I wanted to let all the Directors and Chairs of each of our 16 resource-sharing ‘nodes’ know that Municipal Affairs is changing how we fund The Alberta Library (TAL) and the Alberta Public Library Electronic Network (APLEN).
I met with TAL/APLEN this morning to inform them of this decision. During the process of Results-Based Budgeting, it has been decided that MA will no longer provide funding to TAL to manage the APLEN program. MA will still provide operating funding to TAL to ensure the organization can continue to do cross-sector work in the pursuit of seamless access across all libraries in the Province.
Of course, MA has also just provided nearly $1 million of funding for all public libraries and all TAL members to join WorldCat/OCLC so we can have a robust provincial library catalogue.
This recent decision to transition funding for APLEN back into PLSB is separate from that initiative. The $1.5 million per year of funding for APLEN will remain in the PLSB budget and licensing for public libraries will be done by PLSB, MA in consultation with you, our key stakeholders.
This is not a funding cut or decrease, simply a reallocation. We will be hiring some new positions within PLSB, MA to do this work and these employment opportunities will be posted this fall.
Please keep Oct.11th in your calendars as a ‘Nodes’ meeting and we will have a fuller update at that time.
We would like to thank TAL for all the good work they have done over the years in managing the APLEN program and we look forward to continuing a close working relationship with TAL.
Thank you, " Diana Diana Davidson, Ph.D. Director of Public Library Services Branch Municipal Affairs #
As I look back on those formative years I can say it was an amazing time with huge contributions from Lucy Pana, Dean Frey, Karla Palichuk, Maureen Woods, Gerry Meek, Linda Cook, Maggie MacDonald and hundreds more. Everyone should give themselves a pat on the back and see the new positioning of APLEN as the next step in APLEN's evolution. I was truly grateful for the Champions that emerged in the early years; Ernie Ingles, Mary Totman, Mary O'Neill and of course Her Honour Lois Hole.
Politically the three biggest champions were Gary Mar (getting Cabinet approval for connecting all the libraries electronically) and Shirley McClellan* for getting all the funding and keeping libraries "on the table" as a positive force in Alberta. Ray Danyluk picked up the torch and brought new dollars to libraries just at the beginning of the global financial crunch. More importantly he was able to reinforce the fact that libraries are a positive force in Alberta communities and the government has a key role in supporting the backbone infrastructure.
Nothing stays the same....change is with us every day and as long as we have learned lessons from the past the next stage should be even better.
Best wishes to Diana and her team.
Who will step up for this staff team as the next Champions for libraries is the real question.......
* Shirley McClellan, while Provincial Treasurer, facilitated the largest single one time contribution to public libraries in Canadian history. $20 million. A Champion never forgets!!