The AALT Technician is the official journal of the Alberta Association of Library Technicians.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
I realize that seems a bit odd to say at this time of year, but with the new AALT Board year just underway it seems very appropriate.
This is a year of building on the changes the previous Board started this past year. It’s also our first year under the new governance structure so please bear with us as we adjust to the dual roles that some of our Board Members now have.
Theresa, Lynda, Amy, Christy and I had our first Board meeting on June 18 and I want to say that it was AWESOME!!!  I left the meeting excited that I get to work with this great team!
I’m happy to announce that Marcia Holmes and Melanie Belliveau are the AALT 2017 Conference Co-Chairs and they’ve hit the floor at a run negotiating a conference venue and date.
The Member-At-Large Board position is still vacant so if you’d be interested in being the Board Liaison with the Conference Committee, please contact me at

Karen Hildebrandt, President AALT 2016-2017

Sunday, 15 May 2016

AATL 2016 Wrap Up

AALT 2016 came to a light-hearted conclusion with a presentation and reading by author/library technician Glenda Goertzen. She touched on the confluences between writing and library work, including cataloguing her own book. Glenda closed her talk by treating delegates to a reading from her upcoming book.

My compliments to conference co-Chairs Janis Rapchuk, Pablo Zanetta and Danica Dixon for bringing together a great conference. My thanks also to the Conference Committee (Chris Savage, Melanie Belliveau, Brenda Gee, Kathleen Johnston) and all the SAIT Library Information Technology students and faculty who volunteered to help out before and during the conference.

Over the course of the conference I heard several positive comments from delegates regarding the quality of sessions and keynotes. Also, many delegates appreciated being at SAIT during its centennial year and being in Heritage Hall, in particular.

Finally, if you attended AALT 2016, please be sure to complete the Conference Survey. As a past conference chair (twice), I can assure you that feedback to the survey really does guide planning for the next conference.

AALT 2016 Delegate's Survey

Glenda speaking at the AALT 2016 Sunday Brunch. 
Last of the door prizes being given away.

AALT 2016 Banquet

Congratulations to the Conference Committee on a great banquet. I was having such a good time that I neglected to take pictures. So, here's a photo I lifted from Sarah's Facebook page.

Friends and colleagues (and Sarah's daughter) at the AALT Banquet (courtesy Sarah Stephens).


Three awards were presented last night by outgoing President Sarah Stephens. As Sarah noted, AALT doesn't give every award every year. So, when a recipient is selected it marks a significant contribution to libraries and library techncians.

I had the honor of introducing Mo Keshavjee, recipient of the Advocacy Award. Mo, in his role as marketing and communications coordinator for SAIT's School of Information and Communications Technology, was recognized for his his work promoting the SAIT Library Information Technology program to employers, library workers and learners across Alberta.

Author and library technician Judith Graves will receive the Merle Harris Achievement Award for her work as a school librarian in Cold Lake, Alberta and contributions to the library technician community. Judith couldn't join us, but incoming President Karen Hildebrandt said a few words of thanks on her behalf.

Finally, Sarah and Karen presented the Dewey Award to Journal Editor Kristian McInnis for his contributions to the AALT Board during the 2015-16 year.*

Kristian accepting the - tiny - Dewey Award (courtesy Karen Hildebrandt).
Mo (centre) accepts the Advocacy Award (courtesy Karen Hildebrandt).


We closed evening with a performance by the Chinook Country Line Dancers. The dancers kicked up their heels through many energetic routines and did a fantastic job coaching delegates through several dances.

Our dance coach (on the stage) leads delegates through some steps (courtesy Marcia Holmes).

Delegates line dance mostly on the beat (courtesy Marcia Holmes).

*I had a little debate with myself about whether to discuss my award in the first or third person. Either way, it feels awkward.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

AALT 2016 Day 2 Summary


More fantastic sessions filled the second day of AALT 2016.

Deb Cryderman offered a really engaging session on diversifying library collections. Jim Gray had is delegates talking about challenged books and how to manage those challenges in consistent, professional and respectful way. SAIT instructor Matt Adolphe discussed strengthening workplace teams through embracing diversity. Meanwhile, Conference co-Chair Pablo Zannetta led a dozen delegates to the C-train for quick run up to the University of Calgary and the Taylor Family Digital Library.

Three SAIT library technology students presented in our Student Lightning Talks this year. First, Jessica Machacek discussed using Camtasia to support training staff and patrons. Then Kira Maros and Anna Friesen shared their project marketing and delivering a program for children at Calgary Public Library.

And, again, there was a lot more that I didn't get to see or hear about from other delegates. Thank you to everyone who contributed the professional development of library technicians by stepping up to present at the AALT Conference.
Kira (left) and Anna present their marketing project.
Small group discussion in the Challenged Books session.
Jessica shows a Camtasia tutorial on using Discovery Search.

AALT 2016 Annual General Meeting

The AGM this year saw a substantive change to the organization of AALT's Board of Directors supported by the AALT members present at the meeting. 

Several Board positions were merged to support changing business needs within AALT. So, Marketing and Journal positions have been merged into a single Communications Director role. Similarly, Secretary and Treasurer are now the Administrative Services Director and Webteam and Membership become Online Services Director. 

As a consequence of these changes several revisions to the by-laws were supported by members and a separate motion reduced the quorum needed for Board meetings from 6 to 4 to reflect the reduction in Board positions.

Later, after calling for nominations from the floor, the slate of Directors was announced. For the 2016-2017 year, the Board of Directors is:
  • President: Karen Hildebrandt - Concordia University
  • President-Elect: Theresa Remtulla - Mount Royal University
  • Administrative Services Director: Lynda Shurko - Alberta Legislature Library
  • Communications Services Director: Amy Southgate - University of Alberta
  • Online Services Director: Christy Nicols - Banff Centre Library
Member-at-Large, along with Student Representatives from SAIT and MacEwan, were unfilled at the time of this writing and will be appointed at a later date.

During the AGM outgoing President Sarah Stephens thanked the former Board for their work and welcomed the new Board. Finally, she passed the gavel to incoming President Karen Hildebrandt who adjourned the meeting.

Delegates listen as motions are presents at the AALT AGM.
Sarah calls the AGM to order.
Incoming AALT President Karen Hildebrandt takes up the gavel.