In March 1938, the Manitoba Library Association endorsed a proposal to form a Schools’ Library Section. Later in the same year, purposes and methods of organization having been formulated, the Schools’ Library Section (SLA) of MLA was formed. Its officers were: Mr. H. McIntosh, Capt. J. J. Wilkinson, Miss Jean Miller, Mr. G. Reeve, Mr. S. A. Campbell and Miss Bessie Lawrie.
A library experiment was launched in Robert H. Smith School, aimed at bringing the book and the child closer together. Schools were contacted and library collections were established where possible over the next decade.
Suburban librarians were invited to join the Schools’ Library Section of MLA as associate members. A model school library was established at Knowles School for Boys, donated by the Griffon Club of Winnipeg. It was organized and set up by the SLS of MLA members.
SLS of MLA became a member organization of the Canadian School Library Association (CSLA)
The first student book reviews appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press during Children’s Book Week. This subsequently became an annual event.
SLS of MLA held a workshop in the Technical-Vocational School, Winnipeg, in conjunction with the Winnipeg Teachers’ 50th Annual Convention. Jean Miller, Donna Campbell, Nan Florence and Robert Park played a key role in this workshop.
A Brief concerning the establishment of suitable libraries in the new high schools throughout the province was prepared by SLS of MLA, under the leadership of Nan Florence and Marjorie Hoole for presentation to the Manitoba Government.
Twenty members of SLS of MLA travelled to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the purpose of observing school library programs in that city and gathering information on training facilities available to Canadians through summer courses of study.
Initiation of the Library Technician Training program at Red River Community College was supported by MASL, with a member regularly participating in the Advisory Committee from that time forward. Miss Gertrude Perrin was the first co-ordinator of the program.
Harry E. Newsom was appointed as the first Supervisor of School Libraries for Winnipeg School Division.
SLS of MLA became a Specialist Group of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society. Under the leadership of Mary Dutton and Doris Crookshanks the name of the organization was changed to Manitoba Association of School Librarians (MASL).
Two resolutions, one concerning library education, and the other concerning a Supervisor of School Library Services for Manitoba, were formulated by MASL and presented to the Manitoba Department of Education.
Seventy-six members of MASL attended a joint conference of school librarians from the three Prairie Provinces held in Regina on 29 April 1967. The focus of the conference was on the recently released standards document entitled: “CSLA Standards for Library Service in Canadian Schools”. Several members of MASL played a significant role in the preparation of this document, including Harry Newsom, Nan Florence and Gerald Brown.
The first full-time Supervisor of School Libraries, Mrs. Grace d’Arcy from B.C. was hired by the Department of Education, on the recommendation of members of MASL.
MASL merged with Manitoba Association of Resource Consultants (MARC) to form Manitoba School Library and Audio Visual Association (MSLAVA). The meeting was held in Neepawa, MB. Leaders in this re-organization were Gerald Brown, Norm Guilbert and Derwyn Davies.
MSLAVA participated in the first Liaison of Provincial Associations Committee (LOPAC) of the Canadian School Library Association, under the leadership of John G. Wright. Representation and reporting on Manitoba progress has been made at the annual CSLA conferences since that time.
– 80s These were significant ‘building’ years with many Briefs, presentations, Awards, professional development workshops, and seminars with Manitoba Library Trustees Association, Manitoba School Trustees Association, Manitoba Teachers’ Society, Manitoba Education, and University of Manitoba Faculty of Education regarding all aspects of school library programs.
The Special Area Group (SAG) conferences over the years have been a vehicle for professional development, and for introduction of new programs and technologies to a wide membership.
“Canadian Materials (CM): A Reviewing Journal of Canadian Materials for Young People” was initiated by Canadian School Library Association, with strong Manitoba participation. It continued as a print publication until 1994, when CM became an electronic journal. Dr. John Tooth and Dr. Dave Jenkinson have been the major moving forces in this excellent selection tool.
