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The MLA Submission to Imagine. Creative Manitoba!

on June 30, 2017 - 2:42pm

The MLA submission to the Government of Manitoba review of cultural policy is attached as a PDF below. This document outlines our responses to the three questions pertaining specifically to libraries. To learn more about this initiative, visit

Our introductory statement is included here:


Thank you for the opportunity to take part in this important consultation process. The Manitoba Library Association is pleased to offer the following submission in regard to the consultation currently being undertaken towards a new Cultural Policy for Manitoba.

The role and value of public libraries is vital towards a vibrant and healthy Manitoba. Libraries are positioned to bolster a diverse cultural landscape and strong creative economy. Public libraries are destinations which can serve as our largest, most inclusive community hubs. Open to all, libraries offer programs, services, and endless discovery opportunities that shape lives, families, and communities.

Public libraries are unique within the province's cultural landscape in that they are both a cultural entity valuing and promoting equity, diversity, intellectual freedom, innovation and inclusion; and a cultural catalyst, sparking, supporting and helping to spread the cultural expressions of multiple sectors and communities.

As community hubs, libraries provide creative and cultural opportunities for all Manitobans by offering venues to create, showcase, and enlighten citizens. Furthermore, library staff is trained to promote 21st century learning skills such as collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thought. When citizens exercise and engage with these skills, opportunities are opened and quality of life is improved.

Programs and services offered at public libraries spark ideas and provide a free and open space for learning, understanding and ongoing community dialogue.

The primary focus of our submission is access. When all Manitobans have access to quality library spaces and services, culture within our communities is significantly strengthened. We would like to emphasize the following themes throughout this submission:

  • Indigenous Library Services
  • First Nations’ Libraries
  • Rural and Remote Libraries (North)
  • Newcomers
  • Persons with Disabilities
  • Children and Youth
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Community Partnerships and Collaboration
  • 21st century Learning Skills


Public libraries in Manitoba are authentic community hubs with a focus on partnerships, creativity, technology, learning, and supporting the cultural development of all citizens. Libraries play an important role in ensuring the economic and social development of our community.

We thank the Ministry of Sport, Culture and Heritage for the opportunity to participate in this important consultation process. We believe that the library community can be a key partner in supporting the development of a new cultural policy and we encourage ongoing consultation throughout its development.



Our full submission is available in PDF format below.


MLA seeks clarification on Provincial funding for Winnipeg Public Libraries

on June 13, 2017 - 9:03am

An article published in the Winnipeg Free Press on June 8th outlined new issues around Provincial funding for some of Winnipeg’s services, including public libraries. The information reported about Provincial funding for the Winnipeg Public Library system (WPL) was of some concern for MLA. Since its initial run, the article has been updated to indicate that the full funding for WPL is expected to be renewed. Additionally, MLA submitted a formal request to the Province for clarification about the funding - we have been assured that it was fully renewed for the 2017/18 fiscal year.

2018 Manitoba Libraries Conference: Call for Committee Members

on June 7, 2017 - 10:00am

Interested in being involved with the next Manitoba Libraries Conference?

Conference Co-chairs Megan O’Brien, and Vickie Albrecht,, are looking for eight individuals to join the Conference Planning Committee.  A list of committee member positions is available on our website. If you’re interested in any of these, please express interest via email by July 1, 2017, as the first meeting of the Conference Planning Committee will be scheduled in August 2017. If you have questions about any of these positions, feel free to contact either Megan or Vickie.


Watch this space, subscribe to the MLA News email list, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear all news about the 2018 conference.

MLA Advocacy Committee Launches Manitoba Libraries Website

on May 29, 2017 - 4:17pm

The MLA Advocacy Committee has launched a new website devoted to Manitoba Libraries, This site will be used to promote public awareness of the value and services offered by Manitoba libraries. They highlight stories and useful statistics to encourage informed discussions about our local libraries.

The Your Voice section currently highlights the cultural policy review undertaken by the provincial government, and provides a summary of how library workers and patrons can make their voices heard. Remember, the deadline for contributing to the review is June 30, 2017. We want to make sure the government hears all about how Manitobans use their libraries, what more they wish libraries would offer, and what we think the future of this life-long learning service should be in the province.

The poster below is also available for libraries to print and hang to spread the word! Links to download the 8.5x11 and 11x17 versions are available at the bottom of this page.

Manitoba Government Launches Review of Privacy Legislation

on May 18, 2017 - 2:55pm

Do you have thoughts on the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) or the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)? The Manitoba government is currently conducting a review of privacy legislation. Submit your thoughts by May 31 2017.


