Libraries across the province of Alberta have removed the non-resident user fee that affected people living On-Reserve or On-Métis Settlement. In the past, this non-resident library user fee was about $60 more than what a town resident might pay, a considerable barrier for First Nation and Métis residents. Today, a library card is free in most communities. If a fee is charged, the fee will be the same for all library patrons regardless of whether they live in town, county, On-Reserve or On-Settlement. This change is long overdue but a positive step towards equal access to service.
Northern Lights Library System and Indigenous Services
54 municipal libraries are served by the regional Northern Lights Library System. Northern Lights has committed to endorsing a new relationship with First Nation, Métis and Inuit individuals and communities. This means extending an invitation and introduction to library services and programs. We would like to create space for local Indigenous perspectives and content in library collections, and to improve access to collections. Within the geographical area of the Northern Lights Library System, there are seven different First Nation communities and four Métis Settlements.
The goals seem simple: welcome, invite, make space and create access.
Here are some examples of the above goals in action:
- Weekly on-site library service to reserve communities
- Incorporating Cree and Denesuline language resources into library collections or websites
- Taking responsibility to make the library a welcoming space with a smile or a handshake
- Making space for Indigenous content and programming
- Building relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities
Check out the links below for information about library services related to Indigenous people:
https://librarianship.ca/news/cfla-trc-report - summary
Press release for Alberta Services to Indigenous Communities
Edmonton Public Library, Elder in residence:
Library Services for Saskatchewan Aboriginal Peoples: