British Columbia Library Association

Tools of the trade: The Library Toolshed promotes resource-sharing among information professionals

By Sarah Felkar and Cassie McFadden


Have you ever spent time concocting library programming only to wonder if other libraries have already done something similar? Have you ever wanted to share your own compelling program outlines with others? Well look no further: There is now a place to find and share such resources! The Library Toolshed is an open repository for library-related programs, conference materials, documents, webinars, and more to be shared and discovered by information professionals. It is a real Digital Learning Objects Repository by and for library staff.


What is the Toolshed?

The Library Toolshed is a collaborative initiative supported by the Alberta Library, the British Columbia Library Association, Saskatchewan’s Multitype Library Board, and the Manitoba Public Library Services Branch. It is hosted and supported by the BC Libraries Cooperative, which is currently facilitating a redesign of the site (see above) to be unveiled soon.

The project was initially launched in conjunction with the 2014 BC Library Conference as a partnership between the Alberta Library and the Association of BC Public Library Directors. Since its inception, the Toolshed has amassed a considerable amount of resources, including presentation notes and slides from the most recent BC Library Conference, where presenters were encouraged to share their session materials.

The Toolshed allows library staff to share, access, and comment on training, instructional, and programming resources. This includes links, outlines, handouts, webinars, and toolkits. The goal is to provide access to formats that can be shared, remixed, and re-used. The power of the platform increases with the addition of each resource and the interactions that result.

Why participate?

Some days it is difficult to devise new program ideas—especially when you know that someone else has probably already done it. Sharing with the community, promoting innovation, access, and learning are key to what information professionals provide to the communities they serve. In the same way, members of the library community can provide similar opportunities and promote the same sort of values among each other.

Whether it be catching up on conference sessions that you weren’t able to attend, seeing what other provinces have done with Summer Reading Clubs, or getting inspired by someone’s outline on running a Raspberry Pi program, the Toolshed supports learning, sharing, and community building.

How does it work?

If you would like to use the Toolshed to search for or browse resources, simply visit the website. No login is necessary.

If you would like to share content:

As a newer addition, users can also track how many views their resource has had, which can be useful information to report back to their respective organizations.

The Toolshed organizers are excited to see what you’ve been working on, so get started sharing today! Click here to download a PDF guide on using and sharing Toolshed resources.

Sarah Felkar is the Acting Digital Experience Coordinator at the West Vancouver Memorial Library and an active Library Toolshed Contributor.

Cassie McFadden is the BCLA Office Manager and Co-Editor of BCLA Perspectives.

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