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Month: March 2020

Province Issues New Public Health Order on March 30

Posted in COVID-19

The Province of Manitoba issued a new Public Health Order on March 30, restricting non-essential businesses from April 1 to April 14. Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) advises that, although public libraries are not specifically listed on the schedule of critical services, libraries are municipal services. Operations and delivery of municipal services are not prevented under the Public Health Act Order. Please read more here.

Learning in Unprecedented Times with the Education Institute

Posted in Professional Development

In these unprecedented times, the Education Institute’s upcoming webinars will continue to run, with a modified schedule. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many webinar presenters are taking on more work to support their communities and are unable to run their session during previously scheduled times. The calendar has been updated to reflect any changes made.

Available Webinars

The following webinars are available for viewership:

Host a Webinar or Suggest a Topic

We are curating content to help the library community navigate this pandemic, whether you are running programs virtually or figuring it out. Please email if you have an idea that can support the library community.

All-Access Pass

The Education Institute offers an annual subscription to its continuing education platform called the All-Access Pass. This pass provides you and your staff with unlimited access to upcoming webinars and archived sessions. If you or your organization are seeking solutions for providing professional development for staff in bulk, please get in contact with us at

Free Webinar Replay: Libraries and COVID-19: Managing Strategies and Stress

Posted in COVID-19, and Professional Development

As communities across the globe work to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the library’s role as an information resource and community partner is more crucial than ever—whether or not the physical library is closed. In this special episode of AL Live, we’ll be speaking with librarians from communities that have been on the front lines of this crisis. They’ll discuss lessons learned during the initial response and how they are continuing to provide important services as public facilities close and commerce slows. We’ll also speak with mindfulness and mental health experts about how library workers can manage stress and anxiety during this ever-evolving situation and how they can disseminate these strategies to their patrons.  
You can view the archive of this event at after the event. Attendance for the live event is limited to 1,000 people. We anticipate being at full capacity for the event. If you are unable to join the live event, we will be posting the recording within 24 hours of the live event. We will post the recording to as soon as it’s ready.  


Upcoming Free Webinars

Posted in Professional Development

Volunteer Manitoba is offering a webinar titled Planning and Facilitating Virtual Meetings, Including Your AGM on March 31, 2020, from 11 am to 12 pm.

There are special considerations when planning and facilitating a virtual meeting.

In this webinar, we will cover the best practices for planning and facilitating a virtual meeting to compensate for the lack of body language and facial cues to ensure everyone is an active participant. We’ll provide an overview of the common elements of an AGM and what should be done before and during the meeting, with an emphasis on how to plan for a virtual AGM. Examples of meeting and AGM agendas will be provided.

The Partnership is offering a webinar titled Crisis Communications: Communicating with Consistency and Transparency on April 2, 2020, from 12 to 1 pm.

Unprecedented times call for clear, consistent, honest communication with all parties – staff, customers, City partners, Council members, Library Boards, and the media.

This webinar will review decision-making, managing risk, rallying staff, messaging service changes, closures, moving to and promotion of online programming and services, and coordination of re-opening processes and messaging.

Join Hamilton Public Library’s Paul Takala, CEO, and Shelley McKay, Manager, Communications to learn more about how, what, and when to communicate during challenging times.

Province of Manitoba Declares State of Emergency

Posted in Uncategorized

Premier Brian Pallister has declared a state of emergency in response to the rise of COVID-19 in the province.

For additional information regarding COVID-19 in Manitoba, please see the Province’s COVID-19 website. Information is updated regularly, including the number of probable and confirmed cases, videos of news conferences, as well as links to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website and the World Health Organization’s situation report.

MLA Recommends that Public Libraries Temporarily Close to Public

Posted in COVID-19

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and recommendations by the Provincial and Federal Governments to curtail the spread of the virus, the Manitoba Library Association (MLA) is recommending that public libraries in Manitoba should close to the public.

In respect of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and in response to provincial and federal government pronouncements that public events should be curtailed and that people should exercise ‘social distancing’ to reduce the spread of the virus, and in recognition of the fact that at least 39 public libraries in Manitoba have already decided to close access to the public, MLA  recommends that all public libraries in Manitoba close their physical premises to the public. (motion passed March 19, 2020)

As of March 19, 50 out of 56 public library systems in Manitoba have announced they have or will be imminently closing access to the public. Many of these libraries continue to operate behind closed doors providing services to patrons in relation to eLibraires and other online resources, responding to phone and internet inquiries, updating social media and website, cataloging, and of course cleaning.

MLA has been daily contact with public library administrators and trustees across the Province in respect of ongoing COVID-19 issues. There are many operational issues that will arise with the closures, in particular how public libraries can effectively operate and serve their patrons. MLA is interested in supporting such discussions.

MLA recognizes that public libraries are essential components of their communities, and the decisions to close to the public were difficult decisions by the respective library boards. MLA encourages the continued operation of the libraries, with appropriate safeguards and precautions for staff. To the extent that staff may telework or work from home, it is also encouraged.

MLA encourages every public library to provide an update on its status on its website and Facebook for patrons’ information.

Cancelled: CFLA-FCAB National Forum & Manitoba Libraries Conference April 6-8, 2020

Posted in Conference

The Canadian Federation of Library Association and the Manitoba Library Association have made the decision to cancel the upcoming National Forum and Manitoba Libraries Conference, April 6-8 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

On March 11, COVID-19 was assessed and declared a global pandemic by theWorld Health Organization (WHO). It is understood that mass gatherings pose a great risk. It is with sadness, that we are obligated to cancel this event as scheduled.

We will provide further communication early next week outlining the steps that will be taken in terms of dealing with reimbursements.

Please see the CFLA-FCAB website to read the full press release.

Information about the CFLA-FCAB National Forum and Manitoba Libraries Conference related to COVID-19

Posted in Conference

Dear Members and Delegates,

This message has been prepared for those attending the Manitoba Libraries Conference and the CFLA-FCAB National Forum April 6-8, 2020 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Regarding COVID-19. 

The well-being and experience of delegates is our top priority. We appreciate that many delegates are joining us from out of province for this event. To date there are no confirmed instances of COVID-19 in Manitoba. The risk of acquiring COVID-19 in Manitoba remains low and Manitoba officials are working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to monitor the situation.

Updates from the Government of Canada and Provincial and Territorial Updates including prevention, risks, and travel advice have been collected on

Together, MLA and CFLA-FCAB will continue to discuss and monitor this situation while planning for the best possible experience for all delegates.  If there are any notable changes to our conference schedule or plans, we will provide expedient updates.

We look forward to hosting you in just 4 weeks in Winnipeg, Manitoba April 6-8.

Please contact us at if you wish to discuss further or have questions.


Kerry Macdonald
President, Manitoba Library Association
Chair, Manitoba Libraries Conference 2020
Co-Chair, CFLA-FCAB National Forum Program Committee

Julie Mckenna
Chair, Canadian Federation of Library Associations
Prairie Provinces Representative (Manitoba & Saskatchewan)