Monday, June 21, 2010

2010 DEAR Posters Available

The BCTLA is pleased to announce that the 2010 Drop Everything and Read posters are now available on the BCTLA website at!

This year, three posters have been created and these have been made available in both English and French, in multiple sizes.

English DEAR Poster Samples:

Pre-printed posters will not be sent to B.C. public schools this year. Instead, teacher-librarians and any others are invited to choose and print their own posters from the BCTLA website. Join us in celebrating National School Library Day and Drop Everything and Read Day on October 25, 2010!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

BCTLA Conference Registration Now Open!

2010 BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association Conference
October 21-22, 2010

The Central Okanagan Teacher Librarians' Association (COTLA) is proud to be sponsoring the 2010 British Columbia Teacher-Librarians' Association (BCTLA) conference, October 21-22.
The conference will be hosted at Kelowna Secondary School (1079 Raymer Avenue, Kelowna). In addition to a comprehensive conference itinerary and social events, there will be three keynote addresses:

  • Dr. Jamie McKenzie will outline the exciting new roles of the 21st-Century teacher-librarian and talk about the stance, attitude and strategies required to turn challenge into opportunity

  • Well known television personality, Dr. Art Hister, will talk about taking care of your health so that you can live with more energy, more happiness, and less stress, and

  • The "Disruptive Innovators" (Donna DesRoches and Carlene Walter) will discuss how social media has redefined the role of the teacher-librarian.

With 31 distinct sessions covering everything from 21st-Century libraries and technologies, to the art of writing and the culture of reading, the conference promises to be of interest to a wide range of teaching professionals. For more information on the conference, its sessions, and registration procedures, visit the conference site at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pat Parungao Wins the 2010 CASL Follett International Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award

Pat Parungao, a Vancouver teacher-librarian and former President of BCTLA, has been announced as the 2010 winner of the CASL Follett International Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award. The award honours each year a teacher-librarian, "who has made an outstanding contribution to school librarianship within Canada through planning and implementing school library programs, based on a collaborative model which integrates library and classroom programs".

From the Canadian Library Association (CLA) press release: "Pat has been a teacher-librarian since 1982 and is recognized as an outstanding teacher-librarian, consultant, writer, professor, and advocate for school libraries and learning in her district and province. She works collaboratively with a wide variety of teachers at Gladstone Secondary School to create teaching units and projects around assessment for learning, literacy, and curriculum. Her colleagues, supervisors, and administrators (in K-12 and post-secondary) praise her highly for her work.

Throughout her career, Pat has demonstrated her passion for libraries and learning and she 'believes strongly that students benefit when they have teacher-librarians who develop school library programs and who are qualified in teacher-librarianship'. Within her district, Pat has worked as a teacher-librarian in both elementary and secondary school libraries, as a Teacher-Librarian Consultant, and as a Cooperative Program Planning and Teaching Resource teacher (ESL emphasis).

In the K-12 division, Pat has contributed to key initiatives in the province of British Columbia from information and technology skills development, critical thinking, cultural diversity and bibliography publications such as, Canada’s Year of Asia Pacific Multicultural Bibliography. She has written many articles in professional publications and she has co-presented at various workshops, including the BCTF Program Against Racism workshop, "Cultural Diversities – Literary Gifts" based on the annotated bibliography.

At the post-secondary level, she has written, designed, and taught courses at the University of British Columbia online and face-to-face which includes the UBC Information Literacy Project for teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education.

As a teacher-librarian, educator and advocate, Pat has been a dedicated, active member in professional associations such as VTLA (Vancouver), BCTLA (British Columbia), CASL (Canadian Association for School Libraries), BC Library Association and BC Coalition for School Libraries. She is also a recipient of a provincial award".

Pat attended the Treasure Mountain school library institute and the CLA conference in Edmonton on June 2-5, where she received her award. On behalf of BCTLA, congratulations to our friend Pat Parungao!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Surrey To Reassign Teacher-Librarians

With an estimated 12.3 million dollar shortfall, Surrey School District is proposing to accomplish "most job reductions", " reassigning some 'non-enrolling' teachers (counsellors, librarians, career education and learner support teachers) to classrooms".

In addition to being objectionable for so many reasons, the reassignment of teacher-librarians from whatever they are doing now to "classrooms" is a difficult characterization, because what teacher-librarians are doing now is teaching students in the classroom that is the school library! Referring to this proposal as being one designed to reduce, "...staffing outside the classroom..." is inaccurate in regards to teacher-librarians when one considers the important role of teacher-librarians as teachers in the school library as a classroom.

According to the Surrey Teachers' Association, the district will make the following reductions to teaching staff in addition to other reductions and changes:
  • 13.0 FTE reduction in Learner Support positions
  • 8.0 FTE reduction in Teacher-Librarian positions
  • 10.0 FTE reduction in elementary Counselling positions
  • 6.0 FTE reduction in Curriculum & Instructional Services (CISC) and Student Support positions

Additionally, all remaining learning specialist teachers will no longer be replaced on the first day of an absence.

On May 20, 2010, with the support of the Surrey Teachers' Association, representatives of Surrey School District's teacher-librarians visited the B.C. legislature and presented to MLAs. The text of the Surrey teacher-librarians' presentation can be found here.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"The Points of Inquiry" Draft Open for Comments

In 2007, the BCTLA formed an Information Literacy Task Force to develop a provincial learning outcomes for information literacy model.

The Task Force moved, over a period of three years, to deeper understanding of the importance of learners being able to think critically about resources, information, and their own questions; away from information literacy and the search for a right model for research for the BC curriculum to the capacity for drawing new knowledge from an inquiry-based approach to information, reading, and 21st-Century learning.

The BCTLA inquiry-based approach, termed "The Points of Inquiry", is:

  • framed by well-established and new understandings about learning including traditional literacy and the multi-literacies;
  • constructed as a model that works for reading as well as research;
  • framed by the learners as learning that seeks to explain or find answers to their own questions;
  • grounded in new and emerging technologies as tools for accessing, using, working with, and presenting information;
  • built developmentally between benchmarks and added to naturally at transition points in classrooms and in school libraries, in all disciplines, from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
The next step is to invite review and comment on "The Points of Inquiry". The intent is to take the feedback and use the information to inform a finalized version that will be ready for the BCTLA conference in October. From there, we can look to creating additional support pieces and in-service opportunities.

To review the draft document and make comments:

Deadline for comment: August 1, 2010.

Thank you to Lynn Turner, Moira Ekdahl, Michele Farquharson and Julie Robinson for their three years of work on this project!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Letters of Support from B.C. Librarians (BCLA, YAACS, PLIG)

Thank you to the BC Library Association, including the Young Adults and Children's Section (YAACS) and the Public Librarians' Interest Group (PLIG), for their support of the retention and increase of teacher-librarian staffing in British Columbia.

"The Young Adults and Children’s Section of the British Columbia Library Association (YAACS) would like to add its voice in support of the BC Teacher-Librarians' Association’s call to school boards to reconsider reductions of learning specialists including teacher librarians in many British Columbia school districts. These cuts are the direct result of educational funding cuts put forth by the BC provincial government ... We urge both the Ministry of Education and school boards to consider the impact of the loss of teacher librarians on the Premier’s goal to make British Columbia the most literate province in Canada and on the future success of their students and our communities".

For more:

Thank you once again to BCLA, YAACS and PLIG for their support!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Final Budget Decisions Made in Burnaby and Coquitlam

On April 27, the Burnaby Board of Education approved the 2010-11 district operating budget. The budget was approved with no cuts to school-based teacher-librarian staffing. Cuts in Burnaby did include 2.5 positions at the Burnaby District Library Resource Centre (DLRC). The 2.5 FTE positions are within the CUPE bargaining unit and include a cataloguer position and two clerks.

On May 4, the Coquitlam Board of Education also approved the 2010-11 operating budget for School District #43. Although cuts to non-enrolling staff including teacher-librarians was originally proposed in the first preliminary budget reduction recommendations, the approved 2010-11 operating budget does not reduce teacher-librarian or CUPE library staffing.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Karen Ferguson is 2010's BC Teacher-Librarian of the Year

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that Karen Ferguson is the 2010 recipient of the BC Teacher-Librarian of the Year -- Diana Poole Memorial Award. This award honours a practicing teacher-librarian who is making an outstanding contribution to teacher-librarianship at and beyond the school level in British Columbia. Recipients of the award are teacher-librarians who have planned and implemented a school library program of such exemplary quality that it serves as a model and inspiration for others.

Karen Ferguson is the teacher-librarian and literacy department head at the largest middle school in B.C., Moody Middle School in Port Moody. At the school level, Karen ensures that the library program is in the school goals. She encourages school-wide daily silent reading and organizes many literacy programs including a yearly Literacy Day (“Literrific!”) and a “One School, One Book” program. She uses technology as part of her literacy work, maintaining a library website with award winning books, library program promotional information, and resources. She also maintains a Destiny library catalogue home page with databases, online encyclopedias, research and citation tools and websites selected to support specific units.

