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Volume IX, Issue II - June 2021

What's new at HQ?

We are gearing up for summer at HQ- just as our member libraries are! We have new programming kits, summer performances, and programming from your Client Services Librarian heading your way. 


Fun Facts about our Technical Services Assistant, Blaine!

1. I'm Blaine, and I've been at Shortgrass as a Library Technician since 2009. Most of my time at SLS is spent working on cataloguing and Interlibrary Loans.

2. I live in the Town of Redcliff with my husband, daughter, cat, gecko, goldfish, and many houseplants. Yes, I'm the type of person who thinks of plants are pets. I even named a few of my plants.

3. My passion outside of work is looking for new musicians to listen to. Mainly I focus my search for musicians from Japan. Still, I don't mind listening to music from anywhere and in any language. At the moment, I'm enjoying music from bands "The Oral Cigarettes(ジ オーラル シガレッツ)" and "N.Flying(엔플라잉)." However, my favourites artists are "Gackt (大城 ガクト)" and "Weird Al" as well as the band "Ok One Rock." I currently couldn't choose a favourite song; I love them all.

4. Another favourite pastime of mine is creating various art projects, such as making gifts or drawing whatever comes to mind when relaxing to music. This year my major art project is remodelling and decorating the deck/catio. I hope to have this project finished soon if the weather will cooperate with me.


Ancestry: Library Edition

Exciting news- Ancestry: Library Edition continues to be available for patrons to access from home! Access will continue until December 31st, 2021.

While Ancestry: Library Edition does not have access to all of the functions available through a personal membership, it does provide full access to all records and documents in the database. It's a great resource for learning more about your heritage- and is always popular with patrons!

Promotional materials such as social media posts and informational brochures are available from Shortgrass. Please contact Kait to request these materials.


Read Alberta

Promote local authors with Read Alberta! Read Alberta is a hub where Alberta's readers, authors, publishers, booksellers, and libraries can connect, support, and learn more about one another.

Did you know that you can get free swag for your library to promote Read Alberta? Just email with the subject line "SWAG PLEASE", and they'll send you a package of assorted materials- postcards, buttons, posters, and more!


Reminder: Single-Use Masks Still Available

Contact Shortgrass HQ if you are in need of more masks for your staff, volunteers, or patrons, and we can send more your way.


"Open for Summer" at the Library

As you will be aware, Alberta is on track to ease restrictions over the next few weeks. This includes libraries being allowed to reopen with some restrictions in Stage 2, which went into effect on June 10th!

PLSB is working Alberta Health Services to determine best practices for library summer programming. Shortgrass will share any updates from PLSB as soon as we receive them.


Check out these upcoming releases, coming out Summer 2021!

The Sea is Not Made of Water: Life Between the Tides, by Adam Nicolson

June 24th, 2021

How do sandhoppers inherit an inbuilt compass from their parents? What is it that prawns know? How do crabs understand the tides?
Few places are as familiar as the shore – and few as full of mystery and surprise.

add to ULS cart

Capture the Crown, by Jennifer Estep

July 6th, 2021

Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess, more interested in gowns and jewelry than in learning how to rule her kingdom. But her careful persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier—and a spy.

add to ULS cart

Incense and Sensibility, by Sonali Dev

July 6th, 2021

When an incident at a rally injures his friend, Yash begins to suffer from panic. Desperate to keep his condition from the media, his family turns to India Dashwood, California’s best stress management coach, in this reimagining of Sense and Sensibility.

add to ULS cart

We Were Never Here: A Novel, by Andrea Bartz

July 13th, 2021

Emily is thrilled to be backpacking with her best friend, Kristen. But things go very wrong when Kristen kills a man, claiming self-defense. Which would be hard enough- but this isn't the first time Kristen has left a body behind on one of their trips...

add to ULS cart

Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine, by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley

July 20th, 2021

A riveting, thought-provoking and timely account of the idea and the reality of quarantine around the world, examining the history and the implications of a system that our lives rely on.

add to ULS cart

Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron, by Julia Quinn and Violet Charles

August 17th, 2021

If you've read Quinn's Bevelstoke, Smythe-Smith, or Bridgerton books- you may already know about Miss Butterworth! Born into a happy family that is tragically ravaged by smallpox, Miss Priscilla Butterworth uses her wits to survive a series of outlandish trials.

add to ULS cart

Dinosaur Therapy, by by James Stewart & K Roméy

August 19th, 2021

Dinosaurs grapple with questions around the meaning of life and their place in the world, in a wistful, honest and highly relatable account of modern life.