Learn more on their website: 

Application Deadline for All MLA Scholarships and Awards is June 1, 2017!

on May 16, 2017 - 10:12am


The Manitoba Library Association administers two scholarships on an annual basis. 

Jean Thorunn Law Scholarship - Application Deadline: June 1, 2017
Available to eligible applicants who have worked in a Manitoba library and who choose to further their career by pursuing a graduate program in library and information science. Applicants must have been engaged in recent library work in Manitoba for twelve months.
John Edwin Bissett Scholarship - Application Deadline: June 1, 2017
Available to eligible undergraduates of the University of Manitoba who are pursuing a graduate program in library and information science. Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Manitoba.

Please circulate this information to any students you think might be interested in applying!
For additional details and information about applying, including the necessary forms, please visit the Scholarships & Awards page.



The Manitoba Library Association administers two awards on an annual basis. 

Manitoba Library Service Awards - Application Deadline: June 1, 2017
The service awards honour people - librarians, library workers, trustees, volunteers - who have made an important contribution to the development of libraries and library services in our province. Each year the winner will be presented with the award at the Annual General Meeting or Manitoba Libraries Conference.
Library Innovation of the Year Award - Application Deadline: June 1, 2017
The Manitoba Library Association's Library Innovation of the Year Award is given to libraries who through innovative thinking have created or demonstrated improvements in library services. Winners are presented their awards at the Annual General Meeting or Manitoba Libraries Conference.
Please circulate this information widely!
For additional details and information about the awards, including forms, please visit the Scholarships & Awards page.

Prison Library Committee Book Drive

on May 1, 2017 - 10:02am

We are collecting donations of books for the Remand Centre and Women's Correctional Centre libraries, as well as books to be sold at our fundraiser on May 27th at the Daniel McIntyre St. Mathews Community Association's annual rummage sale.

You can drop your books off at the locations listed below any time between now and May 19, or email to arrange for a volunteer to come and pick them up from you.

MLA Supports and Endorses the CFLA-FCAB Truth and Reconciliation Committee Report

on April 26, 2017 - 12:08pm

The CFLA-FCAB Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations are now available. The Manitoba Library Association recognizes MLA members Michael Dudley, Stan Gardner and Monique Woroniak who were nominated to participate on the national committee on behalf of MLA. Camille Callison, MLA member and Past President chaired the committee and is the Indigenous representative to the CFLA-FCAB Board.
The Manitoba Library Association looks forward to continued work with CFLA-FCAB’s Indigenous Matters Committee, MLA’s Indigenous Interest Group and the library community at large on its path forward for respecting Indigenous culture and increasing access to traditional Indigenous knowledge.
The Manitoba Library Association Board of Directors supports and has endorsed 10 recommendations presented in the Canadian Federation of Library Associations-Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations:
1. As CFLA-FCAB is a national voice with the ability to influence national and international policy regarding issues of importance, we request the CFLA-FCAB create a permanent Standing Committee on Indigenous Matters utilizing the medicine wheel framework developed by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee;
2. The T&R Committee supports and endorses the CFLA-FCAB Position Statement on Library and Literacy Services for Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) Peoples of Canada;
3. Encourage libraries, archives and cultural memory institutions to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action, several of which have been identified as having a direct impact on libraries and archives and are prioritized in this report, and to implement a status report on a yearly basis to monitor their implementation;
4. Ensure accessibility moving forward by continually reminding stakeholders that material produced and programming planned in the future should be accessible to all Canadians. CELA (the Center for Equitable Library Access) and NNELS (the National Network for Equitable Library Service) are positioned to support these efforts.
5. Decolonize Access and Classification by addressing the structural biases in existing schemes of knowledge organization and information retrieval arising from colonialism by committing to integrating Indigenous epistemologies into cataloguing praxis and knowledge management;
6. Decolonizing Libraries and Space by recognizing and supporting Indigenous cultures, languages and knowledges through culturally appropriate space planning, interior design, signage, art installations, territorial acknowledgements of geographic-specific traditional territories and public programming in collaboration with local Indigenous stakeholders;
7. Enhancing opportunities for Indigenous library, archival and information professionals as well as the inclusion of Indigenous epistemologies in the Canadian library and archives profession through culturally appropriate pedagogy, recruitment practices, professional and continuing education and cross-cultural training in collaboration with local Indigenous stakeholders and partners;
8. Recommend the implementation of Indigenous Knowledge Protection protocols and agreements with local and other Indigenous groups who have holdings in libraries, archives and/or cultural memory institutions to respect the Indigenous cultural concept of copyright with regard to Indigenous history or heritage, which is often located in but not limited to oral traditions, songs, dance, storytelling, anecdotes, place names, hereditary names and other forms of Indigenous knowledges; recommend that CFLA-FCAB actively participate in reforming the Canadian Copyright Act to include protection of Indigenous knowledges and languages while advocating for changes to include traditional knowledge as outlined and recommended by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore ( We join the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to call upon Library and Archives Canada to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action #69 (Appendix D) by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Updated Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity (2005), more commonly known as the Joinet/Orentlicher Principles;
9. Establish an online database of “living documents” to highlight existing Best Practices of Indigenous Services in libraries, archives, and cultural memory institutions that will serve as a foundation to help disseminate those best practices and for this “living document” to be updated preferably on a quarterly basis but minimally semi-annually;
10. Maintain a database of Indigenous organizations or groups committed to preserving cultural memory primarily, but not limited to, libraries, archives, language preservation, cultural history/museums to build relationships; to support the development of an Indigenous association of library, archives and cultural memory institutions; and to support in principle the National Aboriginal Library Association (NALA) regarding their stated intent of developing First Nations public libraries on reserves.

