What are Saskatchewan Public Libraries?
The role and mandate of Saskatchewan public libraries is to provide people of all ages with equitable access to information resources and services. Public libraries strive to make information accessible to all residents regardless of economic, social or racial status. Public libraries have frequently been called the unofficial university of the public.
In Saskatchewan, The Public Libraries Act legislates equitable access to information for all Saskatchewan residents through the province-wide public library system.
The Saskatchewan public library system provides library services from over three hundred branch libraries in communities across Saskatchewan through seven regional library systems, a federated library system in the north, and two municipal libraries in the cities of Regina and Saskatoon. The Provincial Library is also a key component of the public library system. It coordinates public library services as well as library co-operation.
Librarian Roles in Public Libraries
Individuals who are passionate about freedom of information and equitable access to information will find public libraries rewarding workplaces. In public libraries, librarians strive to make information accessible to all residents of the community regardless of economic, social or racial status.
There are various activities that librarians can do in public libraries. They may have specific roles in areas such as reader’s advisory, reference, children’s and youth services, collection development, cataloguing, interlibrary loans, computer systems, circulation, management, literacy, or outreach services (services to the homebound and people with disabilities).
In Saskatchewan public libraries, the type of job roles for librarians depend on the size of the library. Urban public libraries generally have more positions for professional librarians than smaller public libraries. In urban public libraries, librarians often take on management roles or are employed in specialized areas, such as collections, computer systems support, reference, and children’s services.
In Saskatchewan's regional library system, librarian roles tend to be located at the headquarters, and can include positions as library system director, assistant director, branch coordinator, or systems librarian. Regional headquarters support roles in cataloguing, interlibrary loans, and reference are often staffed with library technicians. Staff in local branch public libraries are usually not professionally trained librarians.
Library Technician Roles in Public Libraries
Individuals who are passionate about freedom of information and equitable access to information will find public libraries rewarding workplaces. In public libraries, library technicians play support roles to ensure that information is accessible to all residents of the community regardless of economic, social, or racial status.
There are various activities that library technicians do in public libraries. They may play support roles in areas such as reader’s advisory, reference, acquisitions, cataloguing, interlibrary loans, circulation, or children’s services.
In Saskatchewan public libraries, the type of job roles for library technicians depends on the size of the library. In large urban public libraries, there may be many library technician roles available.
In the regional Saskatchewan library system, library technician roles are usually located at regional headquarters libraries in support roles such as cataloguing, interlibrary loans, acquisitions, or reference. Staff in local branch public libraries are usually not trained at the technician level.
Other Jobs in Public Libraries
Some public libraries have job positions called "library assistants". These positions are filled by employees who hold one or two university degrees but have no formal librarianship education. It is often important to have library work experience to become a library assistant.
Assistants help with ordering and organizing library materials. They can perform circulation duties. Assistants may work on the reference desk helping people to find information or appropriate reading materials. They can also supervise or train other staff. In Saskatchewan public libraries, library assistant roles are most common in large urban public libraries.
Many public libraries offer page or clerk roles. There is no post-secondary education requirement for pages and clerks. A library page is most often responsible for shelving material; they may do some circulation work as well. They can do minor book repair. Clerks unload, sort and retrieve library materials.
In Saskatchewan, many local branch public libraries hire at a clerk level and in these roles the clerk is responsible for managing the local library. Usually a Grade 12 education is required for this kind of clerk role.
Many larger public libraries will hire pages or clerks in a variety of positions and may employ high school students. Page/clerk roles are a good introduction to library work!
Public Library Associations
Canadian Association of Public Libraries http://www.cla.ca/AM/Template.cfm?Section=CAPL2
Public Library Association http://www.pla.org/
Public Libraries Australia http://www.pla.org.au/