ASSOCIATES (2010, July, v. 17, no. 1)


News from Canada

Karen Hildebrandt
Circulation Services Coordinator, Concordia University College of Alberta, Alberta
Canadian Library Association Library Technician Interest Group (CLA LTIG) Convenor

After a busy conference season it’s time to take a breather and reflect on happenings here in Canada. I attended four conferences since the end of April. I presented “Customer Service for Persons with Disabilities” at the Alberta Library Conference in Jasper, Alberta, as well as, at the NEOS Consortium Mini Conference in Edmonton, Alberta I was also honoured to present a session on “Continuing Education Opportunities for Library Technicians” at the Manitoba Library Association Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The biggest and busiest conference for me this year was the Canadian Library Association (CLA) Annual Conference in my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend any sessions this year as I was on the local arrangements committee coordinating all the volunteers for the four days. However, I did hear positive comments about the conference program and everyone seemed to be smiling a lot so that seems to be a good indication of a successful conference. The volunteers that I supervised did a wonderful job and it was an amazing experience for me to be involved in an event of that size; exhausting yet very rewarding.

Although I didn’t attend any sessions, I did facilitate the Library Technician Programs Chairs/Coordinators annual meeting, as well as, the Library Technicians Interest Group Breakfast Business Meeting. The chair/coordinator meeting discussion included the much awaited completion of the revision draft of the “Guidelines for the Education of Library Technicians” document. It has now been presented to the CLA Executive Council for their approval.

It’s always a pleasure to be present when our Sponsor, Libramation presents the CLA LTIG Award of Merit. This year the award went to Karen Darby. Karen is the convenor for the Newfoundland and Labrador Library Association (NLLA), Library Technician and Assistant Group, as well as, the elected representative on the NLLA Executive. Karen has been actively advocating for library technicians and assistants in the Eastern provinces and has also been the LTIG Convenor for the Atlantic Provinces Library Association for several years.

The closing speaker at CLA was Michael Geist, who we all refer to as the Copyright guru. His speech was very timely as a new copyright bill has been proposed by our Federal Government. I must confess I used to think of copyright as a very boring topic but have definitely revised my thinking over the past several years. This new proposed bill is a vast improvement from what was proposed several years ago. It’s not perfect but has potential and with a little more work can be something that would be accepted by all. And as an added bonus, it also has the potential of benefiting academic libraries! Now that would be something.

A conference highlight for our library technicians is the CLA LTIG Supper outing and this year was no exception. Twenty-five of us got together in the private dining room of Riverside Bistro for an evening of laughter, making new friends and reconnecting with old friends. This year we were able to claim that we had gone “international” as not only did we have representation from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Newfoundland, but also from Sydney, Australia as Janette Telford joined us. I hope that Janette enjoyed her conference experience as much as we enjoyed getting to know her and having her join us. The little goodies Janette brought were a great hit at the conference and my family and I greatly enjoyed and appreciated the TimTam cookies!

Now that conference season is over we can take a breather, enjoy our summer before starting the planning process once again for next year!

(Where’s Karen Hildebrandt? I was taking pictures but am in the group photo bottom left in red).