Karen Ferguson operates at the nexus of the school and all the students who walk through our doors come to know her and her passion for books and reading.

Karen very successfully collaboratively plans with teachers – units such as Ancient China, Earth Science and Extreme Environments are enhanced through Karen’s leadership and expertise in inquiry, literacy and resources. She has an amazing knowledge of young adult literature and an excellent relationship with Port Moody Public Library, which has included collaborating on author visits (e.g. Kenneth Oppel in 2008-09). Karen also participates on Moody Middle’s technology learning team and uses Web. 2.0 tools such as Jing – e.g. Karen’s story submitted by an impressed teaching colleague at “Stop repeating yourself. Say it again with video”.

The expectation at Moody Middle—Karen's expectation—is that
all students will become engaged in the magic and power of reading.

At the district level, Karen has been a member of two District Technology Focus Groups: one on the implementation of the Information and Communications Technology Performance Standards and one that developed the Coquitlam School District K-8 Learning With Technology Plan. She is currently providing expertise to the district as a member of the District Facilities Design Implementation Panel where she is focusing on assisting in the design of three new middle schools (two replacement buildings and one new school) including new libraries/learning commons.

Karen has also made unparalleled contributions through her decade-long work on the HogWild About Reading program that raises money for school library collections in the Tri-Cities. Karen worked with her principal at the time, Ross Davidson, to organize the first few years of the program which has gone on to raise over $140,000. She also was part of the team that originated the the annual Battle of the Books for SD43 middle schools with the support of Port Moody Public Library which culminates in District Finals at Port Moody’s Inlet Theatre. Karen continues to co-organize and to participate in Battle of the Books.

Karen is a dedicated professional teacher-librarian who
provides exemplary service to her school and the district.

Karen was a member of the BCTLA 2009 provincial Teacher Inquiry Group (Program for Quality Teaching) examining evidence-based practice in school libraries. She is currently Co-President of the Coquitlam Teacher-Librarians’ Association and was formerly the CTLA’s Middle School Representative. She assists in planning the CTLA’s annual presentation to the Coquitlam Board of Education. In 2008, Karen co-presented about the discrepancy of middle school teacher-librarian staffing and Library Assistant allocations which resulted in some increased staffing.

Add to all this and the responsibility of being the Humanities
department head and one wonders how she divides her time.

Karen is inspirational and supportive. She is a true leader and always willing to give of her time and expertise. She generously mentors new middle school teacher-librarians and seizes opportunities to promote library programs with district administrators, speakers, and community members.

Creative thinker, trusted colleague, willing contributor,
supportive collaborator, literacy expert and in the library and beyond
an invaluable resource and fellow learner.

BCTLA will be honoured to recognize Karen Ferguson as the 2010 recipient of the B.C. Teacher-Librarian of the Year -- Diana Poole Memorial Award at the 2010 BCTLA Conference on Friday, October 22, 2010 at Kelowna Senior Secondary School in Kelowna, B.C.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tu Loan Trieu is 2010's New B.C. Teacher-Librarian of the Year

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that Tu Loan Trieu (centre, with Coquitlam teacher-librarians Chantal Petiot and Karen Elkan) is the 2010 and inaugural recipient of the New BC Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award. The award honours a practicing teacher-librarian with under five years experience who has planned and implemented a school library program and/or school library services of such exemplary quality that either or both is serving as a model and inspiration for others.

Tu Loan is the teacher-librarian at Scott Creek Middle School in Coquitlam, B.C. In just her third year as a teacher-librarian, Tu Loan has adapted and developed innovative school library initiatives and has demonstrated amazing leadership and commitment. She
has initiative and drive, leadership capacity, passion for reading, and a love of teaching.

As her school’s Literacy Team Leader, Tu Loan has participated on the school-wide Reading Power action research learning team and has offered coordination and support to her school in the program’s implementation. She has implemented initiatives such as Literacy Day at Scott Creek Middle School (last year featuring author David Bouchard) and “One Book, One School” (this year featuring the school-wide reading of Schooled by Gordon Korman and a visit with the author at the Vancouver International Writer’s Festival) which has inspired other teacher-librarians to do the same.

Her students love her library and the leadership opportunities that she offers them and she empowers them to love reading. Scott Creek’s students are actively engaged in writing book reviews and literally run to the library whenever the announcement is made that new books are available. Tu Loan has not only inspired her students. Scott Creek’s 2010 SD43 middle school “Battle of the Books” entry, for example, consisted not just of a team of students, but also a team of teachers! In addition to being a driving force behind the successful Battle of the Books program, for the past three years Tu Loan has also helped to organize the district’s annual “Hogwild About Reading” charity drive for school library collections.

Tu Loan is booked months ahead of time to work with classes. In addition to promoting reading, she teaches technology and inquiry skills including notetaking and the use of databases. Tu Loan’s work with students and staff and the infusion of technology as part of her library program is evident on Scott Creek’s virtual library site. The site includes links to the library’s databases, book blogs, discussions, new titles, and reading and subject-area website recommendations. Tu Loan also contributes to the school as a basketball and rugby coach.

Tu Loan has consistently sought out opportunities to further grow and to share her knowledge. She is the current Co-President of the Coquitlam Teacher-Librarians’ Association. She has also been the CTLA Vice-President and Professional Development Representative, which included presenting to the Coquitlam Board of Education in 2008 on middle school library staffing. Tu Loan is also a past-BCTLA Chapter Councilor for Coquitlam (2007-08). As a mentor on the district Teacher-Librarian Mentorship Learning Team in 2008-09, Tu Loan demonstrated her own commitment to excellence in library curriculum and instruction, and supported new teacher-librarians in their learning. Recently, Tu Loan presented on literacy at Coquitlam’s Middle School Conference (Jan 2010). She is also involved in teacher-librarian inquiry through her current participation on the district Fourth Way Teacher-Librarian Learning Team, which is examining Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley’s The Fourth Way: The Inspiring Future for Educational Change and is also focused on defining and articulating the purpose of teacher-librarians in the district.

Tu Loan is also a world traveller. This past summer, her travels took her to Thailand, where she not only saw much of the country but also arranged tours of school libraries. Her trip to Thailand resulted in wonderful contributions for Tu Loan’s very successful “Get Caught Reading” slideshow of images of Scott Creek teachers and students reading over summer vacation. Tu Loan not only modelled reading over the summer but also inspired numerous teacher-librarians to do a similar project this coming June!

BCTLA will be honoured to recognize Tu Loan Trieu as the 2010 recipient of the New B.C. Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award at the 2010 BCTLA Conference on Friday, October 22, 2010 at Kelowna Senior Secondary School in Kelowna, B.C.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Elimination of Teacher-Librarians in Langley

"It is clear that school libraries and teacher librarians are no longer a priority in Langley School District".

Langley Secondary School
School population: 1173
Teacher-librarian time: Cut in half to 0.5

H.D. Stafford Middle School
School Population: 675
Teacher-librarian time: Eliminated

"Langley's library programs have been cut to the bone and these cuts have left us battered and bleeding, wondering how we will survive to promote literacy in any way, shape, or form. We are reeling from provincial funding shortfalls and the double-whammy of the deficit budget".

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sharon Scott and Margaret Litch Receive the 2010 Val Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that Sharon Scott and Margaret Litch are the 2010 recipients of the Val Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sharon Scott is retired from the Vancouver School District. In her teaching career she was a classroom teacher, teacher-librarian and Cooperative Program Planning Teacher Consultant (Elementary). She also served in many roles on the Executive of the Vancouver Teacher-Librarians' Association. Upon her retirement in 1997, Sharon began to participate as a volunteer in the UBC Information Literacy Project. The Project is unique in Canada and through its delivery as a potion of a required elementary language and literacy course allows pre-service teachers to experience what it is like to to collaboratively plan with a teacher-librarian. In 2003, Sharon took on the additional role of coordinating all of the volunteer teacher-librarians who assist with the project. Over the years, her contributions both behind the scenes and directly with students have positively influenced thousands. Through her efforts as an exemplary educator in the Vancouver School District and as a volunteer and coordinator for the UBC Information Literacy Project, Sharon has made it possible for students and teachers from all over B.C. to become familiar with the role of the teacher-librarian.

After a thirty year career as an educator Margaret Litch retired a legendary teacher-librarian in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District. School libraries were and are her passion. Margaret is an advocate of Canadian children's literature and she has impressed many with the lengths that she would go to to put the perfect book into each student's hands. She was and is a mentor to student teachers and new teacher-librarians and a professional development leader and presenter. She continues to be deeply committed to the full service role of the teacher-librarian and to providing exceptional service to classroom teachers in support of curriculum planning. She was master at making the library the "place to be", shared ideas and expertise, established models and worked with others to help them to understand the role of the teacher-librarian. Margaret continues to present and advocate for school libraries. She also continues to mail book suggestions (one teacher-librarian commented that Margaret, "must know every book ever written!") to Nanaimo-Ladysmith teacher-librarians. They in turn unanimously nominated Margaret for the award.

