ALTA’s Leadership Overview

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ALTA’s Outcomes for the current strategic plan

Since 1971, ALTA has been nurturing the collective voice for all library trustees committed to building trustee’s capacity by promoting effective library service and leadership through education, advocacy, communication, training, partnerships and collaboration. 

Our Strategic Plan Priorities 

  1. ALTA is a credible, trusted, respected and unified voice for Alberta Library Trustees
  2. Alberta Library Trustees have access to information and education they need to be effective
  3. ALTA is a hub of resources and a forum for visionary thinking provincially and nationally

ALTA is listening… 

Our work begins with collaborative communication; 

  1. Trustee Engagement Survey is sent (biennial) to trustees for their feedback on ALTA’s programs, services and to request what resources they need to ensure successful governance.
  2. ALTA attends every Library System Conference and the ALC to present trustee sessions to include; advocacy, trustee engagement level 1 and 2, human resources, board and staff best practices including Trustee Connect, engaging with trustees to listen and discuss issues, and resources they need to succeed.  
  3. Library Boards often request ALTA to attend their meetings to make presentations or discuss various governance and/or other issues they are facing. Many have requested contact with other library boards governing library communities the same size as their own to discuss challenging issues.

    ALTA will connect with Library Boards through ZOOM video conferencing platform.  Further the “Trustee Forum”, an interactive online platform, was developed and is to be launched in Fall 2019 in conjunction with a new website and database.
  4. Working closing with our partners PLSB and Library System consultants, we share and discuss trustees’ concerns, issues and challenges. Collaborating to resolve the issues and ensure trustees have the resources and/or information they need to succeed.
  5. Every library board is represented on the ALTA board through 10 geographical representatives. Their work begins by connecting with library boards in their area to bring back, library boards’ issues and challenges of the present and future.  But also, to share with their Area the work ALTA is collaborating to provide innovate, effective and efficient governance. 
  6. Jen Anderson, PLSB Manager, attends most ALTA meetings and retreats to provide support, share consultants feedback on trustee issues and assists with development of educational resources as requested by ALTA. 

Once we have the issues trustees are facing, we respond by working with our partners to develop the resources, tools and knowledge to meet these challenges. This is accomplished with the direct involvement of library trustees; trustees who have also faced the very same challenges within their own library boards.  

ALTA aims to ensure all library boards are strong, work collectively, and follow good governance practices, and have the means and capacity to be effective, successful and strong leaders within their library communities. To this end, resources and information is gathered, shared and developed to ensure good governance and best practices are followed.

ALTA continues to collaborate with multiple strategic partnerships to continue to connect trustees to a lifetime of learning, engagement and innovate resources to meet the challenges of the present and future.  

Dynamic partnerships continue to be the focus with multiple library focused organizations including: 

  • Library Association of Alberta
  • The Alberta Library
  • Alberta Library Conference Committee
  • Public Library Service Branch
  • Regional Library Systems CEO’s and Consultants
  • Unification of Libraries Committee
  • BC Library Association
  • Saskatchewan Library Association

ALTA continues to collaborate with many others to fulfill the mission and values of ALTA including;

  • Alberta Urban Municipalities Association
  • Minister of Municipalities
  • Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
  • Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
  • Human Resources Council 
  • Rural Municipalities Association

ALTA’s Vision for the Future

ALTA continues to collaborate to create the communication, educational and resources to support all library trustees and their boards.  

We understand libraries are ever changing; their needs, their communities, their demographics, and their economies continue to evolve as they embrace diversity and the changing social landscape within their library programs and resources.

Our Goals:

  • 2019 Elections Plan of Action
  • How libraries can effectively Advocate
  • Provincial perspective: Libraries are Essential Services
  • Continue lobbying for increasing per capita funding for all libraries*
  • Educate communities on library matters
  • Ensure resources are available to fulfill the mission and values of ALTA
  • Reviving ALTA’s presence at PLSB Board Basics workshops
  • Stronger Social Media presence to connect with AB provincial leaders

