Collections, Services & Programs

Related Media Releases

Employee and Public Safety Measures at SPL, Jun 8, 2018

Accessibility a Priority for Saskatoon Public Library, Feb 28, 2018

Collections

Is SPL only focusing on digital materials?

How many items are in SPL’s collection?

What happens to materials withdrawn from the collection?  

How are decisions made about what to withdraw from the collection? 

Will SPL no longer buy local materials? Will SPL employees still order materials or is this done out of province?

How did applying the City of Saskatoon Facility Accessibility Design Standards impact the collection?

What is the role of Friends of the Library?

Technology & Service Enhancements

Public WiFi Speed Increase

Public computers and equipment added at Frances Morrison Central Library

Google Chromebook pilot project at Round Prairie & J.S. Wood Branches

Innovation Lab at Round Prairie Branch

Is it true that there’s a video game room at Round Prairie?

Charging lockers at Frances Morrison Central Library and Dr. Freda Ahenakew Branch

Loanable STEAM technology

What does integrated sevice desk mean?

What does roving reference mean?

How will communication between service points and roving employees work?

Will there still be departments like local history, children's, teens, fine arts, The Gallery, etc.?

Is Local History a priority for SPL?

Questions & Answers

Is SPL only focusing on digital materials? 

No. For our collection to remain relevant and meet patron demand, we are allocating more funds to digital resources/collections than we have in past years. However, maintaining a vibrant and contemporary physical collection remains a priority. 

How many items are in SPL’s collection? 

There are approximately 580,000 items in SPL’s physical collection. In addition to all provincial items available. SPL adds approximately 90,000 new physical items annually.

What happens to materials that withdrawn from the collection? 

SPL regularly withdraws materials that are no longer circulating. The Friends of the Library accept withdrawn materials and re-sell them. They donate the funds back to SPL. Some items are given away to the community at outreach events. Materials which are in disarray are recycled or discarded. 

How are decisions made about what to withdraw from the collection? 

Library employees make decisions about what items to withdraw from the collection. They factor into their decision many things including: is the items still circulating? Is the item in poor condition? How many are similar items in the collection there are? How many duplicates of this item are there in the holdings? (In this case the number of copies may be reduced, but the title remains). Is the material still relevant (non-fiction materials)?  SPL does not have any criteria to that dictates a specific number of items to remove from the annually. We use criteria similar to other libraries across Canada.

Will SPL no longer buy local materials? Will SPL employees still order materials or is this done out of province?

In our existing structure, many of the roles have selection of materials as a small part of their responsibilities, but there are not any roles dedicated to selection. In our new structure, we have a local team of dedicated selection librarians. The acquisition of local materials will remain important criteria in our collections development strategy. 

How did applying the City of Saskatoon Facility Accessibility Design Standards impact the collection?

In 2012 the City of Saskatoon released Facility Accessibility Design Standards (FADS) in keeping with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and the architectural concept of universal design. These standards included specific requirements for all public library facilities and prescribed minimum and maximum shelving heights, as well as aisle widths, to ensure safe and easy access for all patrons regardless of height or ability.

Through the lens of these important standards, we began examining the layout and organization of our collections to bring our facilities into compliance in 2015. With less shelf space available, materials were reviewed and removed from branch shelving. Many of these materials are in storage at Frances Morrison Central Library. These materials remain searchable in our catalogue and continue to be available to the public. We are happy to retrieve these materials for anyone who requests them and will deliver them to their location of choice.

Other materials in poor condition, or those that had simply fallen out of general interest, were either sold with proceeds returned to the library, given away at outreach events, recycled or discarded. This is standard practice in libraries across the world. Library collections are regularly reviewed, expanding and contracting on this basis the world over.

Last year, SPL’s collection increased from 551,939 to 580,616 items. Approximately 90,000 new items were added to the collection in 2016 and 2017.

What is the role of Friends of the Library? 

Friends of the Library is a non-profit volunteer organization who fundraise for the library through the sale of withdrawn materials. They have a shop located at Frances Morrison and pop-up sale displays at all SPL locations. The Friends then donate the funds back to the library to be used for special projects and purchases. 

You can learn more about the Friends here.

Public WiFi speed increase 

In 2017 the WiFi speed at all SPL locations was upgraded to 100 Mbps. 

