We’re changing to serve you better, Saskatoon.

We aspire to be a vibrant and welcoming community space that offers a wide range of digital services, learning resources and collections. We want to be a library that reflects, serves and includes everyone who calls Saskatoon home.

Our Strategic Plan (2016-2021) sets forth an exciting and ambitious plan for growth, modernization and cultural progress for Saskatoon Public Library (SPL). This plan aligns with our vision to change lives through community connections, engagement, and inclusivity. You can read all about it here.

To realize our vision, we must take critical and necessary steps to grow, adapt and continually improve. Our city and society are changing at unprecedented rates, and SPL must be able to meet the needs of our patrons both now and into the future. We're therefore turning the page on our traditional operating model and moving toward a new one that will be energized and inspired by you.

We are transitioning from a traditional desk-based library service model to a Community-Led service model. The Community-Led service model is structured so decisions about programs, services and collections are informed through consultation with the community, as well as data analysis. This modern and inclusive approach to our operations makes it easier to connect people to library services, both within and outside of library walls. Community-led Service is not unique to Saskatoon. The service model began in 2004 and is considered best-practice by libraries across North America. 

Traditionally, public libraries have served some segments of the population better than others, and SPL is no different in that regard. The Community-Led service model provides a framework for removing barriers to access and creating inclusion for everyone in the community.

To operate in a Community-Led service model, we are transitioning into a new organizational structure that supports community engagement. The new structure includes new, flexible roles that will enable our public services employees to identify and respond to community needs in efficient and meaningful ways. These changes were designed based on employee consultation, as well as trends and industry best practices.

These changes benefit all of our stakeholders by:

  • Increasing SPL's ability to strategically and deliberately make a community impact—beyond access to information.
  • Reducing structural barriers to employee success—making it easier for people who serve the public to do their jobs.
  • Unlocking the potential and productivity of SPL, resulting in a higher return on investment for the community.

Over the next two years, as we transition to this new model, our public services employees will settle into their new roles and complete training.

Our goal is to reflect the needs, expectations and interests of the unique and diverse communities we serve. You'll be able to engage and connect with us in new ways. Even though our approach to decisions about collections, programs and services will be different, our commitment to fundamentals like children's programming, the physical collection and Local History will remain.

We're proud of our legacy and rich history of being a part of the Saskatoon community, but we're eager to serve you better and do even more.

As with any major organizational change, the benefits associated with our new structure and service model may not be immediately apparent. We are asking for your patience and understanding as we work through this process

We're looking forward to writing a new chapter for SPL, together.

Questions? We've got answers.

What is a library service model?

A library service model is a perspective and approach to working with the community that is used to frame resource-allocation decisions.
The service model dictates: 

  1. The organizational structure of public services and support services.
  2. Roles and the types of responsibilities associated with them. 
  3. What services we offer to the public and how we offer them. 
  4. How we curate the collection. 
  5. What programs are available, and the delivery of the programs. 
  6. Required changes and upgrades at facilities.

Is this service model unique to Saskatoon? 

The community-led service model is not new. It began in 2004 and is in practice by many other public library systems across North America. It will make our organization more flexible and give us the ability to engage with the community more actively. This will help ensure our programs, services and collections reflect the needs of the many neighbourhoods we serve. 

If you'd like to learn more about the community-led service model, you can read about the community-led toolkit here.