BCTLA will be honoured to recognize Sharon Scott and Margaret Litch as the 2010 recipients of the Val Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, at the 2010 BCTLA Conference on Friday, October 22, 2010 at Kelowna Senior Secondary School in Kelowna, B.C.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cheriee Weichel Receives the 2010 Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that Cheriee Weichel is the 2010 recipient of the Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant.

Cheriee is the teacher-librarian at Charles Dickens Elementary School in Vancouver. She is an active member of the VTLA and of the BCTLA. She has served on the Executive of the VTLA for several years and is currently Member-At-Large. Cheriee recently participated in a teacher inquiry in Vancouver promoting teacher-librarianship and school libraries. As part of the inquiry, she was instrumental in making a video of Vancouver school library programs in action, which was shown to the VSB trustees, among others. In October 2009, Cheriee participated in BCTLA's Visit to the Legislature. In April 2010, she had an article, "Non-Enrolling Teachers – Endangered List", published in Teacher Newsmagazine.

With support from the Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant, Cheriee will be auditing a course at the University of Minnesota taught by Dr. Jack Zipes, renowned fairy tales and folklore scholar. Dr. Zipes recently was the Cecil H. and Ida Green Visiting Professor at UBC. While in Vancouver, Dr. Zipes visited Charles Dickens Elementary School. He spoke of the Neighbourhood Bridges project, a literacy program that uses, "storytelling and creative drama to help children develop their critical literacy skills and to transform them into storytellers of their own lives". Cheriee is interested in learning more from Dr. Zipes and about the possibilities of bringing the program to British Columbia.

The BCTLA was pleased to recognize Cheriee Weichel as the 2010 recipient of the BCTLA Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant at the 2010 BCTLA AGM on April 17 in Vancouver.

Canadian Library Association Alarmed At Cuts

The Canadian Library Association and Canadian Association for School Libraries today issued a news release that expresses their dismay and alarm at the underfunding of the B.C. public education system. The erosion of funding is, "pushing districts into making cutbacks to personnel and programs to balance their budgets, resulting in the elimination of professional teacher-librarians in many schools in British Columbia.

Parents in BC have to ask some hard questions. Do they want to abandon libraries and literacy programs in public schools, or do they urge the British Columbia government to recognize the importance of literacy education, school libraries and the essential role of teacher librarians in preparing B.C. students to be lifelong learners?

John Teskey, President of the CLA, urges the BC government to reconsider these cutbacks and to fund school library programs and hire qualified teacher-librarians".

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bonnie McComb Receives the 2010 Alan Knight Memorial Award

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association and the Editorial Board of The Bookmark recognize the contribution to communication in teacher-librarianship made by the submission of outstanding articles to The Bookmark. Each year an award committee is formed in one of B.C.’s school districts. This committee selects the most outstanding article in The Bookmark for that year and the Alan Knight Memorial Award goes to the contributor(s).

For 2010, the award recipient is Bonnie McComb, teacher-librarian at Parkland Secondary School in Saanich, B.C.

Bonnie contributed two articles to the 50th anniversary issue of The Bookmark. Both articles were submitted from Australia while Bonnie was there on teacher exchange. Bonnie has received the Alan Knight Memorial Award for the article "Creating a Culture of Reading in High Schools: Engaging Staff in Professional Book Clubs". The article has already had a significant impact in terms of the contribution it represents to the professional growth of teacher-librarians.

On behalf of the BCTLA I would like to congratulate Bonnie McComb for her outstanding work in The Bookmark!

Angie MacRitchie
Senior Editor, The Bookmark

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Doug Ibbott Recieves the 2010 Distinguished Service Award

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is pleased to announce that Doug Ibbott is the recipient of the 2010 BCTLA Distinguished Service Award.

Doug is a retired educator from Burnaby School District. In nominating Doug for the award, the Burnaby Teacher-Librarians' Association wrote that, "his work as District Principal, responsible for school libraries, is key to Burnaby's recognition throughout the province for its quality school library programs. Although Doug retired in June 2008, his major project of automating all school libraries in the district has finally come to fruition with its completion in September 2009. He played a primary role in moving Burnaby school libraries from 19th-Century card catalogues to the digital age of the 21st-Century.

