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Manitoba Library Association Posts

Statement in Support of the 2SLGBTQ+ Community

Posted in Advocacy

The board of the Manitoba Library Association thanks and recognizes all members and non-members for their concerns expressed recently over controversial issues facing the national 2SLGBTQ+ and library communities. MLA takes all opinions and concerns seriously and works to represent its membership with the utmost respect and in the best light possible.

The concepts of protection from discriminatory or hateful speech and the right of freedom of expression are not isolated; they affect all public libraries. Recognizing the importance of recent events and their impact on 2SLGBTQ+ patrons, allies and library staff, the board discussed commentary and opinions about Toronto Public Library’s decision to rent public space to a controversial speaker at length at our November 12 Executive Board meeting. The board invited three guests from the library community to provide context to the issues, each representing different perspectives. Their insights have helped to inform MLA’s response.

The MLA board reiterates its support for all Manitobans to have fair, equitable and barrier-free access to the widest possible variety of expressive content — a core tenet of intellectual freedom. As part of a helping profession, our role as library professionals is to be there for our diverse communities. We are particularly invested in supporting historically marginalized communities such as the 2SLGBTQ+ community, Indigenous people, visible minorities and those with disabilities. We believe in and support inclusion and acceptance of all people and in providing safe spaces where everyone feels welcome to use library resources and spaces.

MLA believes one of the key ways we can continue to support our community and drive positive change is through tangible, interactive and accessible learning opportunities. We are actively working to provide our membership with constructive, inclusive and meaningful opportunities to learn and develop their skills with a focus on supporting marginalized patrons and communities. Please stay tuned for more details on when and where you may participate.

As always, we welcome any and all feedback from the community. We want to hear your priorities and address your needs and wants the best we can. As a volunteer-driven association, we will always do the best we can to support you. Please send us a message with your thoughts at any time:

Thank you for your continued support of our association and of libraries across Manitoba.

Call for Session Proposals for Manitoba Libraries Conference, April 6 & 7, 2020

Posted in Conference

We are excited to announce that the Manitoba Libraries Conference 2020 will take place on April 6th and 7th at the Delta Winnipeg Hotel.

The Program Committee invites you to submit a proposal showcasing your ideas, research, and library initiatives. Proposals are being accepted for 50-minute sessions and 10-minute lightning talks. Lightning Talk proposals should fit into a broad theme of advocacy, programming, and/or partnerships.

Proposals that appeal to the cross-section of attendees are encouraged; however, all proposals will be reviewed and considered by the Program Committee.

The deadline for submissions is December 20, 2019. You will receive a response on or before January 10, 2020.

Submission Form:

Do you have questions?  Please email the Programming Committee or Conference Chair at

2019 Award Winners!

Posted in Scholarships & Awards

The Scholarships & Awards Committee of the Manitoba Library Association is pleased to announce the 2019 Award Winners.

Congratulations to Andrew Robert, winner of the 2019 Trustee of Distinction Award.

Andrew volunteered as a citizen representative on the South Interlake Regional Library Board from 2008 to 2017. During that time, the South Interlake Regional Library faced many challenges, including a funding crisis. Ever the voice of reason, Andrew’s calm and thoughtful approach contributed to a resolution and helped the parties involved find a suitable way forward. Andrew was the first trustee on the South Interlake Regional Library Board to attend sessions at library conference, thereby encouraging other trustees to follow suit. In 2015, Andrew began volunteering with MLTA, where he served as Member at Large. He continues playing an active part in association work and today sits on the MLA Board as the Trustees Division Chair.

Congratulations to Bev (Beverly) Dumach-Barnes, winner of the 2019 Library Support Worker of the Year Award.

Bev Demach-Barnes is Circulation Clerk at the Red River College Notre Dame Campus Library. Bev began her role six years ago knowing very little about libraries, but with a great attitude towards customer service and a willingness to learn. Bev has since grown to be the heart of the library in the evenings and her outgoing personality and remarkable commitment to customer service make her an exceptional employee.  She also has a unique ability to connect with International Students. She greets each student when they enter the library and wishes them a good night when they leave, often in their home language. Many of these students are away from their families and support systems for the first time. Bev provides a welcoming face, a listening ear and an environment where they feel as though they belong.   manages to do this while remaining professional and providing excellent service to all students and staff at Red River College.

Congratulations to Shauna Weiss, winner of the 2019 Red River College Library & Information Technology Award.

Each year MLA presents an Award to a full-time graduating Library and Information Technology student who has demonstrated academic excellence and career promise. This year’s Award winner is Shauna Weiss. Shauna graduated from Red River College’s Library and Information Technology Program in spring 2019. She highly enjoyed the program and has always loved libraries and books. Shauna is happy to have found employment in an elementary school library this fall. In her spare time, Shauna enjoys cooking, gardening, taking her kids to the park and camping.

MLA is beginning to plan for the next Conference and we want you!

Posted in Conference

The Manitoba Library Association is seeking volunteers to work on the 2020 Manitoba Libraries Conference (MLC).  This will be an especially exciting conference, as MLC will be held in conjunction with the 2nd CFLA-FCAB  2020 Forum.  It’s also Manitoba’s 150th birthday.   It’s sure to be a memorable event that will draw library professionals from across Canada!

Possible positions for the conference include:

Conference Chair/Co-Chair
Registration Coordinator
Volunteers Coordinator
Hospitality & Events Coordinator
Communications Coordinator
Website Coordinator
Programming Chair
Programming Committee Members

Important information for interested individuals:

Don’t have time to commit to a full position but want to contribute?  Reach out and contact us!  All help is welcome and it takes many hands to pull off an excellent conference.

MLC operates by forwarding content, tips and tricks, and information from one year to the next.  What does this mean for you?  You don’t need to start from scratch!  Over the years, much work has been done in terms of building templates and documenting what works best – this makes things easier for future planning committee members.

Please send an email to by September 20, 2019, if interested in contributing to MLC 2020 or if you would like additional information.