No, not the catchy Feist song

Instead, “Saskaboom” was the name given to a feature that CBC's “The National” aired last night on Saskatchewan and our booming economy.  The piece included a feature on Weyburn and the impact of the oil sector on the local economy.  So if you want a taste of the city where I've spent most of the past year and a more positive spin on the Peak Oil idea that I wrote about the other day, watch the video clip.  

It was interesting to hear the Mayor of Weyburn talking about losing city employees to the oil patch.  We're seeing something similar in our library region.  I would say that traditionally, the bulk of our branch librarians were stay-at-home moms and housewives who were married to farmers or other people earning an average (or below-average in the case of most farmers ) income. 

Now, with the booming natural resource-based economy, it's harder for us to find women wanting to supplement their family incomes because their husbands are making around six figures in “the patch”.  Or, if the wives do want to work, they can find higher paying employment with longer hours fairly easily since many gas stations and restaurants are offering $10-15/hr with all the hours you want just to get workers.  (And lest anyone think I'm being sexist by talking only about female employees, I will mention that of the approximately 100 employees that SRL has out in its rural branch network, fully every single one of them – ie. 100% if you like easy math – are of the female persuasion.  Sadly, the only males in the entire organization are the four professional librarians, our van driver and our shipping/receiving clerk.) 

In related news (to the “boom”, not to the issue of “who has boobs” ), Shea and I drove out to Stoughton, a town half an hour east of Weyburn for the local library's presentation on “Surface and Mineral Rights” as this is something that is of personal interest to both of us. 

(I'll preface this by saying “as I understand it”, since I always tend to get these things slightly wrong.  But, basically, surface rights are where an oil company pays the landowner an annual fee for the right to be on your land as they explore for oil or for continued access after a well has been drilled.  Mineral rights are when you earn a percentage from any producing wells that are found on your land.  Mineral rights are, by far, the more lucrative although someone with a few producing wells on their land could make a decent annual wage, just from the surface rights.) 

Now, a quick quiz – what's the most successful library program you've ever attended?  How about 150 people in a community hall where said community has 653 people according to the last census?  Of course, they'd advertised quite widely and a lot of attendees, including Shea and I, were from out of town.  But still, that'd be like getting 45 000 people out to a library program in Regina!  (Hmm, maybe the RPL should become the RidersPL?)

There's definitely a lesson in there about running programs that meet your community needs no matter the size of your community.  Plus, the opportunity to promote the library and its services is huge, especially for a non-standard program like this.   (Although it was embarrasing to hear one Government employee who was presenting ask, “Do you have Internet in the library here?  I know we do in Regina but I'm not sure about here.”  Ouch!)

Anyhow, I'm off to sing myself to sleep…

Old dirt road,

(Saskaboom, Saskaboom)

knee deep snow

(Saskaboom, Saskaboom)

Watching the fire as we grow

(Saskaboom, Saskaboom)


Comments 2

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm glad to see some coverage of the “Saskaboom” – as I hear it, it's been happening for the last year or so. I'm looking forward to rejoining such a booming province – it'll be such a change from the “have not” that I left 2 years ago!

    Posted 26 Jun 2008 at 3:34 pm
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    It's unreal how quickly things have turned around in the last 2-3 years! Congrats on your new job by the way – when do you start?

    Posted 28 Jun 2008 at 6:45 am
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