Update: CLA 2015 Conference Discussions and Status of Work

Background: As you know from reading everything on this site :), in early January 2015, CLA Executive Council published a concept paper that envisioned a new form and focus for our national library association. Since February 2015, CLA Executive Council has been working with representatives from various library associations across the country to further develop the proposal. The next version of the proposal is scheduled to be published in September 2015.

During the 2015 CLA conference held earlier this month in Ottawa, CLA members and delegates were invited to participate in the Town Hall on the Future of CLA as well as the CLA Annual General Meeting on June 4, 2015 in order to learn about the status of discussions regarding the concept for a future national library association in Canada and to provide their feedback on the concept presented thus far.

At the Town Hall, Vice-President Sandra Singh provided an overview of the work done to date by the association stakeholders and the Stakeholder Working Group. She reported that the stakeholder associations were in agreement that the community needs a strong, focused, and effective national voice that can speak with authority and confidence to the significant national and international issues and events that impact the provision of library services, Canadians’ access to information, and Canadians’ ability to engage with knowledge and information. As well, this group must promote and advocate for library services and continue to promote and advance library excellence in Canada.

Sandra stated that this strong, unified, and effective voice is what the Working Group is trying to build with the suggested Federation. She started by sharing the assumptions that informed the working group’s discussions:

  • the new organization needs to start relatively small and focussed with a view to expanding as needed over time and with an increasing federation membership.
  • There would need to be diverse revenue sources beyond membership fees.
  • That the organization would be a not-for-profit organization.

She then went through a two page partial summary of the draft elements for inclusion in the anticipated revised proposal (to be published in September). These elements include: a proposed purpose, proposed deliverables, proposed filters and lenses for evaluating which initiatives to undertake, and a proposed structure and governance model. She also highlighted the process and timeline. The draft summary can be read here: https://futurecla.wordpress.com/2015-06-23-draft-elements-for-a-revised-proposal/

The floor was then opened for discussion and comment. Many members and delegates shared both their concerns and praises, all of which were noted and will be considered by the Working Group as it prepares the next draft of the proposal for broader community consultation. We encourage you to follow the blog created by the Working Group for ongoing updates.

Sandra noted her appreciation for the working group members who came together of the preceding months in a collaborative process to discuss the draft elements for the next version of the proposal:

Atlantic Provinces Library Association (APLA) – Crystal Rose
Nova Scotia Library Association (NSLA) – Trecia Schell
L’Association des bibliothécaires du Québec (ABQLA) – Shannon Babcock
Yukon Library Association (YLA) – Sarah Gallagher
Ontario Library Association (OLA) – Shelagh Paterson
Manitoba Library Association (MLA) – Camille Callison
Saskatchewan Library Association (SLA) – Gwen Schmidt
Library Association of Alberta (LAA) – Jason Openo
British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) – Annette DeFaveri
Canadian Association of Research Libraries(CARL) – Susan Haigh
Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) – Paul Takala
Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA) – Lee-Anne Ufholz
Canadian Library Association – Marie DeYoung
Canadian Library Association – Mike Ridley
Canadian Library Association – Valoree McKay

At the AGM, Sandra presented a truncated version of the material and there was further discussion of the proposed elements. The feedback from this discussion will also be considered by the Working Group over the summer as it continues its work on the revised proposal.

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