Provincial Library and Literacy Office
Province-Wide Public Library System
Province-Wide Public Library System
Saskatchewan residents receive public library services through a province-wide network of libraries created by The Public Libraries Act, 1996. The provincial public library system is composed of 10 library systems that blanket the province, including;
Every resident of Saskatchewan is entitled to borrow library materials, without payment of a fee, subject to other reasonable conditions established by the public library board.
The provincial public library system ensures that all residents of Saskatchewan have equitable access to basic library services, including:
Public Library Usage
Since 2000, circulation of library materials, province-wide, has remained relatively constant at around 10 million items per year. At the same time, usage of online resources has increased dramatically. For example, when online magazines were introduced in 1999, there were over 150,000 online searches preformed. In 2010, that number has reached 1,760,000 searches. These trends indicated that the demand for traditional services - books for leisure reading and independent learning - remains strong, while the demand for library resources to be made accessible through the Internet, is very high and can be expected to continue increasing.
Maps of the provincial public library system.
Strategic Plan 2007-2012
This strategic plan was developed by the directors of the ten public library systems at a Planning Retreat that was held in June, 2007. It represents the overall goals of the entire province-wide public library system. Each library system will also have their own strategic plans related to the goals, objectives and activities that will be implemented within a library system. Library Board Chairs and Directors indicated that trustees should be involved in the province-wide strategic plan through their directors and SLTA.
There are seven regional libraries in the province. A regional library represents a group of cities, towns, villages and rural municipalities that have joined together to deliver library services. These municipalities create a regional library, operated from a central location. Each municipality in the region appoints one representative to serve on a regional library board. This representative must also be a member of the local library board. A regional library board is a corporation. Because the regional library board may have between 75 to 200 members, the regional library board then elects an executive committee of 9-12 members. The regional library board delegates responsibility to the executive committee for:
The regional library director is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and for hiring and supervising staff for the regional library and, in most cases, all local branch libraries within the region.
The first public regional library system was established in north central Saskatchewan in 1950. By 1973, seven regional libraries replaced the many random private libraries that existed across the province. The seven regional libraries are:
A regional library provides central services to the region, such as shared purchasing, central collections, rotating blocks, van delivery, central staff, assist and train local staff and provide local technical support.
A local library generally provides library services to two or more municipalities (for example, one urban municipality and one or more rural municipalities). These municipalities appoint members to the local library board (comprised of 5 to 15 members). Library service is delivered to the public through a network of 310 local libraries.
The local library board is responsible, among other functions specified in the legislation, for:
The Regina and Saskatoon Public Libraries
The Regina Public Library Board and the Saskatoon Public Library Board are corporations. The boards have 7 or 9 members elected by the municipal council. For Regina and Saskatoon, the mayors must be one of the members of the municipal library board. Only one other library board member may be a member of council. A member of the municipal library board, other than the mayor, can serve up to two years on the board.
The RPL and SPL also serve as special resource centres and provide access to large book collections and other types of library materials to the other public libraries throughout Saskatchewan. They may also:
The Northern Library System
The northern library system is a federation of 11 community public libraries, 60 school libraries and 1 college library. It has the legislated mandate to act as the central library for northern Saskatchewan. It acts as the coordinating agency for all school, regional college, public, and special libraries. The northern library system is coordinated by a board.
The northern library system board is a corporation. It is called Pahkisimon Nuye?ah Library System. The northern library system board has 35 members. A member can serve up to two years on the board. These members are appointed from the following organizations:
The northern library system board elects a 9 to 11 member executive committee, which hires a library director. The executive committee and library have similar responsibilities as those identified under the regional library system.
Northern Community Public Libraries
Northern community public libraries receive funding from the municipal or Band council, which is eligible for matching provincial funds, administered by the Pahkisimon Nuye?áh Library System to their set maximum amount.
The Provincial Library
The Provincial Library a branch of the Ministry of Education, is a key component of the provincial public library system, by leading or coordinating development or resources sharing services and providing access to unique collections. Under The Public Libraries Act, 1996, the Provincial Library is responsible for:
The Provincial Library also acts as a coordinator and facilitator with the boards in the provincial public library system. The employees of the Provincial Library, including the Provincial Librarian, do not serve on any of the public library system boards.
For more information, contact
Director Public Library Planning
Provincial Library & Literacy Office
Ministry of Education
409A Park Street
Regina, SK S4N 5B2
Government and Public Libraries Forum - Finding our Common Ground SUMMARY OF FORUM RESULTS AND NEXT STEPS October 2009