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

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Conference 2016 Website Launched

Just a quick update to let you know the AALT Conference 2016 website is now live.

Currently, we have posted information on:
Other information will be added as it becomes available.

If you would like to contribute to the conference, there are still openings for:
Speakers and volunteers may be entitled to an honorarium or discounted conference registration. If you have questions or would like to contribute contact us at

Thank you,
Janis Rapchuk and Pablo Zanetta
AALT 2016 Conference co-Chairs.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Future of Libraries on Slate

Slate has an interesting article on the future of libraries. Author Jim O'Donnell lays out a fair assessment of our challenges, but I think he really hits the continuing need for libraries with this quote:
But we do need libraries. In a world of superabundant information, they curate and collect and discriminate and care for the good stuff—the stuff really smart people have worked to create and preserve, the stuff you can rely on when you want to understand the world deeply and accurately, the stuff too complicated to come into existence by crowdsourcing, too unpopular to be foisted on us by corporations or politicians.
Read the full article "What Will Libraries be Like in 2100" on Slate.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Life of a SAIT LIT Student

For some of you, it has been a while since you were in the Library Information Technology (LIT) program, so allow me to walk you down memory lane with a few quick snapshots from the life of an LIT student.
  1. I am in cataloguing class and just received some very good news. I will not have to carry my RDA to class; thereby, my shoulder will recover and my nightmare will not come true (the one where the binder pops open and the entire RDA comes flying out).
  2. MARC is no longer just the name of an old boyfriend, but also an encoding standard for bibliographic records.
  3. I now know what anticline means.
  4. I got to create a brand new web page and I know more of computer troubleshooting than just restarting the computer and keeping my fingers crossed.
  5. During each class, I learn to appreciate the complexity of the library and I realize the necessity of library technicians. 
On thing that has really changed, ironically, is the lack of books in the LIT program, which my bank account appreciates and is indicative of how quickly this field is changing.

Often, I have people ask what can you be studying for two years? How hard is it to organize some books and show people how to find something on the Internet? I enjoy explaining to these people that library work is so much more than that. Promoting and educating people on the benefits of the library and proper information management is, in my opinion, one of the great aspects of being an LIT student.

By Monica Schuh
2nd year SAIT LIT student and SAIT Student Representative to the AALT Board

Friday, 30 October 2015

Announcement - Keynote Speakers for AALT 2016

The theme of the 2016 Conference is "Celebrating Diversity".  The diversity of libraries, the diversity of the collections, and of course the diversity of the patrons. The keynote speakers will be a diverse group as well. 

Stephen Abram will be speaking on Friday morning. Stephen is a librarian and principal with Lighthouse Consulting Inc., and executive director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries. Stephen is “an experienced library and information industry leader with a strategic planning, product development, administration, technology, rights negotiation, association leadership, education management, teaching and training, publishing and marketing background”.

Letha Goger will be speaking on Saturday morning on open educational resources (OERs) In Letha’s own words, she has three inextricably linked passions: open education, global librarianship, and digital libraries.

Our Sunday morning author is Glenda Goertzen. Glenda is a Canadian author of children's and young adult fantasy, including the best-selling children's novel The Prairie Dogs.  She has had a very recent job change; moving from First Nations University to the University of Saskatchewan where she is the Branch Supervisor of the Science Library.

The AALT 2016 Conference will be held from May 12 -15, at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT Polytechnic) in Calgary, Alberta.

Thank you,
Janis Rapchuk and Pablo Zanetta
AALT 2016 Conference co-Chairs.

AALT Conference 2016 - Call for Speakers

The 2016 Conference will be held from May 12 -15, at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT Polytechnic) Calgary, Alberta.

Submit your session proposals for AALT 2016

The theme for this year's conference is "Celebrating Diversity". Session proposals should address this theme, the daily work of library technicians or health and wellness. We are particularly interested in workshops and panel discussions.

Sessions are 75 minutes in length.

If you have any questions about submitting a proposal, please contact or call Janis at 403-284-8688 or Pablo at 403-210-4425.

Submission deadline is December 15th, 2015.

Thank you,
Janis Rapchuk and Pablo Zanetta
AALT 2016 Conference co-Chairs.

Welcome to the new AALT Technician

Welcome to the newly launched The AALT Technician, the official journal of the Alberta Association of Library Technicians.

Why the change? Though The AALT Technician has striven to support our community, as a quarterly newsletter it has faced several challenges over the last few years:
  1. Quarterly publication no longer meshes well with other AALT activities, like promoting conference or other events.
  2. Soliciting content and laying out a full issue demanded a lot of time from our editors.
  3. Declining contributions made it difficult to get a full issue's worth of content together.
  4. It was impossible to establish the real reach and impact of the journal, making it difficult to assess whether it was serving our community.
  5. The static format didn't provide an opportunity for dialogue among library technicians.
To confront these challenges, the Board decided over the summer to relaunch The AALT Technician as an interactive community-oriented online publishing platform, or blog. And here you see the fruits of our labours.

Our goal with this new platform is to publish news and information of interest to library technicians on a regular basis. This may include:
  • Board reports
  • Notices of upcoming activities for AALT members
  • Sharing news about the library world
  • Presenting articles on best practices
And, with your help, The AALT Technician will offer a lot more. This is your space, too.
  • Were you on vacation and visited a cool library? 
  • Are you trying new furniture arrangements in your children's section? 
  • Have you read a great book? 
The AALT community is waiting to hear you tell these stories and other like them. Just email with your ideas and submissions.

Also, be sure to comment on posts that interest you. Get a conversation going.

Finally, I encourage you to subscribe using the RSS or email options on the right to stay up to date with The AALT Technician.

Sarah Stephens
President, The Alberta Association of Library Technicians