System Services



Bibliographic Services

As part of its bibliographic services, Shortgrass orders, catalogues, and processes library materials for member libraries. Centralized ordering reduces the cost of library materials, allowing member libraries to realize a larger discount than they would ordering library materials independently.

Libraries may order material with their allotment budget, or use their own funds to order material through SLS. The Shortgrass Library System provides an annual per capita allotment to member libraries which is to be used for the purchase of library materials.  The rate for the per capita allotment is reviewed and set by the Shortgrass Library System on an annual basis.

Member libraries are responsible for the selection of materials for their collections. Shortgrass headquarters staff are responsible for receiving the selections and for placing the orders.

For general information about Cataloguing, Acquisitions and Processing, please contact the Manager of Systems and Technical Services

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Delivery Services

Shortgrass provides regularly scheduled deliveries of purchased materials, interlibrary loans, and circulating collections to member public libraries as well as contracted partners (PRSD, MHC). The deliveries include correspondence, promotional materials, announcements, reports, etc. Learn more about our Delivery Schedule

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Technology Services

The Shortgrass Library System will ensure that each member library receives full maintenance support for the computer, network, and telecommunications equipment used for public access of the SLS Catalogue and for library staff use of Symphony Workflows and Email. The computer equipment used by the system's resource library (Medicine Hat Public Library) for sending interlibrary loan requests will also be maintained by SLS.

Hardware & Software Purchases

Shortgrass will provide specifications to libraries when they are planning purchases of computers, printers, barcode scanners, and network devices.
Upon request, Shortgrass will select and order appropriate hardware, software, or equipment on behalf of member libraries. Shortgrass may purchase additional hardware or software for member libraries if funds become available for special purchases.

Hardware Support

Shortgrass will provide telephone, email, chat, or on-site support (if necessary) for the setup, configuration, and installation of computer hardware, peripherals, and printers.

Software Support

Symphony software maintenance is provided by Shortgrass Library System. SLS contracts with SirsiDynix for Symphony software support to member libraries. Shortgrass will provide support for circulation and public access software provided by SLS. Shortgrass staff will assist Medicine Hat Public Library ILL staff using the ILL computer and software.

Network Support

Support for computers obtained by direct library purchases is limited to solving software and hardware problems to maintain existing network connectivity. Shortgrass will maintain and assign library network IP addresses accordingly.
Alberta SuperNet connection charges are currently covered by APLEN; this is subject to change. SuperNet maintenance is performed by AXIA and is subject to additional cost to be covered by the library.

Internet Connectivity

Shortgrass will assist with the technology setup involved with firewall and router/switch setup as well as the configuration of computer operating systems.
Internet connectivity charges may be shared; monthly costs are currently covered by SLS (internet access models will change over time and support changes may also occur depending on costs).
Shortgrass will maintain and ensure that external internet IP addresses are registered with external database suppliers for additional SLS services (TALOnline, electronic subscriptions).
Shortgrass will work with the libraries to ensure that internet bandwidth and connectivity are in place for the library and are sufficient to meet the library's requirements (depending on funds available).

Wireless Internet Access (WiFi)

Shortgrass provides a wireless tunneling and authentication network for use by member libraries and their patrons. Member libraries are responsible for the cost of wireless access points. Wireless access points are required in order to provide wireless internet access. Shortgrass provides maintenance and support for wireless access points and connectivity to them.

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Training Resources


Training opportunities are provided by Shortgrass at member libraries, at the Shortgrass office, and through videoconference. These opportunities include:
  • One-on-one and group training programs designed and delivered by Shortgrass staff
  • Bi-annual Shortgrass Member Libraries’ Professional Development Day
  • Board orientation and development workshops 
  • Library manager orientations
  • Assistance with strategic planning
  • Access to vendor training (e.g. OverDrive, online databases, Mango language learning software)

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Interlibrary Loans


Interlibrary loan services are performed by staff at Shortgrass Headquarters.
Please contact the Interlibrary Loans department for questions about how your patrons can access Interlibrary Loans.

Provincial Resource Sharing Network Policy

The Provincial Resource Sharing Network Policy (updated April 2010) governs interlibrary lending outside the Shortgrass system and applies to all public libraries in Alberta. The Provincial Resource Sharing Network is based on a principle of reciprocal borrowing. That is, libraries lend their material to other libraries who lend like material. The Provincial Resource Sharing Network Policy for Alberta Public Library Boards was updated in October 2009 to address the libraries that do not participate in reciprocal borrowing through the network.

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Library 2 You

Library 2 You (Formerly known as Paperbacks by Mail) is a service offered through Marigold Library System.
Library to You (L2U) service is generally used by people who are unable to use a public library or who live far from a public library.
If you would like to find out more about this service or register for it, please call 1-866-529-0550, extension 207 or send an email.
L2U offers you:
  • 2 catalogues per year – choose any book(s) you want. Current catalogue: #79 Spring/Summer 2016
  • Free return labels – this means no mailing costs for the customer
  • The opportunity to request materials not in the L2Ucatalogue (for example from the Shortgrass Bibliocommons catalogue)
If your patrons will be visiting a public library on a regular basis, please encourage them to get a library card from the public library rather than through L2U.

