ALTA Trustee Handbook

In this section:

Printer Friendly Version

Section I: The Alberta Library Trustees’ Association


Belief Statement


The Alberta Library Trustees’ Association believes that library services are essential to the quality and standard of life of Albertans and vital to the education, social, and cultural development of the province.

Adopted 2013

Mission Statement


ALTA is the collective voice for library trustees. ALTA builds trustee capacity through education, leadership, communication, partnerships, and collaboration.

Adopted 2013

Vision Statement


Effective Library Board Trustees providing leadership for great community library services to all Albertans.

Adopted 2013

Code of Ethics


Library Boards exist to develop, promote, and monitor library services as a public trust. To this end, library trustees should be committed to the following principles:

  1. The primary goal of public library trustees is to ensure that the public has access to the highest quality library services possible.
  2. Trustees should ensure that individual community members have access to the most complete library service possible, where limitations in service are unavoidable, any inherent inequality of service should favour those residents least able to obtain alternate service.
  3. Library Trustees should observe ethical standards with truth, integrity, and honour.
    • Trustees should avoid situations where personal advantage or financial benefits may be gained at the expense of other library users.
    • Trustees should distinguish between their personal views and those of the institution by respecting the position of the Board, even though they may disagree.
    • Trustees should respect the confidential nature of library records within the framework which allows for the monitoring of material usage and the need for public accounting.
  4. Trustees should respect the established structure of the library:
    • Trustees should attempt to work harmoniously with the Board and ultimately accept its will.
    • Trustees should limit their trusteeship role to policy governance and advocacy.
  5. Trustees are expected to take responsibility for their personal development through continuing education opportunities and participation in provincial and national library organizations.
  6. Trustees should support intellectual freedom in the selection of library material.

Adopted May 1992

ALTA acknowledges the Louisiana Trustees of Public Libraries, whose code of ethics was used as a model for this version.

ALTA Structure, Process, and Benefits


There are more than 220 library Boards in Alberta, 7 regional library systems and more than 320 service points. All library boards are eligible for membership in ALTA. Each trustee is considered a member of ALTA by virtue of the Board’s membership.

ALTA serves about 2,000 trustee members, who represent the collective interests of all Alberta public library supporters and users. ALTA is a not-for-profit volunteer organization, governed by an elected and appointed Board.

ALTA is funded by membership fees and projects from grant funding. It was incorporated on July 26, 1971, under The Alberta Societies Act. On January 1, 1990, ALTA became a registered charity under the Canada Income Tax Act, and can issue official tax receipts for donations. ALTA provides strong support for library leadership and innovation.

Most of all, ALTA provides its members with the information, tools, and training to govern Alberta public libraries effectively and responsibly.

Public library boards who choose ALTA membership benefit through training, conferences, information, and support!

ALTA is the collective voice of all Alberta library trustees; we work to improve and strengthen the role of library Boards. Membership in ALTA entitles each trustee on your Board to:

  • Participation in the Alberta Library Conference at reduced rates.
  • Copies of the Trustee Voice electronically.
  • Participation in ALTA’s trustee education workshops.
  • Can be nominated for the Lois Hole Lifetime Achievement Award and the ALTA Awards of Excellence. Awards are recognized at the Annual General Meeting.
  • Direct representation to the office of the Minister responsible for public libraries.
  • Information on what is happening provincially and nationally in the library community.

Your membership contributes to a strong provincial voice that is needed to speak out on behalf of Alberta Libraries. The more members we have, the stronger our voice!

ALTA Works to Achieve Its Goals

  • Development and sponsorship of workshops and seminars for library trustees across Alberta.
  • Joint sponsorship, with library and system Boards, of local workshops.
  • Joint sponsorship of the annual Alberta Library Conference with the Library Association of Alberta (LAA).
  • Frequent communication with our membership.
  • Advocacy for library issues and active participation in significant projects in the library world.
  • Regular interaction with other provincial, national, and international library associations.
  • Liaison with other provincial cultural groups and literary associations.
  • A positive relationship with the Public Library Services Branch, Alberta Municipal Affairs.
  • Tools to steward and strengthen relationships with respective municipal representatives and elected officials at all levels of government.

The ALTA Board


The ALTA Board meets four or five times a year. At its Annual General Meeting, held during the Alberta Library Conference each spring, the Board reports to the membership, adopts a budget, and considers resolutions. The Association President and regional Directors are elected.

The ALTA Board consists of:

  • President
    • At the first meeting following the AGM, the Board of Directors shall elect from its membership, a President for a 2 year term.
  • Vice-President and Treasurer
    • Elected at the first meeting after the AGM from among the Directors for a one year term.
  • One Director from each of the eight regions
    • on the map below. Even and odd-numbered regions elect Directors in alternate years for a 2 year term.
  • One Director
    • Each from Edmonton and Calgary Library Boards, appointed annually.

1 – Peace
2 – Yellowhead
3 – Parkland
4 – Marigold
5 – Chinook Arch
6 – Shortgrass
7 – Metro Edmonton
8 – Northern Lights

Administrative support is provided to the board by an Executive Director. ALTA’s website:

ALTA Awards


Two ALTA Awards of Excellence

The Alberta Library Trustees’ Association Award of Excellence was created to recognize library Boards that have supported their libraries to provide ongoing exceptional service over a 5-year period. The award winner is announced at the ALTA annual general meeting at the Alberta Library Conference.

There are two Awards of Excellence:

  • One award to libraries serving populations of less than 20,000
  • One award to libraries serving populations of over 20,000


The Lois Hole Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes Albertans who have made significant contributions to libraries and library trusteeship. Established in 2001, the Lois Hole Lifetime Achievement Award honors the passion that our lieutenant governor had for the role libraries play in our society and in gratitude for her support for libraries in Alberta.

The award recipients are recognized at the ALTA annual general meeting.

Winner of 2019 Lois Hole Lifetime Achievement Award Marilyn King



Award nominations are open and applications need to be submitted. Applications will be accepted until January 31st of every year.

To apply, please download and submit the ALTA Award Nomination For:

Contact ALTA


Current information and applications for ALTA membership, workshops, conferences, awards, and initiatives, and contact information for your local ALTA representative, are available on the ALTA website: