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Volume X, Issue II - June 2022

What's new at HQ?

Shortgrass is excited to welcome a new driver and a summer student, both starting in late June. We are also thrilled to be able to offer you a new-and-improved IT support service, Partek!

In This Issue


Five Fun Facts about our Summer Library Assistant, Sierra!

1. I speak French. I was in the French Immersion program throughout my time in school, from pre-school to graduation.

2. I am a college student currently in the education program! I just completed my first year in the program and love it so far. One day I hope to teach grade two or three.

3. I love sports! I participated in many sports as a kid and enjoy watching and coaching sports equally as much! My favourite sports are basketball and football!

4. I used to be a competitive dancer! I danced from the age of 6 till 17 and started competing at age 9! I also spent many of those years teaching dance classes.

5. I love travelling! I have been very fortunate and have travelled quite a bit. My favourite place that I have visited is Italy! One day I hope to travel to Greece, Indonesia, and Iceland!

Sierra will be working at Shortgrass this summer, assisting the Client Services Librarian with outreach, marketing, and programming!


New Library Delivery Schedule

The much-anticipated new delivery schedule starts on July 4th, with additional deliveries to almost all member libraries! See below for details.

Please note that there are no deliveries to Rosemary on Fridays during July and August.


CODE RED: Free. Period.

The launch of the Code Red initiative has been a huge success! Shortgrass is so excited to see communities making use of free menstrual products in participating libraries.

Code Red has been featured in the following articles:

Quick facts:

  1. The average menstruator will spend more than $6000 on period products over the course of their lifetime.
  2. 55% of menstruators have missed school or work or declined social activities because of their period.
  3. Our vendor, Aunt Flow, is one of the only menstrual product vendors that offers biodegradable products. Who doesn't love sustainability?

Digital Resource Spotlight: TumbleBooks

Do your patrons know about TumbleBooks?

Hundreds of interactive books in both English and French are available free with a library card!

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 archived 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 Maximizing the Impact of Comics at Your Library, by Jack Phoenix (35021012676255). If you are looking for ideas and guidance when it comes to developing your graphic novel collection, this is the book for you!

Follow this link to view the complete list of titles.



Shortgrass Library System invites you to nominate your library for the 2022 Shorty Awards!

The annual Shorty Awards recognize excellence in public library services around our region, with a focus on libraries and staff who have demonstrated outstanding effort, creativity, and dedication to their patrons and communities.

Keep an eye on your emails for more information and the nomination form.

Upcoming Events

June 15: SLS Board Meeting

July 1: Canada Day (Shortgrass office is closed)

August 1: Heritage Day (Shortgrass office is closed; missed deliveries will be made up the following day)

August 3 - 17: The Ernestine Hatpin show is performing at 12 member libraries!
August 17: SLS Board Meeting

September 5: Labour Day (Shortgrass office is closed; missed deliveries will be made up the following day)

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

September 21: SLS Board Meeting

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

CEO Update

Petra Mauerhoff, CEO

There are already so many great things about summer in southeast Alberta and now there is one more: a new and enhanced delivery schedule between Shortgrass’ 14 member libraries and the two Medicine Hat College locations! You can see details of the schedule in this newsletter.

By the way, did you know that both Medicine Hat College locations act as public library hold pickup locations? If you have patrons for whom accessing the college is easier than making it to the libraries, tell them to select the college campus sites as the pickup location when placing their holds! This OneCard agreement with Medicine Hat College has been in place for many years.

Shortgrass has hired a Summer Student this year. Sierra Doucette will be assisting Kait with various programming and outreach activities and I know Kait has a very long list of projects to enhance passive programming, programming kits and social media promotions for member libraries.

In May, Shortgrass launched the partnership with Partek to manage IT services for the regional system. From my personal experience of having them troubleshoot an issue on my computer, and the initial feedback we have received from some member libraries, things seem to be going really well. Cyber Security Training for all HQ and member library staff has also started, so keep an eye on your inbox for those quizzes.

We continue to collect input from stakeholders for the 2023-2025 Plan of Service and plan on having a draft of the new Plan available in early fall.

The Library Managers group chose the Bow Island/Susan Andersen Library as their “away” meeting location for the September meeting. The September meetings are always a great opportunity to see other libraries in person and we look forward to seeing the managers there.

Lastly, prep work for the 2022 Shortgrass Professional Development (PD) Day is well on its way. PD Day will take place on Monday, October 24th, 2022 at the Brooks Public Library. We hope to see as many of you as possible there!

Have a great summer!


Client Services Update

Kait McClary, Client Services Librarian

Programming Kits Update

New programming kits are NOW AVAILABLE, with more coming soon! Contact Kait to book these (or any other) kits.

Nerf Games- this kit needs no introduction! Our brand-new Nerf Games kit includes 15 Nerf guns, assorted Nerf darts, targets, safety goggles, ideas for games, and more!

Plan of Service Kit- while not as exciting as Nerf games, the Plan of Service kit is designed to help you develop your new plan of service. Extended loans are available for this kit.

StoryWalks®- six new StoryWalks® are available from Shortgrass! Contact Kait to reserve The Gruffalo, How to Catch a Star, So You Want to Build a Library, We're Going on a Bear Hunt, The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything, or Lola Plants a Garden.

Resources for Ukrainian Newcomers

You may have a number of Ukrainian families arriving in your community. Shortgrass has developed a list of resources that you may find useful in supporting newcomers, including crisis resources, information on how to find Ukrainian books, and more. This list is being added to as new resources are identified; find the full list here.


Summer 2022 is fast approaching!

