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Volume X, Issue III - September 2022

What's new at HQ?

Shortgrass is looking forward to hosting our first system-wide PD Day in a number of years, on Monday October 24th. Head to ReConnecting for details!

We are also in the final stages of developing our Plan of Service for 2023-2025- stay tuned for more information soon!

In This Issue


Five Fun Facts about our Delivery Driver, Jim!

1. I was born and raised on a farm NE of Medicine Hat.

2. I enjoy helping my nephew put the crop in the ground, and harvesting as well!

3. I retired from the Oil field 3 years ago, but still need something to do. Shortgrass delivery driver- what a perfect side line!

4. I love to vacation in PV Mexico with my lovely wife Renee, who will be retiring from the travel business after 40 plus years- can’t wait!

5. I enjoy meeting people and having family gatherings.

Jim re-joined us in June 2022 as one of Shortgrass' delivery drivers, transporting library materials across the system.


Shortgrass Library System's PD Day is back!

The 2022 PD Day will be hosted in partnership with the Brooks Public Library. We invite Shortgrass member library staff, volunteers, and board members to join us for a day of learning and connecting!

Visit to learn more and register.


Digital Resource Spotlight: Solaro

Do your patrons know about Solaro?

Students in grades 3-12 can use this resource to access tutorials, study guides, and practice tests, helping them succeed in school.

Promotional materials such as social media posts and "Getting Started" brochures are available from Shortgrass. Please contact Kait to request these materials. You can also familiarize yourself with the resource by taking the September/October eSkills challenge here.


Professional Collection

Shortgrass Library System has a professional development collection that is available to staff at all member libraries! This small-but-mighty collection of works will help you develop your skills in programming, management, planning, and more.

To borrow any of these books, log in to WorkFlows and search for the title. Be sure to search under "Keyword" rather than "Browse".

Place the titles you are interested in on hold, and they will be sent to your library.

This collection includes some new titles, such as Supercharged Storytimes, by Kathleen Campana (35021012676172). If you are a programmer and want to take your storytimes to the next level, this is the book for you!

Follow this link to view the complete list of titles.


Upcoming Events

September 19: Library Managers Meeting, at Bow Island (Susan Andersen) Municipal Library

September 30: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Shortgrass office is closed; missed deliveries will be made up the following business day)

October: National Library Month

October 10: Thanksgiving (Shortgrass office is closed; missed deliveries will be made up the following business day).

October 19: SLS Board Meeting

October 24: Shortgrass PD Day: ReConnecting, at Brooks Public Library

November 11: Remembrance Day (Shortgrass office is closed; missed deliveries will be made up the following business day).

November 14: Library Managers Meeting

November 16: SLS Board Meeting

November 25: Order cut-off

December 7: Christmas Dinner and Social

December 23: Last day that SLS is open for 2022

December 24 - January 2 2023: Shortgrass Library System closed; missed deliveries will be made up following our reopening on January 3rd.

CEO Update

Petra Mauerhoff, CEO

The kids are back in school and the outdoor pool is empty again and that means summer is pretty much over. I hope everyone enjoyed the fantastic summer reading club programming provided by Shortgrass’ Client Services Librarian Kait and Summer Student Sierra this year. I know they had a lot of fun doing art and science activities with the kids.

We are still working on developing a Plan of Service that will guide Shortgrass’ operations through the next three years. Stay tuned for the reveal of the final design in the next newsletter!

Shortgrass is once again part of the planning committee for the provincial Board Leadership Alberta Lunch & Learn webinars, being offered in September and October. You can find details about the webinars in the Professional Development & Training section of this newsletter.

On October 24th, an in person Professional Development Day for Shortgrass staff and board members, member library staff, volunteers and board members is taking place at the Brooks Public Library. Check out for more information and to register. I am very excited that we were able to book Linh Huynh as our keynote speaker for the event! We will also have staff from Public Library Services Branch present to provide a Lunch & Learn session for Trustees as well as an afternoon library quiz. If you thought library legislation couldn’t be fun, you may be in for a surprise!

If your library board or council is interested in receiving an update from me about Shortgrass, please let me know, I am always happy to talk about libraries and how we can best support them!


Client Services Update

Kait McClary, Client Services Librarian

Programming Kits Update

New programming kits are NOW AVAILABLE, with more coming soon! Visit our website to view all programming kits.

3D Pens- Create in 3D with these awesome 3D Pens! We have child-safe pens that heat plastic at a low temperature, allowing children to build 3D artwork safely. We also have pens designed for adults, which reach high temperatures.

Tornado Tubes- It's a tornado in a bottle! With the included tornado tubes, plastic bottles, and food colouring, all you need to add is water for a fun (outdoor!) program.

Escape Room- Percy Jackson: Capture the Flag- We have a brand-new escape room! Gather a group of around 4 players and challenge them to solve a series of clues to capture the flag. This is slightly harder than our previous escape room and will take up to 40 minutes to solve!

Contact Kait to book programming kits for your library.

eSkills is Back!

Our latest eSkills Challenge is live, and features Solaro- perfect for back-to-school! This challenge will run throughout September and October, and participants will all be entered in the draw to win a gift card.

Follow this link to take the challenge and brush up on the eresource.


Summer 2022 was a huge success!

Shortgrass sponsored 22 programs across 12 member libraries this summer.

  • The fabulous Ernestine Hatpin show visited us once again, this time with their dog, Lugs, who was a huge hit as he performed tricks for the audience!
  • Shortgrass staff also visited ten libraries to host Summer Science and Amazing Art programs- which included slime, lava lamps, chalk art, and robot painting!

We also joined two libraries to assist in their parade entries. We had a fantastic summer!