    *ALTA continues to send letters to the Minister of Municipalities, advocating for sustainable library funding, promote public libraries, and provide infographics/statistics.  In (2018) ALTA requested an increase per capita funding to libraries to reflect the latest population consensus.
Internal Good Governance
  • Review and expanded job descriptions for board and alternates
  • Letter of expectations and commitment
  • Recruitment strategies review 
  • Policy review, scheduled for every meeting
  • Project based teams to replace Committees
  • Three annual Face to Face Board meetings, rotated throughout the Areas, to replace annual weekend retreat
  • Quarterly Business Reports for all stakeholders
Improve Library Board Governance and Best Practices
  • Launch Trustee Forum (formerly called Trustee Link) online message board, connecting trustees to fellow trustees to engage, discuss issues, challenges and best practices
  • ALTA Directors and Library Board Chairs Engagement strategies
    To maintain open dialogue
  • Secure bursaries for smaller libraries to attend educational sessions
  • Collaborate with larger Libraries to gather dynamic learning materials to share and distribute
  • Build solid inter-provincial relationships with other trustee organizations to share resources, knowledge and best practices
  • Maintain a strong presence at the regional level by attending conferences,  and connecting with participating trustees 
Develop and Effectively Distribute Educational Resources & Knowledge
  • Update and Revise the Trustees Handbook
  • Develop New Trustee Package
  • Reorganize online Educational Tools and Resources
  • More Indigenous content
  • E-Newsletter, possibly special editions & featuring guest articles
  • New Trustee Solutions Educational presentation/sessions
Marketing and Re-Branding

NEW Communications Hub for Library Trustees;

  • New Website
  • New Trustee Forum (formerly called Trustee Link)
  • New logo and ALTA brochure
  • New Database to simplify memberships
  • New Newsletter
  • New Calendar of Events
Celebrating Trustees
  • ALTA celebrates the great work of trustees through stories and recognition.
    We honour the contributions and value library trustees provide to their communities 
  • ALTA awards restructured and rebranded
  • Sharing the stories of libraries and their value

What relationship or partnerships do you envision with other Alberta Library Organizations?

ALTA is an information hub, collecting valuable information and resources to re-distribute to trustees across the province. Collaborating with our partners like LAA, PLSB, University/Colleges and many others involved in the library community is essential, as we share the same values and want to ensure our libraries THRIVE.

PLSB – ALTA has cultivated a strong relationship with PLSB, working together to ensure all public libraries adhere to the Library Act, and aware of the Library regulations and trends in government best practices and legislation.

LAA – Our relationship is stronger than ever as we collaborate to coordinate the best Alberta Library Conference possible for library staff and library trustees. This partnership has existed for over 45 years! 

Regional Systems – ALTA continues to work closely with all systems, presenting workshops at their conferences, purchasing and distributing trustee handbooks to libraries and sharing the Systems table at both the AUMA and RMA trade shows giving us the opportunity to connect with thousands of councilors across AB.  

System consultants share the issues library staff and library boards are facing, giving ALTA the opportunity to provide support – this is how the human resources symposium evolved.  

HR Symposium – Trustees wanted human resources information and resources which included the new legislation. PLSB and ALTA partnered together to coordinate this event, which sold out, we increased the number of participants and asked library boards to limit the number of trustees attending (to make room for other trustees on the waiting list) if trustees and staff were not able to attend, presenter notes were readily available to all!

United Voice for Alberta Libraries Working Group – ALTA Chaired this new Committee comprised of many smaller library organizations across the province.  Together they explored the potential of merging into one unified organization to extend a unified AB voice at the National level.  After many meetings and long discussions, the working group disbanded this summer with a list of recommendations for LAA.

ALTA is the collective voice of trustees and dedicated to the betterment of trustees, it does not necessarily have a direct link to all the associations dedicated to library staff however we feel it is important to keep current on the trends and are always open to explore new partnerships!

How Larger Library Boards benefit working with ALTA and past work to support them

ALL public libraries across the province, big or small needs Advocacy.

ALTA is the only organization that represents the collective voice of every library board within AlbertaWe are committed to advocacy to secure the following;

  • Provincial per capita funding increases for all libraries
  • Provincial funding based on current population consensus
  • Libraries are recognized as an essential service for all Albertans
  • Promote the value of libraries and the services and programs they provide to over 230 communities across the province
  • Need to educate trustees to ensure good governance and leadership
  • Need to address the opioid crisis libraries are experiencing and ensure risk management includes the knowledge and resources necessary to safely address this growing crisis.