Public Computers and Equipment Added at Frances Morrison Central Library 

13 new public access computers added to meet the demand of our patrons, bringing the total to 42. Public printers have been upgraded to offer advanced printing services such as scanning to PDF. We have added additional power outlets and a laptop bar to enable patrons to charge their own devices.

Google Chromebook pilot project at Round Prairie & J.S. Wood Branches 

10 Google Chromebooks are available for use anywhere in the library at both Round Prairie and J.S. Wood Branches. Sign one out for two hours and find a comfy spot in the library to work.

Innovation Lab at Round Prairie Branch

SPL’s first innovation lab is at Round Prairie Branch. All of the technology is available for self-directed learning and exploration.

MacBook Pros: with GarageBand, Audacity, and video editing software (iMovie, Quicktime) and Adobe Creative Cloud.
iPads: family-friendly games designed to encourage early literacy and creative discovery skills are available on the tablets.
Robotics: kids can build their STEM skills with our kits, including Makey Makey, LittleBits, and Snap Circuits.
LEGO: a classic we all love, use our building sets, without having to worry about losing pieces!
Button Maker: the button maker meets your more low-tech, DIY needs.
Cricut cutting machine: a personal electronic cutting machine for making precision paper, fabric or vinyl cuts.
Canon PowerShot SX60: HD digital camera & tripod
Yamaha MG10XU: mixing console with microphone & mic stand
Green screen

Is it true that there’s a video game room at Round Prairie Branch? 

Yes! We’ve got two screens where you can play Wii U, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Xbox One S.

Charging lockers at Frances Morrison Central Library and Dr. Freda Ahenakew Branch

Mobile charging lockers are available at two branches. Patrons can lock their mobile device in the locker while it is charging so they can use the library.

Loanable STEAM Technology

In 2017 SPL won $10,000 (USD) for our public relations campaign. We’ve invested these funds into loanable technology for the collection. Once added, you will be able to borrow technology learning toys and take them home with your library card. We expect to launch this service within the next few months.

What does integrated service desk mean? 

An integrated desk means that most patron questions will be able to be answered by any SPL employee. In contrast, patrons currently have to seek out specific desks or be redirected to one by an employee. At Frances Morrison Central Library, there are eight service desks. Some of these desks operate on shorter hours than the library, meaning if you need assistance from that desk you may be asked to come back at an alternate time. We aim for a higher level of service.

In-depth research questions may still require the assistance of a specialized librarian.

What does roving reference mean? 

Roving reference is a practice that has been used in public libraries since the 1980’s. Roving reference means employees are moving around the library and able to answer questions and provide support anywhere within the library. What kind of things might rovers do?

- Provide customer service. For example, answering questions, providing reference services, wayfinding, being available for patron needs in all areas of the library.
- Help a patron access material from another area of the building.
- Assist patrons who have questions about technology and computers.

How will communication between service points and roving employees work? 

To ensure effective communication between our employees working at dedicated service points and employees who are roving the building, we are acquiring radio headsets. Other public libraries already use such systems. This system would enable everyone—working at either a service point or roving—to communicate with each other easily and efficiently. Radio headsets will be utilized only in locations where it necessary or appropriate to do so.

Will there still be departments like local history, children’s, teens, fine arts, the gallery, etc.? 

Yes. The departments at Frances Morrison Central Library will remain from the patron’s standpoint as they are today. Fine Arts, Local History, Teens, Fiction, Non-Fiction, the Gallery, Children’s, etc. will all continue to exist as they are. The services offered, including those for people with differing abilities and book club in a bag, are also not changing. What we are changing is how work units are aligned to support those departments.

Is Local History a priority for SPL? 

Yes. Local History has been, and remains, a priority for SPL. The local history collection at SPL is an important resource for local historians, genealogists, authors and history buffs looking to uncover family stories and dig into the rich history of Saskatoon. The strategic goals for the local history space and collections for the next five years include increased digitization of aging and degraded photo and print collections; a continued focus on preservation and encapsulation; and increased focus on collection development and public access. We are putting a priority on digitizing the collection due to the physical deterioration of items. We will continue to work on the backlog of physical items that require accession. Expanding the digital collection will result in significantly increased access to these resources for everyone, everywhere—whether they’re at home, school or work. It will also enable the creation of community programs tied to the local history collection, and allow our branch libraries to more actively engage with these resources. There is a dedicated librarian position who will oversee local history.