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Volume X, Issue I - March 2022

What's new at HQ?

Shortgrass is excited about a new training opportunity that will soon be available to library staff: cybersecurity training, to ensure that we are all doing our part to protect our library and Shortgrass networks!

In This Issue


Five Fun Facts about our Technical Services Assistant - Acquisitions, Keltie!

1. I am learning French and my goal is to read a novel in French before the end of the year.

2. My husband and I love Disney so much that we named our pugs Meeko and Percy after the pug and racoon in Pocahontas, and our son's name is Elias after Walter Elias Disney.

3. I love cross stitching. I am currently working on a stitch of my son's ultrasound photo done on black aida cloth.

4. I love reading and my goal this year is to read 140 books.

5. I was named for a Scottish Highland dancer that my mom competed with when she was a girl.

Keltie is our acquisitions superstar. She is the person you talk to when ordering books, or dealing with damaged items!


CODE RED: Free. Period.

Free period products are on their way to six member libraries! More info will be coming soon, but here are some interesting facts about the project.

First: did you know that the average menstruator will spend more than $6000 on period products over the course of their lifetime? That is no small change!

Second: our vendor, Aunt Flow, is one of the only menstrual product vendors that offers biodegradable products. Who doesn't love sustainability?

Third: We've commissioned Medicine Hat-based designer Flag 5 and printer Boylans to create and print some fantastic branding for us- stay tuned for our future social media posts showing it all off (and admire our logo, pictured right!).

Watch your emails for updates about this project!


Digital Resource Spotlight: Pronunciator

Do your patrons know about Pronunciator?

Learn over 150 languages with Pronunciator. Features live tutors, movies, music with lyrics, pronunciation analysis, quizzes, and more!

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 that 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 The Passive Programming Playbook: 101 Ways to Get Library Customers Off the Sidelines, by Andria L. Amaral and Paula Willey. Passive programming is a fun and simple way to engage your community- this book contains 101 ideas for implementing passive programs in your library!

Follow this link to view the complete list of titles.



Paper Bags Available

Curbside pickup may be winding down, but we still have paper bags available! Please contact Shortgrass if you would like to request additional paper bags for your library.


Check out these upcoming releases, coming out Spring 2022!

On a Night of a Thousand Stars, by Andrea Yaryura Clark

March 1st, 2022

In this moving, emotional narrative of love and resilience, a young couple confronts the start of Argentina's Dirty War in the 1970s, and a daughter searches for truth twenty years later.

add to ULS cart



Capybara Is Friends with Everyone, by Maddie Frost

March 22nd, 2022

Learn what lengths you do and DON’T need to go to in order to be a good friend, in this hilarious picture book from Maddie Frost.

add to ULS cart

The Circus Train, by Amita Parikh

March 22nd, 2022

A must-read for fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants, The Circus Train will take readers on a heart-wrenching and spectacular two-decade journey across Europe. When all is lost, how do you find the courage to keep moving forward?

add to ULS cart

Being Mary Bennet, by J. C. Peterson

March 15th, 2022

It is a truth universally acknowledged that every bookworm secretly wishes to be Lizzy Bennet. A less acknowledged truth is that Mary Bennet might be a better fit. A delightful rom-com about a girl who resolves to become the main character of her own story.

add to ULS cart

Cover Story, by Susan Rigetti

April 5th, 2022

Netflix's Inventing Anna meets Catch Me If You Can, this is a captivating novel about an ambitious young women who gets trapped in a charismatic con artist's scam.

add to ULS cart

Blood Sugar, by  Sascha Rothchild

April 19th, 2022

An utterly delicious debut thriller that tells the story of the most likable murderess you will ever meet, perfect for fans of Riley Sager and Jessica Knoll!

add to ULS cart

Kaikeyi , by Vaishnavi Patel

April 26th, 2022

In the spirit of Circe, Ariadne, and The Witch's Heart, this stunning debut reimagines the life of Kaikeyi, the vilified queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana.

add to ULS cart

Such Big Dreams, by Reema Patel

April 26th, 2022

A savvy former street child working at a human rights law office in Mumbai fights for redemption and a chance to live life on her own terms in this fresh, propulsive debut novel about fortune and survival.

add to ULS cart

Upcoming Events

March 14: Library Managers Meeting

March 16: SLS Board Meeting

April 15 - 18: Shortgrass office closed for Easter weekend (missed deliveries will be made up on April 19th)

April 20: SLS Board Meeting

April 30: End of Radon Screening Kit lending period- all kits must be returned to SLS

May 8: Mother's Day

May 16: Library Managers Meeting

May 18: SLS Board Meeting

May 23: Victoria Day (Shortgrass office is closed; missed deliveries will be made up on May 24th)

June 15: Board Meeting with Library Board Chairs & Library Managers

June 19: Father's Day

July 1: Canada Day (Shortgrass office is closed)

CEO Update

Petra Mauerhoff, CEO

Spring is coming and I am sooo ready for the warmer weather and longer days! The past two years have been difficult for all of us. Routines have been on hold and some have lost loved ones. We are all desperate for a return to “normal” in our libraries: back to in person meetings, back to indoor group activities, and back to regular services. Most importantly, back to a normal that works best for each individual and their family. For some, that means continuing to wear masks, while for others it means embracing the lack of restrictions as soon as possible. Whatever the case, it is important that we respect the individual choices of those around us and allow everyone to move at their own pace. Consideration and mutual respect is the fastest route back to normal.