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Disk Repair Services

Shortgrass DVD cleaning

Shortgrass offers a disk repair service to its member libraries. This service repairs most scratches on 12 cm disks including Music CDs, Books on CD, DVDs and CD-ROMs, Video game disks and Blu-Ray disks. Please fill out the Disk Repair Form for each disk you send in to be "cleaned".
Shortgrass offers disk cleaning services to the public, at a cost of $1/disk for library card holders and $2/disk for those who do not have a library card. The members of the public who would like their DVDs/CDs cleaned by Shortgrass, should arrange it through their local libraries. We do not accept any disks directly from the public.
For more information about the disk repair service please contact the Manager of Systems and Technical Services.



FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Are there damages that the machine cannot fix?

If the disk is cracked, warped or contains original manufacturer’s defects, the disk cannot be repaired. Disks can only be repaired 10-12 times.
Note: Shortgrass Library System is not responsible for any damage to disks that could occur during the disk repair process.

Do you check the disks after buffing to see if they work?

Shortgrass staff will not have time to check each individual disk to determine if it is working properly. We will inspect the disk visually to ensure scratches are removed and will inform the disk owner if we were unable to remove all the visible scratches. We suggest libraries play the disk upon its return before loaning it out again.

Is there a cost for this service?

There is currently no cost for disk repair services. Shortgrass will review the use of the service annually and will determine if any fees need to be applied.

How do I send in my disks to be repaired?

Please send the disks with your regular delivery by putting them into inter-office mail envelopes and clearly indicating that they need to be repaired. Address envelopes to the Manager of the Technical Services.

What is the turnaround time for the disk repair service?

The turnaround time varies between 1-4 weeks depending upon the number of disks needing to be repaired at any one time. If you have a large number of disks to send in at one time, please contact the Manager of Systems Technical Services to determine the best time for sending in these items.

Can I offer my patrons or community members to repair their personal disks?

Yes, you can offer this service to your patrons and community members. The charge for patrons is $1 per disk, for a non-patron the charge is $2 per disk. Shortgrass will need this money to offset the costs of the equipment maintenance (buying the additional supplies of cleaning fluid, cleaning pads, etc.)  When sending personal disks to us, please fill in the Shortgrass DVD cleaning receipt form, give the cut-away part of the form to the patron and send the upper part of the form with the DVDs or CDs to Shortgrass.



Website Services

Shortgrass provides website hosting services for it's members as well as training, content management, and support, to assist them in presenting their services and resources to online communities. Library managers have the choice of updating the content of their website on their own or can opt to have content provided by Shortgrass' Technology Services staff. For more information about website services please contact the Systems Administrator.

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Meeting Room Rentals

For meeting room bookings, please contact the Executive Assistant.

The Shortgrass Library System Board of Trustees views its Board Room as a valuable regional community resource.  The Board’s Bylaw 1.5 states that the space may be rented or loaned as meeting space to outside agencies.



The Board Room is a suitable meeting space for up to 16 people, with facilities for coffee, tea, and water.  Rest rooms are also available.


Procedures and Guidelines

There are 3 categories of potential users of the facility

  • SLS Board and staff
  • SLS member municipalities and member library boards/staff
  • Non-SLS agencies


SLS Board and Staff Use

Use by the Board and staff take precedent over other requests, provided appropriate booking procedures are followed.


Use by SLS Member Municipalities and Member Library Boards/Staff

Use by the above groups will be at no charge during business hours, except for coffee service.

If the facility is requested for non-business hours, then a charge of $50 per half day or evening may be necessary, plus coffee service fees.  Room availability is dependent upon staff availability and CEO approval.


Use by Non-SLS Agencies

Use by the above groups will be at a nominal charge of $50 per half day during business hours.  Coffee service will be available at an additional fee.

If the facility is requested for non-business hours, then a charge of $75 per half day or evening may be necessary, plus coffee service fees.  Room availability is dependent upon staff availability and CEO approval.



  • All bookings must be made through the Executive Assistant.
  • All users, other than SLS Board and staff, must complete the facility usage/rental agreement prior to use.
  • Signers of rental agreement must be 18 years old or older.
  • Facility will not be available on statutory holidays.
  • No alcohol usage is permitted.
  • Hours of use are at the discretion of the CEO.
  • Cancellations of evenings and weekend bookings must be made at least two full business days in advance of the booking date. SLS reserves the right to apply full charges to renters who provide less notice.



  • The user/renter is responsible for the due care of the facilities and contents.
  • All young adults and children must be under supervision.
  • If the user/renter will be advertising the event, then the following statement must be part of the advertisement.
    • Use of the SLS Board Room by a community group does not imply SLS endorsement of the aims and objectives of the group.
  • The user/renter shall be financially responsible to the Board for all loss or damage to the facilities by any person(s) admitted to the facility by the user/renter.
  • The SLS supervising employee shall have the authorization to request that the renter vacate the premises due to inappropriate conduct or overstaying of time.
  • The SLS CEO’s decisions shall be final in all matters pertaining to the interpretations of these procedures and guidelines.


Additional Fees

Coffee or Tea at $5 per pot.

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OverDrive Collection Development

Shortgrass Library staff purchase eBooks and eAudiobooks for the LibraryToGo collection based on the amount of money allocated to the OverDrive system-wide collection development. The OverDrive purhcases are done on a weekly schedule and are based on the list of the most popular titles in the Amazon Kindle and Kobo catalogues.

Preference is given to eBooks; member libraries are encouraged to buy eAudiobooks based on their local demand. eBook and eAudiobook titles bought by an individual library or based on an individual library requests are paid for out of the library's own materials budget.

Shortgrass is also responsible for loading the catalogue records for all new titles purchased for the LibraryToGo collection and ensuring the optimal display of the OverDrive titles in the online catalogue.

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