Frequently Asked Questions

1.) As a new library trustee where do I start?

Please take a look at the ALTA Handbook, this is a great place to start. Download Handbook pdf here. We would also encourage you to check out our learning resources on the Trustee Toolkit section of the ALTA website. Be sure to attend local conferences and take the opportunity to network whenever possible. Please consider requesting an ALTA training session. See more information on workshops below.

2.) We need additional funds for our library?

The ALTA handbook has many funding resources listed (see page 58). This includes Community Initiative Program grants provided by the Government of Alberta. Other grants are also available like SCIP intern or through Federal grant programs such as Young Canada Works, CAP Youth intern Alberta. Funding is also available from community foundations, federal programs and various industry, community services and private sponsors/partnerships. Visit the Fundraising section of the ALTA website for more information.

3.) How do I sign up for a membership with ALTA, what are the benefits to our library board?

ALTA is the collective voice of all Alberta Library trustees; we work to improve and strengthen the role of library boards. Other benefits include access to excellent educational resources, opportunities to attend or even host ALTA workshops. You will also gain invaluable connections with other trustees including the ALTA Board and your local representatives who can assist you whenever possible. For more information, see membership benefits here and to become a member please follow this link.

4.) We are hiring a new library manager, can you help?

When it comes to library manager hiring, your regional library system is your best resource. You may also consider Jerome–L, a list-serv hosted by the University of Alberta School of Library & Information Studies that fosters connections between librarians, information professionals, and friends of libraries. Additional (Canadian) Human Resources Toolkit is available here.

5.) We would like a workshop for our library board, where are they offered?

Workshops are offered at the Alberta Library Conference and at your Regional Library System Conference. For more information please visit the ALTA Workshop page.

The Public Library Services Branch also offers workshops for library trustees, for more information and a schedule, please visit their website. ALTA representatives can also provide specialized workshops for your library. Learning is meant to be shared! We highly recommend inviting other libraries to make the most of these workshop opportunities. Requests are approved at the discretion of ALTA.

6.) How do we nominate an outstanding library trustee in our community?

Library Trustees are quiet heroes and we encourage you to please nominate them for their outstanding service and commitment to the library community. Take a look at the ALTA Awards and the Minister’s Awards. The awards are presented at the Alberta Library Conference in Jasper, AB in April.

7.) Where do I get the new library trustee handbook?

The newly revised, Trustee Handbook was released 2020 and is available to view or print on the ALTA website.

8.) How can I connect with other library trustees?

Check our our great Trustee Forum, you can connect directly with other trustees across the province.  Also keep an eye out for our monthly Coffee Chats, a casual setting to discuss what’s happening in your library community.  

9.) How can we share our successful programs in our library with other library boards?

We would love to hear what your library is doing and share this information on our website. Please email your news and updates to ALTA Admin

10.) How do I connect with my regional representative on the ALTA Board?

Contact information for your local regional representatives and board alternates is available on the ALTA Board of Directors page.

11.) I am interested in joining the ALTA Board, what are the responsibilities and the procedures?

The ALTA Board is comprised of an elected President and 10 regional representatives. Each elected representative serves a 2 year term, and can choose to be re-elected for a second 2 year term, for a total of 4 years. You may want to consider becoming an Alternate for your Region. This is a great way to become involved and be introduced to the key issues and sit on one of the four Working Committees. ALTA representatives are very active in gathering information and responding to your concerns by constructing educational modules or searching out resources in order to assist our members. We facilitate networking at library and other conferences. We advocate for our members at the provincial level by talking to MLAs and ministers. We listen, we act, we facilitate, we advocate, we educate.

12.) Are there templates available for library board’s policies and bylaws?

We do not have templates available at this time, but please take a look at the following resources to assist you.

13.) I am new to library governance, can you recommend some resources and best practices for running an effective meeting?

Leadership and efficiency in meetings is key! Find useful links on the “Leading Effective Meetings” in ALTA’s Trustee Toolkit resource section. Also in the Trustee Toolkit are our educational webinars.  These are a phenomenal opportunity to learn some great best practices that will assist trustees in becoming strong advocates for their library communities.