Search This Blog

Friday, April 18, 2014

State of America's Libraries Report 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

Zmags version of the report at American Libraries Magazine 

2014 State of America's Libraries Report (PDF 9.4MB)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Surviving the Survivor anthology call for submissions

Surviving the Survivor anthology call for submissions

Writing the Eighth Generation: Surviving the Survivor is an anthology looking for submissions of original creative writing pieces of up to three poems, or narratives of up to 7,500 words by Indigenous writers.  Creations in Aboriginal languages (with translation) are especially welcome.  Submit by June 1, 2014 to Renate Eigenbrod, University of Manitoba at

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Library program for newcomers to Canada has received a $550,000 boost from the RBC Foundation

Calgary Herald, March 24, 2014 10:17 AM

A local library program for newcomers to Canada has received a $550,000 boost from the RBC Foundation.

The funding for the Welcome to the Library program will support orientation tours, a welcome video - which is available in 18 languages and will expand to others - and free library access for newcomers for one year.

"Public libraries have historically been the first point of contact for people who are new to the community and new to the country," Bill Ptacek, CEO of the Calgary Public Library, said in a news release.

The funding was made in partnership with the Calgary Public Library Foundation.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

National Library Week will be observed April 13-19, 2014 with the theme, "Lives change @ your library(R)."

National Library Week

National Library Week will be observed April 13-19, 2014 with the theme, "Lives change @ your library®."

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.

Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day, celebrated the Tuesday of National Library Week (April 15, 2014), a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers; National Bookmobile Day, celebrated the Wednesday of National Library Week (April 16, 2014), a day to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities; and Celebrate Teen Literature Day, celebrated the Thursday of National Library Week (April 17, 2014), aimed at raising awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens.

The Public Information Office of the American Library Association coordinates the promotion, placing articles in national media. Librarians, Friends and trustees of libraries join in sponsoring local promotions. Posters and other promotional materials are available through the ALA Graphics Catalog.

The ALA Public Awareness Committee assists in planning National Library Week and related activities. The committees hold open meetings at the ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter Meeting. Suggestions are welcome.

April 2014 is National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM) 2014

Join the Autism Society in getting involved with the autism community this April. April 2014 is National Autism Awareness Month (NAAM) 2014. 

How is it celebrated?

What can I do?

Put on the Puzzle! The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. Autism prevalence is now one in every 68 children in America. Show your support for people with autism by wearing the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon – as a pin on your shirt, a magnet on your car, a badge on your blog, or even your Facebook profile picture – and educate folks on the potential of people with autism! To learn more about the Autism Awareness Ribbon, click here. To purchase the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon for your shirt, car, locker or refrigerator, click here.

Make a difference. Contact your representatives at the state and federal levels and ask them to “Vote 4 Autism.” For more information about this legislation and to take action to support it, visit

Connect with your neighborhood. Many Autism Society local affiliates hold special events in their communities throughout the month of April. But if you can’t find an event that suits you just right, create your own

Watch a movie. Did you know that something that seems as simple as going to the movies is not an option for many families affected by autism? The Autism Society is working with AMC Theatres to bring special-needs families Sensory Friendly Films every month. 


Hiring? Personality Trumps Skills

Not according to a surprising new international survey of 500 professionals conducted by Hyper Island called "Tomorrow’s Most Wanted." The research into what’s impressing employers at the moment found that personality far outweighed technical chops, even for higher-skilled roles.

A whopping 78 percent of those surveyed said "personality" was the most desirable quality in employees, beating out "cultural alignment" (53 percent) and "skill-set" (39 percent) by considerable margins. What particular skills were most valued? Drive (14 percent), creativity (12 percent), and an open mind (11 percent) topped the list.

"Personality, not competence, is the determining factor of who’s going to get the most attractive jobs among tomorrow’s recruits," said Hyper Island CEO Johanna Frelin, summing up the results. "There is a growing desire for talent with a unique combination of skill and flexibility--people who can collaborate, adapt quickly, and are enjoyable company, but also have the drive to get things done. All those traits boil down to a personality that is essential for businesses operating in an ever-changing digital landscape. Thus, specific competence is less important."

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The hospitality industry in Alberta, for example, relies heavily on temporary foreign workers. One out of every five full-time employees in the hotel industry across Alberta are temporary foreign workers, according to a survey conducted by the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA).

"There are businesses that wouldn't be able to operate without the component of temporary foreign workers and that would jeopardize jobs for Canadians that are there," said Dave Kaiser, president of AHLA.

Twenty-eight per cent of its members employ foreign workers under the program and 44 per cent plan to hire more within the next two years, he adds, noting there are added costs associated with bringing them in.

"It's not a cheap labour solution," Kaiser said. "It's been an onerous process over the course of time. The rules keep changing."

Moran stresses the importance of sourcing local talent as the key strategy, followed by expanding that nationally. However, when that fails, it's clear the TFWP is essential to providing companies of all sizes and in all sectors with an important pool of workers.

Truscott, meanwhile, said the federal government's recent changes have hit small business particularly hard. They include the elimination of the accelerated part of the program for certain skilled labour jobs; the elimination of wage flexibility in terms of how much foreign workers are paid; advertising longer and more broadly across Canada; and, the requirement of all businesses to create a transition plan back to a fully Canadian-staffed workforce.

"This whole new transition plan is another pile of paperwork that businesses have to go through," said Truscott. "There are some jobs within the economy that Canadians clearly don't seem interested in."

He also credits the Alberta government for launching some pilot projects targeting the food service industry and an accelerated option for some skilled workers. However, he says there is an abundant supply of foreign workers ready and willing to fill those roles.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Maskwacis Cultural College of Alberta conducting needs assessment survey

Maskwacis Cultural College in Alberta invites all literacy practitioners working with under-served populations or indigenous communities to explore the field of library studies and complete its Indigenous Library and Information Technology needs assessment and program delivery survey.