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Saskatchewan Library Week

Saskatchewan Library Week (SLW) is a province-wide, annual event that promotes the wonderful resources and services that libraries have to offer. This week-long event is held the third week in October each year and celebrated throughout the province in all types of libraries, in both urban and rural communities, and by all age groups.

This year, Saskatchewan Library Week will take place from October 13-19, 2024.

The Saskatchewan Library Association (SLA) has proudly presented this celebration since 1976. Join the discussion on social media with #SKLibraryWeek!

SLW Program Grants

SLA is pleased to once again be offering Saskatchewan Library Week program grants to its members! Twenty-five grants of up to $250 each are available to SLA’s institutional or individual members to support them and their library as they put on programming during Saskatchewan Library Week.

The 2024 grant applications are now open and close on August 6, 2024. Applications will be juried by members of the SLA Program Committee and all decisions will be final. Applicants will be contacted with the outcome of their application by the end of August.

All successful recipients of an SLA program grant will be required to submit a final grant report, including required receipts, by November 17, 2024. SLA will reimburse grant recipients for exact costs up to $250 by cheque after the final grant report has been received. Please note: These grants are not intended to pay for library equipment, staff wages, or books except where specific books relate to an SLW presentation or event.

Apply NowSubmit Your Final Report

SLW Promotional Resources

Are you looking to promote Saskatchewan Library Week in your library or community? SLA has created an SLW poster, a short social media video, and some social media graphics that anyone can download, print, and/or distribute to promote this event in their community. These resources reflect this year’s theme: Libraries Create Community.

Saskatchewan Library Association Logos

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, libraries across Saskatchewan were unable to host regular in-person programs to celebrate Saskatchewan Library Week.

To give libraries an opportunity to still offer programming during this important week, SLA commissioned a number of writers and artists in 2020 and 2021 to create short workshops, readings, and presentations on a variety of topics.

Although libraries have largely returned to in-person programming, these videos remain a valuable resource, and everyone is welcome to enjoy them. Some presentations are hands-on, while others introduce new and engaging topics for further exploration. Libraries can share the videos with their patrons in their physical space or through their website and social media pages.

Please find the lists of 2020 and 2021 videos below.

2020 SLW Videos

Writing Strong Scenes: A Workshop with Alice Kuipers

Experienced children and young adult writer Alice Kuipers gives a workshop on how to write strong scenes. Alice believes everyone has a story worth telling and loves inspiring new writers. Through this workshop, she offers writing advice and shares her passion and pleasure in writing with others.

A Watercolour Workshop with Clint Hunker

Clint Hunker offers an introductory session in watercolours. The session begins with a discussion of the medium, surfaces and brushes, followed by a demonstration of exercises to help beginners lay coloured washes and to layer those washes one upon another. Finally he introduces small projects which will help in the practice of those skills.

A Body Language & Voice Workshop with Curtis Peeteetuce

Curtis Peeteetuce is an award-winning theatre artist from the Beardy’s & Okemasis Cree Nation. Since 2001, he has had the honour of working with many talented people in theatre, radio drama, music and film. He is a storyteller, actor, writer, director, dancer, musician and the playwright for the popular rez Christmas story series and the recently published plays nicimos, kihew and Popcorn Elder (which was nominated for two Saskatchewan arts awards). Curtis has also served as an MC and cultural arts consultant. He dedicates all his accomplishments to his son Mahihkan.

From a foundation of culture, language, and history, Curtis Peeteetuce creates an environment incorporating storytelling, playwriting, performing and production as they correlate with forms of classical theatre such as Shakespeare and Socrates and our understanding of the identity of Indigenous people.

An Experimental Painting Workshop with Erickka Patmore

Erickka Patmore teaches participants how to use experimental painting to express and reflect upon their emotions. This workshop is suitable for all ages and skill levels, as well as a large range of budgets. Focusing on customization through colour, materials, tools, and techniques while remaining easy to follow, participants can use whichever materials they like, and use her instruction as a springboard for their own unique creations.

