations and experiences, gaining new competencies, building relationships and assuming new roles. They are capable not only of constantly adapting, but also constantly learning and growing in a fast-changing world. In a flat world, our knowledge becomes a commodity available to everyone else.

Success will go to those individuals and countries that are swift to adapt, slow to resist and open to change. The task for educators and policymakers is to help countries rise to this challenge.

 See more at:

The Financial Bridge Builders Program

The Financial Bridge Builders Program

New Survey Findings: Millennials Twice As Likely To Start A Business In The Next Year

Intuit Canada and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation have teamed up to create the new Financial Bridge Builder Program, which will gives a select group of new Canadian business owners the financial tools and resources they need to succeed over the long-term.

Key elements of the Financial Bridge Builder Program include one-on-one coaching with an Intuit Pro Advisor Accountant, and a one-year free subscription to QuickBooks Online Plus.

"We're so pleased to be partnering with Intuit to give entrepreneurially-minded young Canadians the tools they need to increase their financial literacy and create and sustain successful businesses for the long-term," said Julia Deans. "Together, we are encouraging young people to view financial management as an essential component of an entrepreneur's skill-set that enables them to not only monitor, but shape the health of their business."


To see more about program participants, visit

Monday, October 7, 2013

Use of Small and Rural Libraries Grows in the Digital Age

Use of Small and Rural Libraries Grows in the Digital Age

New data provide first federal look at these important community institutions

Washington, DC -- Rural and small public libraries in the United States are community anchors, providing critical services and resources to meet a variety of local needs. The IMLS brief, The State of Small and Rural Libraries in the United States, provides the agency’s first targeted analysis of trends for rural and small library services. The report gives an overview of the distribution, service use, fiscal health, and staffing of these important community assets. One of the report’s surprising findings is the sheer number of public libraries that can be classified as either small or rural.

The brief’s key findings include the following:

·        Of the 8,956 public libraries in the United States in FY2011, 77.1 percent can be categorized as small. Almost half of all public libraries, 46.8 percent, were rural libraries. Their sheer number and broad distribution across the country speaks volumes about the value local communities place on library services.

·        In FY2011, there were 167.6 million recorded visits to rural public libraries, a number that has increased by 4.2 percent over the past three years, and there were 301.2 million visits to small public libraries in FY2011, a three-year increase of 4.6 percent. The fact that service use continues to increase at these libraries at a time when other libraries are experiencing declines on a per capita basis is a further testament to their resilience and continued relevance to rural life.

·        There were 49,048 publicly accessible computer terminals in rural libraries in FY2011, a three-year increase of 20.2 percent. In comparison to urban public libraries, rural libraries have higher per-capita levels of publicly accessible Internet computers and e-books. Given the lag in broadband access in rural communities when compared to suburban and urban areas, this further emphasizes the strong role public libraries play in providing access to the critical digital resources that are directly related to 21st-century skills.

For more research, data, and publications of the IMLS Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation visit the IMLS webpage at

Celebrate October

Canadian Library Month - October
World Teachers' Day - October 5
International Day of the Girl - October 11

Plain Language Day - October 13
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty - October 17