MSLAVA has been actively involved in the International Association of School Librarians from its inception in Jamaica, WI in 1971. Manitoba members Gerald Brown and Edith Doyle have served on the Board for many years, and have attended almost all of the annual conferences. MSLA has financially supported membership recruitment projects in developing countries.
“Connections: Writers & the Land” was compiled by members of MSLAVA to provide bibliographic and biographical information about current and retrospective Manitoba authors. It was edited by Dorothy Vipond.
MASL was an active contributor to the revised CSLA Revised Standards document: “Resource Services for Canadian Schools”. Many implementation workshops were held throughout the province under MASL leadership and direction.
MASL was a key player in the hosting of the AMTEC 82 (Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada) annual national conference held in Winnipeg. Gerald Brown was the co-ordinating chair-person for this event, which involved all aspects of the library and media / technology community.
Brief to the “Education Finance Review Committee” of Manitoba Education reflected the current MASL thinking on the needs of school library programs and services. Jean Baptist co-ordinated the observations from the various school divisions in drafting this presentation.
“Connections Two: Writers & the Land” — a collection of 57 biographical sketches of Manitoba writers, poets, and illustrators was published. The Committee was chaired by Berna Young.
CLA / CSLA held their annual conference in Winnipeg with full support of MASL and the library community. National conferences are held in Manitoba approximately once every eight to nine years.
1986 1990 1994 1998
Canadian “Images” Canadienne (CIC) Conference on Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature were outstanding successes, drawing participants from across Canada and several States. MASL involved a broad range of the education and library community to produce these outstanding conferences.
MASL conducted a province-wide “Study of Educational Media, Library & Communication Services in Manitoba”. This became a benchmark document for future advocacy activities. The Study was chaired by Joyce Birch.
The Minister of Culture, Heritage and Recreation signed the Children’s Book Festival Week Proclamation.
To celebrate the International Year of Literacy, MSLAVA initiated the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award (MYRCA) which annually holds a contest among Manitoba readers from Grades 5–8 to select the choice title for the year from a pre-selected list by the Committee. A special luncheon is held to honor the recipient author, with students from many schools participating. Winnipeg Public Library, Children’s Literature Roundtable and the Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg collaborate with representatives from rural Manitoba in organizing this annual event.
Winnipeg’s Mayor, William Norrie proclaimed Developing Freedom Literacy Play Tour Week.
MSLAVA was changed to Manitoba School Library Association (MSLA) to keep in tune with the philosophical changes in school library services and technology of the era. Peter Beuhler provided leadership in this change.
Manitoba Education produced “Resource-Based Learning: An Educational Model” with the collaboration of many teacher-librarians from across the province.
“Directions: Guide to Libraries in Manitoba” edited by Donna Strike was supported financially by MASL.
Events such as School Library Event, School Library Week, Manitoba Library Week, and LIT (Literature-Information-Technology) Forums have been regular features of the organization over the years.
Promotion of the CSLA / ATLC document “Achieving Information Literacy: Standards for School Library Programs in Canada” was a major objective over the next several years, through presentations, workshops and articles in various professional journals. Gloria Hersak was instrumental in the development of this landmark document.
Education Minister, Peter Bjornson issued a poster for Manitoba School Library Day in October.
Education Minister, Peter Bjornson issued the first Province of Manitoba Proclamation for Manitoba School Library Day in October. This proclamation has been issued every year since.
The 90th anniversary celebration of Instructional Resources Unit of Manitoba Education was a landmark event. MSLA participated, and applauded the achievements over the years.
MSLA was invited to participate on the Advisory Committee for Manitoba Education’s “Literacy with ICT in K-12 Education” as the Curriculum was developed and is being implemented across the province.
MSLA celebrated 70 years at a gala event which looked back through the years.
The www.manitobaschoollibraries.com website was launched.
MSLA invited educators who are interested in the effective use of information in teaching, and the promotion of reading and literacy among all ages to become active members and support the association.
Based on original work done by Helga Miller, President 1968–70, this outline was edited and compiled by Gerald R. Brown, President 1970–72.