This workshop allows everyone to flex their unique creative muscles and serves as a light-hearted, reflective exercise in emotional awareness.

An Author Reading with Gail Bowen

In this video, Gail Bowen reads from her newest book, The Unlocking Seasonwhich was published in 2020. She also talks about her life in writing. Gail Bowen has many years of experience teaching English and Creative Writing, as well as conducting workshops.

A Workshop About Pre-Writing and Beginning Writing with Kelley Jo Burke

Kelley Jo Burke offers a workshop in pre-writing, which is a substantial and misunderstood part of writers’ lives. She will speak about identifying the best ways to begin a project, creating road maps to keep projects on track, and methods for beating writers’ block. The session includes a reading from her latest book.

An Author Reading with Leona Theis

Leona Theis reads from her new work, a novel-in-stories titled If Sylvie Had Nine Lives. This novel won the John V. Hicks prize for an unpublished manuscript, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. Chapter 1 was nominated for the Journey Prize, and Chapter 2 won American Short Fiction’s story prize. The novel is set primarily in Saskatchewan. Leona talks about a few points of craft, connected to the importance of vivid detail, and decisions writers must make in the course of creating fiction or nonfiction.

An Author Reading with Miriam Körner

Miriam Körner reads from one of her books. She writes books for children, young adults and adults. Her books have won many awards in Saskatchewan, and she has participated in reading events and presented in classrooms across the province.

2021 SLW Videos

A Tabletop Roleplaying Games Workshop with Jillian Bell

Jillian Bell has been a session presenter or workshop leader in the fields of writing, storytelling, publishing, and gaming for more than a decade. She has been active writing, editing, and producing games (tabletop roleplaying games and live action roleplaying games) for over 20 years and has taught music lessons, writing workshops, publishing symposia, and swimming lessons since 1990. Here Jillian will present a workshop on running tabletop roleplaying games in any gaming system.

A German-Canadian Folk Art Workshop with Jess Richter

Jess Richter’s art practice has a strong relationship to German communities within Saskatchewan, and she is delighted to expand knowledge of German culture, and how it has been adapted to rural Saskatchewan life. Having grown up in Nokomis, SK, Jess is always excited to create programming that can relate to and enrich rural experiences of art and culture in ways that connect to those communities. This workshop will explore the German-Canadian folk art of Fractur and lead participants to create their own artworks focusing on portraiture, landscape and personal mythology.

An Oral Telling of Residential School Experiences with Elaine McArthur

Elaine McArthur is a writer, poet and children’s author. She is a Dakota/Nakota First Nation from the Ocean Man First Nation on Treaty 4 Territory. Elaine’s parents are from the White Bear First Nation and Standing Buffalo First Nation. Elaine won the Indigenous Voices Awards 3 years running. She created a doll that wears traditional pow wow regalia, called the Pow Wow Buddies. Elaine has one published children’s book entitled Elizabeth Dances Pow Wow. In this video she will present several short stories relating to her culture and to residential school experiences.

A Mural Painting Workshop with Lesley Shatz

Lesley Schatz has been a practicing visual artist facilitator for 30 years and she taught a program called Mouthbows and Murals for over 20 years in schools. She is an elementary Cree language speaker and a singer songwriter and uses music to enrich the programs she offers. Lesley recently completed a one man show at the Crowsnest Pass Gallery. In this video workshop. Lesley will demonstrate collaborative mural painting and the process of creating the story behind the mural.

A Journal-Making Workshop with Josey Loughins

Josey Loughins is a librarian in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. She has lead classes on creating journals and recipe books. In this workshop, she will demonstrate how to create a journal from a discarded or weeded library book, using only a few tools, some pretty paper, and other upcycled materials. Journaling is an excellent self-care practice. This fun art project is of minimal cost but of great value.

A Beginner Writing Workshop with Judith Silverthorne

Judith Silverthorne was Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (2010 -2017) and Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Library Association (1998-2007). She currently writes novels, edits and teaches writing workshops. Judith also owns Silverlight Productions Inc. and produces documentaries and films. She previously owned and operated Spiral Communications Inc. She has been the Writer-in-Residence at the Regina Public Library and several elementary schools. In this video, Judith will present tips for getting started in writing.