New Cultural Policy Process Underway for Manitoba

on April 25, 2017 - 12:05pm

The Government of Manitoba is consulting broadly with cultural institutions and the public on the development of a cultural policy for the province. Insight and perspectives from library trustees, library staff and library users is very important to capture through the cultural policy consultation process. For detailed information about the consultation visit
All submissions are to be received by June 30, 2017 and there are several ways in which you and your communities can participate:

  1. When was the last time you participated in an arts event in Manitoba? What was it and where did it take place? How much did it cost?
  2. How can the province encourage people of all ages, ethnicities, incomes, and cultures to participate in arts and culture?
  3. What is Manitoba currently doing well to support Arts and Culture in Manitoba? What would you like to see changed?
  4. What changes do you expect to see in the future Arts and Culture landscape in Manitoba?
  5. What can be done to strengthen and grow culture and creative industries in Manitoba so that they continue to support our social and economic well-being?
  6. Are there leading practices or innovative models that Manitoba could learn from?
  7. In a time of limited resources, what key priorities should Manitoba support? 
  1. What can be done to maximize the role and contributions of libraries to the well-being of all Manitobans?
  2. How should the cultural policy address the challenges currently impacting the public library system?
  3. How can libraries play a role in celebrating and promoting culture in your community?

                Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage
                Assistant Deputy Minister’s Office
                6th Floor, 213 Notre Dame Ave.
                Winnipeg, Manitoba
                R3B 1N3

  • Share this information broadly with your community networks! You can spread the word through:
    • Emails – send an email – or adjust and forward this one – to all of your networks;
    • Newsletter/Blogs - include a paragraph or two in your next newsletter/blog or any newsletters/blogs you can contribute to;
    • Website – post information about the consultations on your website;
    • Social media – retweet Imagine Creative posts on Twitter @MBGov or share our posts on the Manitoba Government Facebook.

Library Budget Cuts in Saskatchewan

on April 6, 2017 - 7:53pm

The Manitoba Library Association has issued a statement to the Premier of Saskatchewan regarding the drastic budget cuts to public library funding in the province.

On March 23rd, the Saskatchewan Government announced the elimination of an operating grant of $1.3 million for municipal library systems in Regina and Saskatoon and a 58% ($3.5 million) reduction in operation funding for 7 out of 8 regional library systems.

As Saskatchewan Library Association President (SLA), Michael Shires, astutely stated:

“Libraries play a critical role in life-long learning and enhancing the quality of life for citizens of all ages. Libraries matter because they are fundamental to the cultural, educational, recreational, economic, and political well-being of communities and the people of Saskatchewan… These targeted cuts will be detrimental to all citizens of Saskatchewan.”

The Saskatchewan library community is known nationally for its innovation, cooperation, and cost-efficiency. The work of the Multitype Library Board (MLB) and the Saskatchewan Information and Library Services (SILS) Consortium has enhanced professional development, enabled resource sharing, and streamlined user-access amongst all Saskatchewan libraries. The budget reductions jeopardize these initiatives and their benefits for Saskatchewan’s citizens.

In unity with our colleagues in Saskatchewan and across Canada, MLA urges the Saskatchewan Government to reconsider these reductions.

For advocacy updates, media releases, statements in response to the cuts, and more, visit SLA’s information page: