Public Library Services Branch
The Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) is part of the Corporate Strategic Services Division of Municipal Affairs. The Branch has 13 FTE staff members. We provide policy, planning and administrative expertise required to develop and maintain provincial legislation related to public library service. We are also accountable to the Minister for ensuring library board compliance with the Libraries Act and Libraries Regulation. Branch staff:
- Provide consultative support to over 220 municipal and intermunicipal library boards and seven library system boards established under the Libraries Act in areas related to legislation and management of public library service.
- Deliver orientation programs for public library trustees.
- Consult with staff and trustees of municipal and system boards on planning and policy development for municipal boards and regional service delivery at the library system level.
- Develop financial policy and deliver a grant program to assist public library boards in the provision of municipal and library system service.
Branch staff collect and publish provincial public library statistics which provide a summary of library funding and performance indicators for all public library boards.
The Branch encourages and enables seamless access to library resources for Albertans. We work with municipal boards at the local level and library system boards at the regional level to create a province-wide network so that the libraries can cooperate and share their resources. The Branch funds public library access to high speed broadband through the Alberta SuperNet. We support interlibrary loan management and delivery through agreements with Chinook Arch Regional Library System and Service Alberta. We also support networked initiatives including access to electronic resources such as RBDigital (Zinio), Pronunciator and PressReader. PLSB worked with library partners to develop and implement Alberta-wide Borrowing.
The Branch also provides print-disabled Albertans with access to the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) services. The Branch provides operating funding to The Alberta Library (TAL), Library Association of Alberta (LAA) and the Alberta Library Trustees' Association (ALTA) in recognition of library initiatives that support access to resources from all library sectors.
The Branch also supports Ministry initiatives including the annual Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Library Service. We liaise with other ministries on library related issues and work with representatives from library associations and agencies within the province and throughout the country on emerging trends and issues in library service. We are consulting with library partners and First Nations in Alberta to support their efforts to deliver public library service.