The Saskatchewan Library Association has proudly sponsored Saskatchewan Library Week (SLW) since 1976. This province-wide program, which occurs during the third week in October, unites Saskatchewan people and libraries in an annual event intended to promote library services and create an awareness of the access to information for cultural, economic, educational, and recreational development that is available to everyone in Saskatchewan. SLW encourages literacy, brings communities together and brings cultural awareness to the forefront in Saskatchewan. We are fortunate to have more than 1200 libraries located around the province.


The goal of SLW is to ensure that every citizen in Saskatchewan is aware of the many ways that libraries serve them. Through SLA grants many libraries across the province are able to provide special programs during Saskatchewan Library Week.

Saskatchewan Library Week is planned to:

  • Raise awareness of libraries, their services and resources to the general public;
  • Promote and encourages literacy;
  • Promote cultural awareness and cultural activities;
  • Provide leisure opportunities and activities for all ages; and
  • Bring communities together.

We want the general public to know that libraries are:

  • Dynamic community centres for learning, information and entertainment;
  • More than just printed materials, but also a point of access to computers, the Internet and programs;
  • Rare institutions that are within everyone’s reach, regardless of age, education or income level;
  • The ultimate equal opportunity resource.

AND that library workers are:

  • Well-trained, friendly, information experts who help people find whatever it is they are looking for;
  • Information smart in an information rich world.

Saskatchewan libraries often hold events depending on the type of library and/or the individual branch. These may include open-houses, story time, elder storytelling, children and adult craft classes, computer workshops, art displays, gala evenings, book displays, teas, patron and volunteer appreciation, speakers, community events, book launches, information nights and workshops.

History of Saskatchewan Library Week

In 1974, the Canadian Library Association discontinued Young Canada’s Book Week. Since 1949, YCBW had provided a programming focus for children’s librarians and a stimulus for kids to read, but the cost of the cross-Canada distribution eventually became prohibitive.

Pat Cavill was Regional Librarian at Lakeland Library Region at that time, with a burgeoning interest in public relations. Karen Templin, then a children’s librarian with North Central Regional Library, Prince Albert, contacted Pat to see if he thought anything was possible on a provincial rather than a national scale.

Pat called a group of interested people together (including Karen Labuik from North Central and Bill Johnson from the Provincial Library) and the first Saskatchewan Library Week was created from the ashes of YCBW in 1975. Bill’s art work graced the promotional materials for several years after that, and Provincial Library paid for the production and distribution of materials.

The Rt. Hon John Diefenbaker was the first patron of SLW.

Previous Themes, Patrons, and Committee Chairs
1975 to 2022

2023 “Libraries Create Community”

2022 “Libraries Expand Horizons”

2021 “Libraries Rise Above”

2020 “Libraries: Resilient in Changing Times”

2019 “Libraries: Building the Future”

2018 “Libraries Transform”

2017 “Libraries Matter”

2016 “Explore and Discover Saskatchewan Libraries”

2015 “Dare to Know”

2014 “Libraries Inspire”

2013 “Libraries Connect”

2012 Celebrating the Past, Imagining the Future!”

2009 “Connecting Communities”
Committee Chair: Carla Hancock, Luther College Library

2008 “Library Power”
Committee Chair: Kim Hebig, Wheatland Regional Library

2007 “Live, Laugh, learn @ Your Library®”
Patron: Lorne Cardinal
Committee Chair:

2006 “Lifelong Learning @ Your Library®”
Committee Chair: Jeff Mason, Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region Library

2005 “Rediscover Saskatchewan @ Your Library®”
Patron: Louise Halfe
Committee Chair: Lane Jackson, Lakeland Regional Library

2004 “Connect with the World @ Your Library®”
Patron: Gail Bowen
Committee Chair: Colleen Murphy, Dr. John Archer Library, U of R

