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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 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.

Dated: 2008.09.21

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