Doug began his teaching career in Burnaby as an intermediate teacher in January 1975 and then became helping teacher for the Gifted and Talented Program from 1984 to 1986. He became an elementary principal in September 1987. As an administrator, he believed that the library was the 'heart' of the school. He fully understood the important role school libraries play in the delivery of curriculum and in the lives of children. He was always supportive of the teacher-librarian and the library program. He advocated for extra funds for the school's library collection. Doug was an active participant in literacy programs and events and loved to read to the students. With this passion for literacy and libraries, he was the appropriate person to serve as the administrators' representative to the District Library Committee.

Doug Ibbott was District Principal from July 2003 to July 2008. Two of his many responsibilities were school library programs and the District Library Resource Centre. When he became District Principal, Doug drafted the proposal to automate all school libraries—8 secondary and 40 elementary—in Burnaby. From this proposal, he developed a five-year business plan that was accepted by the Board of Education. As part of the plan, he hired a team of library assistants and district support personnel solely for the project. During his tenure, he was always supportive of the individual and collective endeavours of teacher-librarians. He demonstrated this by visiting school libraries throughout the district. He always made his responsibilities to Burnaby's school library programs a priority. He attended all sub-committee meetings related to school libraries, even the Call Number Classification Review Committee!

Doug's leadership style was collegial and collaborative; he was mindful and respectful of the professionalism of teacher-librarians. Before decisions were made, he considered and acknowledged our expertise. Setting school library programs as a priority, he increased staffing and budgets for libraries. He also encouraged several individual teachers to pursue their dream of becoming teacher-librarians".

The following commend from a Burnaby teacher-librarian echoes the sentiments of the Burnaby Teacher-Librarians' Association as to why Doug Ibbott should be honoured with the BCTLA Distinguished Service Award: "When Doug was District Principal, library support was top notch, but I think the personal support is what makes Doug the truly unique individual that he is. Doug did not just care about our libraries and what we were doing in them. He cared for us as individuals, was always approachable, willing to listen to see how he could help us, and always had a word of encouragement for us. He trusted us to do what was right for our students and our schools, and believed in us. He advocated for us and for what we felt we needed in our schools. At the district level, he always gave a positive report concerning who we are and what we are doing".

The BCTLA was pleased to recognize Doug Ibbott as the 2010 recipient of the BCTLA Distinguished Service Award at the 2010 BCTLA AGM on April 17 in Vancouver.

Coquitlam District Revises Budget Recommendations

On Tuesday, April 20, School District #43 (Coquitlam)'s district leadership team presented revised 2010-11 budget recommendations that no longer included the reduction of teacher-librarian and other learning specialist teacher staffing.

According to Diane Stranberg in The Tri-City News, "The district had planned to lay off three elementary school youth workers and cut nine non-enrolling teachers who work in libraries, skill development, ESL and counselling to save $975,000. Now, the district proposes to remove $900,000 in surplus premiums and has forecasted increased revenue from higher enrolment from online education and will also pick up some funding for students who landed in local public schools after the private Greybrook Academy in Pitt Meadows was closed".

The Coquitlam Now's Jennifer McFee quotes Board of Education Chair Melissa Hyndes as saying that presentations made to the Board at public input meetings, "made an's heartbreaking to the board anytime there's a reduction in staff, especially when you look at youth workers in elementary schools and custodians and clerical and non-enrolling teachers,' she said. 'After hearing all those presentations to the board from our staff members in those jobs, it puts a face to the print on the paper and you really feel for them. They're passionate about their jobs and, obviously, they want to keep them. It's tough'."

Friday, April 23, 2010

"We Love Our Library" in Vancouver

Vancouver students, parents, teachers, and trustees rally on
West Broadway in front of Education Minister Margaret
MacDiarmid's office on April 21, 2010.

School Library Cuts in the Central Okanagan

Given that the School District 23 (Central Okanagan)'s goals and objectives as outlined in the Board's Achievement Contract are likely to continue to include the existing Literacy goal that "the School District will continue its endeavour to improve literacy skills for all students with detailed specific objectives" and that the following points are included in "the underlying principles for all budget decisions":

  • "The students come first.
  • Every budget allocation will be aligned to meet the District's Mission, Vision and Values and the objectives of the District as outlined in the Board's Achievement Contract..."

and "that as part of the process in developing the budget, each of the District's partner groups as well as members of the management team and the general public were asked to provide input" and that the input does include calls for increased school library services, School District 23 (Central Okanagan)'s preliminary 2010-11 budget (recommended to the Board for approval) inconceivably contains the following cuts to school libraries:

  • Elimination of CUPE illness replacement for library clerks.
  • Reduction in financial support to Central Okanagan local specialist associations including the Central Okanagan Teacher-Librarians' Association*.
  • On a school-by-school basis, reduction of an average of 1.7% of elementary school budgets, 2.0% of middle school budgets and 3.3% of secondary school budgets through a combination of approaches including the reduction of spending on library materials and teacher-librarian staffing.

*The Central Okanagan Teacher-Librarians' Association provides support and services including annually organizing an author visit program in celebration of Education Week. Past authors have included David Bouchard and Kenneth Oppel.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teacher-Librarian Cuts in Richmond

On April 19, 2010, the Richmond Board of Education approved:

  • Reduction/restructuring of 8.4 FTE teacher-librarian positions.
  • This reduction/restructuring, with a budget impact of an estimated $498,000, is the fourth largest FTE reduction within the budget recommendations.

According to Nelson Bennett writing in the Richmond News, teacher-librarian Karen Shigeno (Steveston-London Secondary) said at the April 19, 2010 budget meeting that the "cuts will mean [secondary] school students will only have access to a [teacher-]librarian one morning every second day...last year, she said 664 classes used her library. Now, thanks to the cuts, she said 'I would only be able to teach information literacy skills to 249 of those 664 classes'."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Proposed Library Cuts in Saanich School District

Saanich School District has proposed cuts to teacher-librarian staffing in the district's recent 2010-11 Budget Reduction Options.

The Saanich Teacher-Librarians' Association has printed 2,000 bookmarks and are distributing them to local libraries and public places. Members of the association attended the budget meeting, have written letters to government officials, and are putting an ad in the local paper.


Contact for more information.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Elimination of Teacher-Librarian Staffing

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association is appalled at recent proposed budget recommendations made in Vancouver and Coquitlam School Districts for reduced teacher-librarian staffing.

Vancouver Board of Education
  • Reduction of 43.0 FTE teachers including resource teachers (ESL and Special Education), learning assistance/skills development teachers, secondary school counsellors and teacher-librarians.
  • This proposed reduction of learning specialist teachers including teacher-librarians, with a budget impact of $2,911,530, is the largest single proposed cut within the budget recommendations.
  • Elimination of the 1.0 FTE Teacher-Librarian Consultant position with the subsequent addition of a 0.4 FTE Teacher-Librarian Mentor.
  • Elimination of 0.4 FTE additional librarian time at Britannia Elementary, with 0.2 eliminated in 2010-11 and the remaining 0.2 eliminated in 2011-12.

School District #43 (Coquitlam)

  • Reduction of 9.0 FTE non-enrolling teachers including teacher-librarians.
  • This proposed reduction, with a budget impact of $810,000, is the largest single proposed cut within the budget recommendations.
  • Update (April 25): after considering feedback provided at public meetings, School District #43 (Coquitlam) issued a second set of budget reduction recommendations that did not include the reduction of non-enrolling teacher positions.

The BC Teacher-Librarians' Association calls upon Board of Education trustees to preserve critical school library services for students by rejecting proposed recommendations for the reduction of teacher-librarian staffing.

Monday, March 29, 2010

BCTLA Awards and Grants Deadline Draws Near

The nomination deadline for the 2010 British Columbia Teacher-Librarians' Association awards and grants is Thursday, April 1st!

  • BC Teacher-Librarian of the Year - Diana Poole Memorial Award
  • BC New Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award
  • Val Hamilton Achievement Award
  • BCTLA Distinguished Service Award
  • BCTLA Honorary Life Membership Award


  • Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant
  • William H. Scott Memorial BCTLA Conference Grant
  • BCTLA Chapter Grant Program

Please visit for more information and any nomination forms that may be required.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Survey Deadline Extended Until April 5

To date, there has been a 2010 Working and Learning Conditions Survey response for 600 B.C. public schools in BC! However, there are still a number of public schools that still could have a response. The survey deadline has been extended until April 5! Please continue to submit survey responses at

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Revision of the BCTLA Constitution

The text of the proposed new BCTLA Constitution is now available for preview.

Revision Highlights:

  • Revised Executive titles and roles (pg. 1)
  • All Executive positions now elective with two year terms (pg. 2)
  • “Sections” added as a way for BCTLA Subscribers to affiliate, e.g. private school teacher-librarians, as Chapters are a way for BCTLA Members to affiliate (pg. 2)
  • Chapter Councilor formula now based on number of schools (pg.3)
  • Quorum numbers added (pg. 4)
  • Ability to vote by phone or electronically added (pg. 4)
  • Time period of advance written notice for bylaw and constitutional amendments reduced to two weeks (pg. 5)
As per the 2003 BCTLA Constitution under which we continue to operate, the motion to the Annual General Meeting of the adoption of the new BCTLA Constitution shall originate in Council on the morning of April 17, 2010.

The Proposed Amendment will then be voted on at the 2010 BCTLA AGM which will be held concurrenty with the Spring Council between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 17, 2010 at the Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre, 711 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

29th Annual Working and Learning Conditions Survey

BCTLA is pleased to announce that the 29th Annual Working and Learning Conditions survey of B.C. public school libraries is now underway!

Between now and March 12, 2010, teacher-librarians or staff representatives from all B.C. public schools are invited to submit a survey response online.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 BCTLA Awards and Grants

The British Columbia Teacher-Librarians' Association honours teacher-librarians for their outstanding commitment to school libraries and education. All nominations are due by April 1, 2010.


BC Teacher-Librarian of the Year - Diana Poole Memorial Award

BC New Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award

Val Hamilton Achievement Award

BCTLA Distinguished Service Award

BCTLA Honorary Life Membership Award

Alan Knight Memorial Award


Ken Haycock Professional Development Grant

William H. Scott Memorial BCTLA Conference Grant

BCTLA Chapter Grant Program

New BCTLA Chapter Start-Up Grant - Contact VP, Chapter Relations

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

School Libraries In Canada Winter Issue Published

The Canadian Association for School Libraries (CASL) publishes School Libraries in Canada, an online journal, several times each year. The latest issue (Winter 2010), with the theme "School Libraries Count", is now available at

Call for Proposals for the 2010 BCTLA Conference

The 2010 BCTLA Conference will be held in Kelowna on October 22-23, 2010 at Kelowna Secondary School. This year's theme is "KelownaFresh". Keynote speakers include Jamie McKenzie, and Donna DesRoches and Carolyn Walter.

"In addition to a comprehensive conference itinerary and keynote addresses, the KelownaFresh program includes special guests and social events. Presenters will have the opportunity to showcase and share new ideas, methods, and experiences with a wide range of professionals who advocate for school library programs in education".

Are you interested in presenting at the 2010 BCTLA conference in Kelowna? For more information and/or to submit a workshop proposal, visit The submission deadline is February 22, 2010.

Monday, January 18, 2010

50th Anniversary Bookmark Issue In The Mail!

The special 50th anniversary print edition of The Bookmark is in the mail! The issue, which includes contributions from our Chapters from across B.C. as well as reflections on how teacher-librarianship in the province has evolved over the last 50 years, should arrive in the mailboxes of current BCTLA members and subscribers any day now. Thank you to Angie MacRitchie and Al Smith for all of their hard work in assembling the issue. Thank you also to all of the past staff of The Bookmark for 50 incredible years!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Startling Change in BC School Library Staffing

In addition to the recent 2008-09 Working and Learning Conditions report, the BCTF Research Department has examined and reported on Library Services staffing statistics between 2007-08 and 2009-10.

The new one-page report, "Change in Library Services FTE Employees by Category Between 2007-08 and 2009-10" suggests that according to the BC Ministry of Education's revenue and expenditures data:
  • "There has been a significant loss of FTE employees in the Library Services program between 2007–08 and 2009–10, with a total of 84.684 FTE positions eliminated.
  • More than half of the positions eliminated were for teacher-librarians. There are 51.931 fewer FTE teacher-librarians in 2009–10 compared to two years ago.
  • Library Services also experienced a significant loss of Library Assistants who provide technical and library support. Almost one-third of these positions were eliminated since 2007–08, resulting in a loss of 30.422 FTE Library Assistants.
  • The data also suggests there is a decline in the tendency to use administrative staff to perform teacher-librarian duties. The number of principals or vice-principals providing library services declined by 4.889 positions over the two-year period.
  • Other professionals who provide professional expertise to school libraries make up a small proportion of Library Services staff. The majority of these FTE positions (70%) have been eliminated since 2007–08, leaving only 1.15 FTE positions province-wide in 2009–10.

This comparison may underestimate the overall loss of Library Services positions."