Dinosaur Therapy is a book of cartoons for grown-ups from the successful web comic @dinosandcomics.

add to ULS cart

No Words, by Meg Cabot

Sept 28th, 2021

Jo Wright always swore she’d never step foot on Little Bridge Island—not as long as her nemesis, bestselling author Will Price, is living there.

Then Jo’s given an offer she can’t refuse: an all-expense-paid trip to speak and sign at the island’s first-ever book festival.

add to ULS cart



Want to learn more about upcoming releases? Register for the Dewey Divas summer webinars on June 15th and 16th to get the scoop on new and exciting books!

For more information, visit the website

Upcoming Events

Shortgrass / Alberta Events

June 23, 10am - 12pm: Summer Training Session (RSVP/ request more info from Kait).

July-August: Summer Reading!

July 1: Canada Day (Shortgrass office closed, no deliveries)

August 2: Heritage Day (Shortgrass office closed, no deliveries)

September 6: Labour Day (Shortgrass office closed, no deliveries)

September 13: Library Managers Meeting

September 22 - 24: Stronger Together Library Conference

Summer Performances

August 4, 10.30am: MHPL

August 4, 1.30pm: Irvine

August 5, 10am: Duchess

August 5, 1.30pm: Redcliff

August 10, 10.30am: Bassano

August 10, 1.30pm: Graham

August 12, 10.30am: Foremost

August 12, 2pm: Bow Island

August 13, 1.30pm: Brooks

August 19, 11am: Rosemary

CEO Update

Petra Mauerhoff, CEO

Summer is almost here! I am starting to see some light at the end of this tunnel, and I hope that’s not another disaster train barreling towards us, but actually a light, representing the beginning of brighter times ahead.

As of June 10th, Alberta is in Stage 2 of the Government of Alberta’s Open For Summer strategy, which means libraries are allowed to open to the public again. I know this is extremely exciting not just for library staff, but also for patrons, who have missed not only their library spaces, but also the interaction with staff, and the ability to feel and touch the items available to borrow, and being able to browse the shelves.

Shortgrass staff are looking forward to providing summer reading program support to our member libraries, even if at this point it is not yet 100% clear what that will look like on a day to day basis throughout all of summer.

Staff are ready to continue providing library support services in whatever shape or form they might take. As always, we will remain flexible to allow us to adapt at a moment's notice to the needs of our members, and respond to any new guidelines that may be provided.

I am looking forward to seeing what summer brings, especially now that vaccination efforts are being ramped up and everything is – hopefully - going to start feeling a little bit safer.

I am also excited to return to in-person library managers and Shortgrass Board meetings! It will be so great to see all your lovely faces around the table again.

I have been extremely impressed with the resilience shown by libraries over the past 16 months and I cannot wait to see what this next chapter looks like for all of us!

Have a great summer everyone, and stay safe.


Client Services Update

Kait McClary, Client Services Librarian

Programming Kits

New program kits are heading your way!

  • We have two awesome new Escape Walk kits- a combination between an Escape Room and a StoryWalk®. Contact Kait to request to borrow one!
  • There's also an amazing new Radio Storytime kit. Host a drive-in storytime in a parking lot- completely safe and distanced! Contact Kait for more information.
  • Kait is currently working on upgrading our existing storytime kits to include crafts and learning activities.
  • If you have an idea for a particular type of kit that you’d love to see, let Kait know!


Many of our patrons have disabilities- and we may not always be aware of them! For instance, many of your patrons may have print disabilities that make it difficult to read a standard print book.


Want to promote digital resources at your library? Kait has created eight brochures highlighting different resources available. These include:

  • "Getting Started" brochures for six of our digital resources (Libby, Solaro, Pronunciator, PressReader, Ancestry, and NNELS/CELA);
  • A BiblioCommons brochure that explains how to place holds, renew books, and pay fines;
  • An overview brochure highlighting everything your patrons need to know about Shortgrass- customized to your library!

Contact Kait to request any of the above. Or if there’s a particular brochure that you want, let her know- she’ll add it to the list!

Summer is upon us!

And you know what that means- SRC is nearly here!

A record-breaking number of Shortgrass member libraries have registered for TDSRC this year- 11 out of 14 libraries! Some libraries are brand-new to TDSRC, and even for our seasoned professionals, there are new things happening this year. So keep reading for some key information!

TDSRC Webinar!

  • TDSRC has created a webinar that I recommend everyone checks out before summer begins! It's a great intro to the TDSRC for new participants, but it's got great information even for seasoned professionals. After all, the hybrid virtual/in-person program is brand new for 2021!