The TDSRC staff website is live, and is a great place to find program ideas (regardless of whether or not you are participating in TDSRC!). The theme this year is Once Upon a Time; Myths and Legends.

Shortgrass is sending the materials and prizes ordered by member libraries out as they arrive. There are delays with the TDSRC stickers, but other items should be on their way and/or have already been sent to you!

As an exciting bonus, all libraries have received some animal bags to be shared with their SRC participants. We hope you think that they are adorable!

Keep your SRC accessible to everyone- learn more about how by following this link.

eSkills On Hiatus for the Summer!

Thank you to everyone who has participated in eSkills Challenges over the past year! The challenges are on hiatus for the summer and will return in the fall. If you have any feedback on previous challenges, please share it with Kait.

Congratulations to the winners of past challenges:

April from Brooks Public Library (September)
Danielle from Medicine Hat Public Library (October)
Tina from Duchess & District Public Library (November)
Johnene from Rolling Hills Public Library (January)
Karla from Medicine Hat Public Library (February)
Shawna from Brooks Public Library (April)
Jordan from Brooks Public Library/Graham Community Library (May)

Systems and Technical Services Update

Meet Partek: Our New IT Service Provider

We’re excited to announce that Medicine Hat-based Partek IT Solutions is now providing comprehensive and high quality Systems Administration/IT support services to Shortgrass and member libraries. This partnership will ensure ongoing IT service continuity and provide access to a level of professional expertise that a small organization like Shortgrass could never afford to hire in a local individual.

If you need help with an IT issue that you would normally contact Shortgrass about or if you need something updated on your library website, you can now send those requests to Partek. There are two ways to do this:

Phone: 403-488-3333

To ensure you get the best support experience possible, please include the following (if applicable) in your support request:

  • Computer name
  • Name of the user impacted
  • Details about the issue, including any error messages or screenshots.
  • Any other information you feel would be valuable for Partek to know.

If this is a critical issue impacting your entire library, please call the Partek office at 403-488-3333

More information about IT support services for member libraries is available on the Shortgrass website:

What's New at Shortgrass Member Libaries? 

Fun Facts about Duchess & District Public Library's Manager, Daryl!

1. My name was Sharon Daryl Audrey Stewart when I was born but now it is Daryl Sharon Audrey. My name was changed when I was 6 months old due to having a cousin with the same name, first and last.

2. I love to read, crochet, paint, draw and zentangle.

3. I love my houseplants and gardening outdoors.

4. I love getting together with our friends to go camping and quadding.

5. I love my family gatherings with our kids and grandsons.


Bassano Memorial Library Hosts a Mini Art Show

Bassano Memorial Library's first Mini Art Show was a huge success!

40 kits containing a 6' by 6' canvas, paint brush, and 3 colors of acrylic paint were distributed, and patrons then returned their artwork to be displayed in the library for several weeks.

The program has been incredibly successful, with so much positive feedback from the artists and the public!


Green Screen Fun at Graham Community Library

Graham Community Library recently added a Green Screen to their programming schedule, and it has been a great success so far. The community is excited for it! See below for photos of this equipment in action.

Ralston residents also worked their creative muscles in April, with lots of entries in the Poetry Contest- check out one participant's entry on the right!


New Artwork at Tilley & District Public Library

Tilley & District Public Library love their new book sculpture, a donation to their library by a local artist. You can find other works by the artist at the Spike & Spur Mercantile in Tilley.



Be-TWEEN Academy at Redcliff Public Library

On Friday, May 27th, we held a Be-TWEEN Academy event at the library from 5:30-8:30pm for Tweens aged 8-12 years old. We had a full session, and the kids had a blast!

We started the evening with Candy Sushi. The results were devoured as fast as they were made. After the sugar rush, the kids created beautiful stained glass bottles that we finished with fairy lights. Sphero was brought out for the tech-minded kids, and they enjoyed the challenge of maneuvering Bolt around the pylons and up the ramp.

The highlight of the evening was Nerf Wars in the library! Excitement was high as teams engaged in different Nerf War games including capture the flag. Shooting around stacks, over the books, between the rows had everyone laughing and wanting more! Finally, we slowed things down with popcorn, and a chapter reading.

Would they do it again? YES!

Programming Ideas

Big Truck Petting Zoo

Bring in some Big Trucks and invite patrons of all ages to come on by to learn more about what they are for! Who doesn't want a chance to try out a firetruck siren?

This is a great chance to work with local businesses and your municipality. The municipal public works department is a great place to start!

Lethbridge Public Library previously ran a Big Truck Petting Zoo- click here to learn more.

Professional Development & Training

Fun For All: Game-Based Programming Across the Generations

In this 60-minute webinar, based on the new book Librarian's Guide to Games and Gamers, Michelle Goodridge and Matthew Rohweder provide tips and tactics to establish a variety of game-based programming in their libraries.

Participants will leave having ideas for cross-generational and specific user group programming suggestions outside of the perceived core game user group because you're never too old to have fun!

Wednesday June 15th, 12pm.

Follow this link to register.

Sustainable Thinking for the Future of Libraries

In this webinar, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich will explore the importance of infusing the new core value of sustainability into everything we do, and demonstrate how libraries that lead into the future using ‘sustainable thinking’ fulfill our mission as libraries in new and innovative ways.

Wednesday July 20, 12pm.

Follow this link to register.

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.

Seven Answers to Seven Weeding Questions

Weeding can be daunting- but it's so important to keep your collection in good shape! Check out this article to learn more about how to approach weeding your library's collection.

Click here to read the article.


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.