Please remember to send us your stats by September 30th.

What's New at Shortgrass Member Libaries? 

Fun Facts about Brooks Public Library's Manager, Lisa!

1. I love attending conferences - I think this is what my version of heaven would be like! Attending lectures on fascinating topics, meeting new people with similar passions, meals I don't have to prepare myself! Bonus points if I get to stay in a hotel and don't have to share a bed :)

2. I'm an avid concert attender - In 2019 I attended 4 of the biggest concerts of my life (Cher, Shawn Mendez in L.A., Elton John, and Fleetwood Mac). On my way home from the last one, I turned to my husband and said, "Well hun, that's my bucket list! If I never go to another concert again I can still die happy." Long story short, I think I jinxed us - was Covid MY fault?!?

3. My retirement dream is to attend university - If money were no object I'd be a professional student. I'm not much for the exams and essays, but I love learning new things from people who know more than me. For now, I indulge in MOOCs, TED Talks, and academic podcasts. If you know of a great one, I love recommendations!

4. I'm expecting the delivery of my new hot tub any day now - I'm not sharing this to rub it in (okay, maybe a little), but I'm SO EXCITED for this new addition for our home. I'm feeling my age lately and really hoping this will make a difference!

5. I have a husband, two teenage sons, and two pet bunnies - I may be biased, but I think they are all top tier. We are lucky to have each other and lucky to have survived living together!


Summer Fun at Rosemary Community Library

The kids in Rosemary had a great time this summer, with weekly storytime & craft programs! Check out some of their works of art below.


Bassano Memorial Library Hosts a Unique Fundraiser

Bassano Memorial Library's hosted a unique fundraiser in August.

Bassano Growers generously donated two pallets of ripe, locally grown cantaloupes, which the library sold on Saturday August 27th. The library raised over $700 in melon sales at this pop-up fundraiser!

Toward the end of the day, remaining melons were purchased by a farmer from Taber- ending up with a trunk and backseat full of cantaloupes!


Popular Summer Promotions at Irvine Community Library

Irvine Community Library's two summer promotions were very popular!

Left: Balloons were added for every time a patron (adult or child!) visited the library.

Right: Children moved their pieces along a giant gameboard as they read their books.


New Book House at Duchess & District Public Library

Duchess & District Public Library have a new Little Free Library- and it's very unique!

To find the books, you'll need to duck underneath the rim- the books are hidden inside.


Professional Development & Training

Discovering & Evaluating Titles for Inclusion in Indigenous Collections

This free presentation, part of the Maskwacis Cultural College Microlearning Series, will discuss how children's librarians at the Vancouver Public Library discover and evaluate new titles for possible inclusion in the Library's Indigenous collection. They'll provide general information about the collection, and highlight some of the exceptional Indigenous titles for 2022.

Wednesday November 9, 12pm.

Follow this link to register.

Accessibility in Your Library

Join JJ Pionke to learn about what disability and accessibility are. Learn how to do a walkthrough of your physical space to see how accessible it is and join us for a Q&A to answer your accessibility-related questions.

Wednesday October 12th, 12pm.

Follow this link to register.

Board Leadership Alberta 2022

Attention all Trustees: don't miss these virtual Lunch & Learn sessions!

September 22nd: Strengthening Board Decision-Making: The Why's, The What's, The How's, led by Jennifer Beyer (Facilitator & Consultant)

September 29th: Appreciative Policy Writing: Policies That Work, led by David Feldman (Edmonton Chamber of Volunteer Organizations)

October 6th: Strategies for Boards Engaging in a Changing Environment, with Jason Openo (Doctor of Education in Distance Education), Shari Hanson (Alberta Culture & Status of Women), and Jennifer Beyer (Facilitator & Consultant)

To learn more about these sessions and register, follow this link.

The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness

For the duration of 2022, Shortgrass Library System is providing member libraries with The Librarian's Guide to Homelessness. This is an empathy-based training program aimed at providing frontline library staff with the tools to help them manage problem situations.

Consisting of a three-hour Core Training session and 15+ additional one-hour modules, this training is available to all member library staff/volunteers.

While "Homelessness" may be in the title, the course goes far beyond that one subject. Various modules dive into issues such as dealing with unsupervised children and teenagers; handling sensitive subjects such as body odour; deescalating fights before they happen; and more.

To access the training, please get in touch with Kait. This training is available until mid-December, 2022.

Stronger Together 2022

The Alberta Library, Parkland Regional Library System, Peace Library System, and Yellowhead Regional Library are once again hosting the virtual Stronger Together conference, taking place October 6-7, 2022. There's still time to register and attend some of their excellent planned sessions- and it's completely free to attend!

Check it out here!


Don't forget that our virtual meeting software, GoToMeeting, is available to all Shortgrass member libraries.

Please contact Chris if you would like to book GoToMeeting to host your next virtual program or Library Board Meeting.

Share Your Stories!

Anything new to share? Send us your photos, stories, and updates!

  • Screenshots of a popular online event
  • Photos of what's going on at your library- displays, programs, renovations, weeding projects
  • News about your library

Submit updates to

Shortgrass Library System
Resourceful by Nature

2375 10th Ave SW, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 8G2

Tel. (403) 529-0550 ext 101 Toll Free Number 1-866-529-0550 ext 101

Shortgrass Library System honours and acknowledges that we are situated on Treaty 7 and Treaty 4 territory, traditional lands of the Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Stoney-Nakoda, and Tsuut’ina as well as the Cree, Sioux, and the Saulteaux bands of the Ojibwa peoples. We also honor and acknowledge that we are on the homelands of the Metis Nation within Region III.