Are You Brand-New to TDSRC?

Program Launch

Planning Your Summer


Systems and Technical Services Update

Reset Your Pin with BiblioCommons

Chris Field, Manager, Systems and Technical Services

Usage remains at an all-time high for nearly every e-Resource available to Shortgrass library patrons. It comes as no surprise, then, that the most common question we receive through the Shortgrass help desk is: "What is my PIN?"

Did you know that library patrons can change their PIN on their own through BiblioCommons? It's fast and convenient, but only works if:

  • The patron has previously registered their library account in BiblioCommons
  • There is a valid email address in the patron record

To reset a PIN in BiblioCommons, simply click the "Forgot your PIN?" link on the BiblioCommons login screen:

Enter your 14-digit barcode number when prompted to do so and then hit the 'SEND' button. BiblioCommons will send an email to the address on file with instructions on how to change the PIN. After the patron chooses their new PIN, their record in WorkFlows is updated immediately.

Have any questions? Get in touch with Chris for more information.


Advertise Events on the Library Website

Aaron Dalla-Longa, Systems Administrator

Hello everyone! With the possibility of libraries being re-opened on the horizon, I am sure that there will be a lot of fun events coming up that patrons will be able to enjoy.

One of the best ways to advertise these upcoming events is on the library websites. Each website has its own events calendar that automatically pulls time, dates, and descriptions from Google Calendar, and also puts these events on your home page as well!


For more prominent events, you can add scrolling banners to the very top of the home page. These can be scheduled to automatically publish and unpublish at specified dates. Handy for automatically removing the event once it is over.


There are templates available that have the proper image sizes for many different programs, available on our wiki at the following link:

(note that since our wiki is an internal website, you will need to be at the library for the above link to work)

If there is a program that you use that is missing from the template list, feel free to contact me and I can get it added.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of things that you can do to edit your website. For instance, making a large event its own entire web page should it require more details, or linking these events to a survey or sign-up form.

If you would like to learn more, please feel free to contact me at any time!

What's New in Shortgrass Libraries?

Tilley & District Library is moving!

Tilley & District Public Library is moving to a new location! The library is now closed, and patrons are advised to visit another Shortgrass library to borrow and return books.

Stay tuned for more info on Tilley's new home!

Irvine Library's Pandemic Survival Kits have some new advertising!

One of Irvine Community Library's board members has a lot of talent, and created this sign to promote their Pandemic Survival Kits!.

Keep up with Irvine Community Library





Programming Ideas

Yoga for Kids

Share these fun, kid-friendly yoga tutorials to your social media accounts and keep kids active!

Cosmic Kids Yoga has dozens of videos with lots of fun themes, including under the sea, outer space, fairytales, and more!

Giant Bubbles

Here’s a distinctly outdoor-only program: giant bubbles! Learn how to make huge bubbles here. Be prepared for a mess!

Book Battleship (Teen Program)

The perfect passive program! After all, who doesn't love Battleship?

How it works: every time a patron borrows a book, they get to take a guess at where the battleship is. You'll have the answer key behind the desk, and let them know if it's a hit or a miss. Sink a ship, win a prize!

Six-Word Story Contest

Run a six-word story contest at your library! It’s a simple concept: patrons need to create a vivid tale with just six words. See how it works here.

Professional Development & Training

Indigenous Canada

Truth and reconciliation is on the forefront of everyone's mind at present, following the recent discovery of 215 children buried at a former residential school in Kamloops. If you wish to learn more about the issues facing Indigenous peoples across Canada, this course is an excellent place to start. This twelve-lesson course is offered by the University of Alberta and is available free of charge.

Register here.

Passive Programming that Pulls Them In

Your Client Services Librarian attended this webinar in May and highly recommends it! Hear about loads of great ways to keep your community engaged with entertaining passive programming. It's easy, fun- and super budget friendly!

Watch the video here.

Professional Tips for Recording Videos

It's been a long year of virtual programming, and we are all near-experts at it by now! But if you're just getting started (or have some new summer employees making videos)- check out these great tips for your virtual programs.

Check it out here!

Gale Course: Drawing for the Absolute Beginner

It's summer- which makes it a great time to pick up a relaxing (okay, yes, occasionally frustrating) new skill: drawing!

Find out more about this Gale Course here.

Don't forget! Our neighbours to the north, the Marigold Library System, release a monthly email newsletter full of excellent professional development opportunities- webinars and articles from all around the world!  

Marigold Professional Development Newsletter


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

Please contact Chris or Aaron 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!

  • Info about all this amazing COVID-safe initiatives you are offering!
  • 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.