2015-06-23: Draft Elements for a Revised Proposal

Below are the draft elements that will be included and explained in a revised proposal that will be issued in September 2015. Please note, we understand it is a partial draft and so the rationale and context is not explained here. More information will follow in September and there will be time to comment on the proposed elements throughout the fall of 2015.

Toward a Federation of Library Associations in Canada:
Creating a new national voice for Canadian libraries
Draft elements for inclusion in a revised proposal
June 3, 2015


  • Sept 2015: The next draft of the proposal will be published
  • Oct-Nov 2015: Broad library community consultation on revised proposal
  • Dec 2015: Proposal revisions
  • Jan 1, 2016: Issue final proposal
  • End of Jan 2016: Special meeting of CLA members to decide (may be an electronic vote)


The Federation is the national voice of Canada’s library communities. Our organization:

  • Advances library excellence in Canada.
  • Champions library values and the value of libraries.
  • Influences national and international public policy impacting libraries and their communities.

Our organization will do the following where there are national implications:

  • Promote evidence-based national and international public policy.
  • Develop and promote library competencies and standards, both visionary, such as position and policy statements, and practical, such as national and international standards.
  • Report on the state of Canadian libraries on a regular basis.
  • Support public education about the value and values of libraries including the implications of public policy on national and international information rights.
  • Celebrate libraries through national awards and other initiatives.
  • Foster collaboration among library associations to strengthen the library community.

The first Board will need to prioritize the deliverables within the context of available resources and grow its activities as its capacity grows.

The Federation must remain focused and selective in the initiatives it undertakes and the issues it addresses. The following are filters/lenses are recommended:

  • Is it a national and/or international issue for libraries?
  • Does it have a public policy implication?
  • Is there a need for the Federation to engage on this issue?
  • Is this issue best addressed by a unified national voice or is it better advanced by a Federation member association?

There are seven primary audiences the Federation may try to influence, based on the issue being addressed: international bodies, the federal government, the media, the general public, the business community, people who work in or with libraries, and/or library funders.


i. Proposed not-for-profit structure

  • Non-charitable not-for-profit association
  • Defined membership federation: only a library-related association or a consortium of library-related associations can be a member of the Federation.
  • The Board of a member Association is the actual member of the Federation.
  • The Federation will invite allied businesses, associations, and organizations, to partner with it in its fulfillment of operational activities or special projects.
  • Individuals participate in the work of the federation as follows:
    • If they are a member of a member association.
    • If they are a representative of an institution who is a member of a member association.
    • If they have been invited by the Federation to participate (e.g. special skills or expertise).
    • If they are the representative of a partner business, association, or organization.

i. Proposed governance

  • The Board will have nine to twelve members. The Board’s role is to a) set the strategic direction and oversee the finances of the Federation and b) oversee financial and operational compliance
  • The Board may create Committees as required and appoint both Board and non-Board members to these Committees. As well, the Board may create task/working groups, networks, and other means for individuals who are eligible to participate to collaborate on various activities.
  • The Board will be composed of representatives from member associations as follows:
    • 7 members: one representative from the multi-sector provincial associations from each of the following regions: British Columbia (BC), Alberta (AB), Prairie Provinces (SK, MB); Central Canada (ON); Quebec (QC); Atlantic Canada (NB, NS, PEI, NF); and the Northern Territories (YK, NWT, NU).
    • 2 members: one representative from each of CARL and CULC.
    • 3 members: up to 3 additional members appointed by the Board as necessary to meet representation or skills requirements.
    • “Multi-sector association” is defined as the association that most broadly represents the province or territory’s library community. This would not be an association that represents one specific library role in a province or one specific sector of libraries.
    • One Board member must be Francophone and one member must be of Indigenous (First Nation, Metis, or Inuit) ancestry.
    • The Board may also seek specific skills in the members above, such as financial experience, strategic planning experience, etc.
  • Roles on the Board will be determined by the Board: the Board will elect a chair, vice chair, treasurer, etc.
  • Annually, the Board will invite members to a policy meeting during which members will discuss emerging/urgent policy issues. The members will then vote on the policy priorities for the year.

Still to be confirmed: financial model and recommended name.

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