Most of the member libraries are currently getting ready for the Summer Reading Program, and Shortgrass is excited to play a role in this again. Activities are being planned, prizes are being ordered and all fingers are kept crossed for excellent weather!

2022 is a strategic planning year for Shortgrass, and as we work on developing the Plan of Service that will set strategic directions for the next three years, you may be hearing from us more frequently than usual with questions about your library’s own future vision, ideas for service enhancements, challenges and opportunities. Receiving as much information from you as possible will ensure that the strategic directions identified for Shortgrass Library System closely align with the needs in our member communities.

I will be heading out to visit with municipal councils and member library boards over the next few months and look forward to catching up with everyone! If you have not booked me in yet for a visit, get in touch and we can arrange for a time. I look forward to seeing you all over the next few months.


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.

Silhouette Cameo 4- make vinyl decals, create hand-crafted cards, and more, with our brand new Silhouette Cameo 4!

Snap Circuits- learn about electricity and circuitry with this fun Snap Circuit kit for kids 8+!

Sphero Bolt Sphero Indi- two super fun coding robots! The Bolt is a small spherical robot that you can navigate through obstacles and code to follow set paths. The Indi is a screenless coding robot, perfect for younger children!

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!


Want to promote digital resources at your library? Contact Kait to request brochures on Shortgrass services or eResources. We currently have brochures for Libby, Solaro, PressReader, Ancestry, Pronunciator, CELA/NNELS, and BiblioCommons, plus a customizable "Welcome to the Library" brochure. Visit our website for a list of all available brochures.


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.

TDSRC is again providing StoryWalks to participating libraries. Additionally, Shortgrass is in the process of creating six new story walks, which will be available by this summer!

What's New in Shortgrass Member Libaries? 

Fun Facts about Rosemary Community Library's Manager, Vanessa!

1. Currently, I'm working as the library manager of Rosemary School and Public Library and have been an educational assistant at Rosemary School for the past 24 years, in addition to being a librarian.

2. I am a wife, a mother of 3 plus 3 (my three are all married) and I have 6 grandchildren ranging from almost 8 down to 9 months.

3. My hobbies include reading, playing with my grandchildren, cross-stitching, and painting. In addition, I am a serial crafter. I am not sure if there is a craft out there that I have not tried at least once. The crafty gene was passed down from my mother.

4. My husband and I have been married for over 31 years and farm in Gem.

5. My girls and I participate in a fundraiser called Dressember every December, during which I wear a dress every day. The purpose of Dressember is to raise awareness and funds for victims of human trafficking. My oldest had a close encounter at Cross Iron Mills Mall a few years ago, so it's a subject close to my heart.


Therapy Dogs at Storytime

On January 29th, Redcliff Public Library had some very special guests at their storytimes: certified therapy dogs! These four-legged friends helped staff and patrons celebrate National Literacy Day.


Blind Date with a Book

Irvine Community Library spent Valentine's Day setting patrons up with a book- check out their dreamy display (left).

More recently, the books are dressed in green for St. Patrick's Day! (pictured centre and right).


Wordle at the Library!

Check out the Wordle bulletin board at Rosemary Community Library! Anyone else obsessed with Wordle?


Programming at Tilley & District Public Library


Tilley & District Public Library users have been enjoying some successful programs in recent weeks! Patrons have enjoyed the Kindness Rocks, Scratch Art, and Virtual Reality programming kits, as well as Maker Monday and Remember "When"sday.

Programming Ideas

Library Wordle

If you're not already playing Worlde, you've definitey at least heard of it. Jump on the bandwagon with some Wordle-themed displays and games! Take a look at the Wordle display at Rosemary Community Library for inspiration (see above)- and while you're at it, scout your collection for books with five-letter titles to display alongside it!  

BYOB- Bring Your Own Book Club!

One of the most difficult parts of running a book club is choosing a book. You need something interesting enough that everyone will actually read it, but something complex enough that you have plenty to discuss. Not to mention the struggle of making sure you have enough copies!

Shake things up a bit with a potluck-style bookclub. Everyone reads something different, and when you meet, you share! You might decide to read to a theme (for instance, everyone reads a nature-themed book, or a memoir), or simply read whatever takes their interest. You'll come away with plenty of new titles for your TBR list!

Learn about different types of book clubs that you can run here.

Tiny Art Show

This adorable idea is perfect for in-person or take-home programming! Provide patrons with miniature canvases, paintbrushes, and paints, and encourage them to create their masterpieces. Then, have them return the artworks to the library and create a miniature art gallery- complete with Lego people taking in the art!

There are a number of different ways of running this sort of program- learn more here.

Professional Development & Training

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 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.

Library Association of Alberta (LAA)
Speaker Series

LAA's inaugural virtual Speaker Series features sessions that focus on professional growth and development for library professionals from sectors and in all stages of career growth and development. Talks run monthly from November 2021 - April 2022.

Registration for the Speaker Series is free, and open to all members of the Alberta Library Community!

Tickets are free, but space is limited. Visit for more information and to register.

Canva Training

You probably know that non-profits can access the user-friendly design tool Canva Pro for free.

What you may not know is that Canva also provides a range of training tools! From basic 'getting started' lessons to more advanced graphic design skills, you can learn how to make the most of Canva here.

Designing Effective Library Signage: Communicating Strategically to your Users

Do you ever feel like patrons just walk right past your signage?

Check out Niche Academy's recent webinar on designing effective signage, available on demand here.


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

Please contact Chris or Edi 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.