2003 “Everything from A to Z @ Your Library®”
Committee Chair: Kim Sherwood, Saskatoon Public Library

2002 “Everything but the Kitchen Sink @ Your Library®”
Committee Chair: Susan Hoffman, Palliser Regional Library

2001 “The Power of Your Library”
25th Anniversary
Committee Chair: Allan Neufeld, PNLS

2000 “Something for Everyone”
Patron: Pamela Wallin
Committee Chair: Susan Hoffman, Palliser Regional Library

1999 “Get Connected . . . To Saskatchewan Libraries”
Committee Convenor: Alexandra Hartman, Lakeland Regional Library

1998 “Saskatchewan Reads . . . Another Healthy Activity”
Patron: Sandra Schmirler
Committee Convenor: Michael Keaschuk, Chinook Regional Library

1997 “Living and Growing Through Libraries”
Committee Convenor: Jane Lamothe, University of Saskatchewan

1996 “Roots and Networks”
Committee Convenor: Asa Kachan, Wapiti Regional Library

1995 “Saskatchewan Libraries: At Your Fingertips”
Committee Convenor: Wieske Rybiak, Wheatland Regional Library

1994 “Win the Information Race”
Committee Convenor: Cora Greer, Palliser Regional Library

1993 “Your Library: Key to the Future”
Committee Convenor: Lise Henderson, Saskatoon Public Library

1992 “Saskatchewan Reads”
Patron: Dave Ridgeway
Committee Convenor: Michael Keaschuk, Chinook Regional Library

1991 “Libraries Make a Difference”
Committee Convenor: Helen McKinnon, John M. Cuelenaere Library

1990 “Libraries . . . A Change for the Better”
Committee Convenor: Cora Greer, Palliser Regional Library

1989 “Libraries . . . A Change for the Better”
Committee Convenor: Cora Greer, Palliser Regional Library

1988 “You’ll Find it At Your Library”
Patron: Getrude Story
Committee Convenor: Norlayne Scott, Saskatoon Public Library

1987 “Connect with Your Library”
Patron: Dennis Gruending
Committee Convenor: Paula Scott, Regina Public Library

1986 “Libraries Illuminate”
Committee Convenor: Patricia Yates, John M. Cuelenaere Library

1985 “Read Saskatchewan”
Committee Convenor: Win Sebelius, Gabriel Dumont Library

1984 “Read Saskatchewan”
Committee Convenor: Marilyn Duperrault, Saskatchewan Provincial Library

1983 “Saskatchewan Libraries are for Everyone – Use Yours Now”
Patron: Doris Anderson
Committee Convenor: Laureen Marchand, Regina Public Library

1982 “Saskatchewan Libraries: Making Rural Life Better”
Patron: Bob Knowles
Committee Convenor: Arlene Thompson, Lakeland Regional Library
Ron Bernston, North Battleford Public Library

1981 “Best Bargain Around – Your Public Library”
Patron: W. O. Mitchell
Committee Convenor: Laureen Marchand, Regina Public Library

1980 “Saskatchewan Libraries Looking Back . . . Toward the Future”
Patron: Maria Campbell
Committee Convenor: Brett Balon, Southeast Regional Library

1979 “Saskatchewan Libraries . . . Information for Living”
Patron: Professor J. E. Kennedy
Committee Convenor: Donna Canevari, University of Saskatchewan

1978 “Saskatchewan Libraries . . . As Big As All Outdoors”
Patron: R. H. (Rusty) MacDonald
Committee Convenor: Pat Reichert

1977 “Your Library – A Place for All Reasons”
Patron: Edith Fowke
Committee Convenor: Karen Labiuk, Wapiti Regional Library

1976 “Libraries for Everyone: Especially You”
Patron: Max Braithwaite
Committee Convenor: Karen Labiuk, Wapiti Regional Library

1975 “Free Your Mind” (Inaugural event)
Patron: Rt. Hon. John George Diefenbaker
Committee Convenor: Patricia Cuts, Lakeland Regional Library