ASSOCIATES (2005, March, v. 11, no. 3) -

*You Do What, And You Live WHERE?
An Attempt To Establish Connections Between LT Associations Across Canada*


Diane Walker
Information Centre Supervisor
Credit Union Central of British Columbia

As the scope of work in the world of libraries has grown and changed, so have the educational opportunities and work responsibilities of the library support staff community in Canada. To help library workers connect with one another, and stay informed about relevant issues, library support staff organizations have existed for many years in a number of Canadian provinces. But there has been little contact between those provincial organizations.

Thanks to current technology and shared concerns, over the past two years there has been an attempt to establish and build connections between the various library technician organizations across Canada. A representative of each of the provincial organizations, as well as the Library Technician Interest Group of the national Canadian Library Association, are now part of an informal e-mail distribution list.

This electronic forum is used to share information, discuss concerns and ideas, and plan for projects that are appropriate for cross-provincial participation. Currently under consideration are a review of the educational standards for Library Technician training in Canada, and the possibility of a short national survey of Canadian library support staff on various topics such as training, job responsibilities, etc. The group is still in the formative stages, but once established, we hope this group can offer insights into the larger issues facing the Canadian library support staff community, from both a provincial and national perspective.

Representatives of the following Canadian library technician organizations are part of the cross-provincial group:

LTIG -- The Library Technicians Interest Group of the Canadian Library Association
OALT/ABO -- Ontario Association of Library Technicians / Association des bibliotechniciens de l’Ontario
MALT -- Manitoba Association of Library Technicians
SALT -- Saskatchewan Association of Library Technicians
AALT -- Alberta Association of Library Technicians
LTAIG -- Library Technicians and Assistants Interest Group, British Columbia Library Association

Here’s some information about each of the organizations that are represented on the cross-provincial group.

LTIG -- The Library Technicians Interest Group of the Canadian Library Association (CLA) aims to act as a national forum, with effective communication across Canada, for the exchange of concerns, ideas and activities of library technicians. Read more about it in Interest Groups sections of the CLA website at

OALT / ABO -- The Ontario Association of Library Technicians / Association des biliotechniciens de l’Ontario is a non-profit organization established in 1973. Their role is to promote a wider understanding, acceptance and advancement of Library Technician graduates and students, and to further the cause of Library Technicians in the workforce in Ontario. OALT / ABO's mission is to advance our profession through: Active membership; Education and professional development; Promotion and marketing; and Partnerships and advocacy. The organization has chapters in different regions of Ontario, as well as virtual Book Club and School Library chapters, and over 300 members. The OALT / ABO website is available at -- investigate their regional events. For more information, email

MALT -- The Manitoba Association of Library Technicians was established in 1971 as a nonprofit organization with the objectives to promote and advance the role of library technicians and respond to issues that relate to the entire library community. Membership in MALT is open to any interested person. MALT produces a quarterly newsletter, is involved in sponsoring various programs, workshops, etc., and maintains a website, which can be viewed at The executive of MALT continuously endeavors to find new and innovative ways to further promote education and networking within the library technician community of Manitoba. We are very proud of our message board which can be accessed through our website and is open to anyone throughout the world who is interested in libraries. (From Sarah Richer, MALT.)

SALT -- The Saskatchewan Association of Library Technicians was formed in 1976, and became an independent association in 1983. The purpose of the association is: To promote the value of Library Technicians throughout the province of Saskatchewan; To encourage and provide continuing education in the field of library technology, and To foster the exchange of ideas and information between Library Technicians. The SALT website is available at -- take a look at their Newspapers page.

AALT -- The Alberta Association of Library Technicians is an organization dedicated to fostering and enhancing the professional image of library technicians. AALT was formed in 1974 by a group of SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) students after being challenged by one of their instructors to form an organization. Their mandate at the time was to help promote a wider understanding and acceptance of the library technician status in Alberta and to assist in the implementation of recognized provincial education standards. AALT’s objectives are to: address the continuing education requirements of the membership; ensure that a high standard of progressive, timely and appropriate education continues to be offered in the library information programs; promote accurate information on the qualifications and capabilities of library technicians; interact with other associations within the library and information field; and provide networking opportunities within an educational framework. The AALT website is available at -- a special feature allows online registration for memberships and programs. Email for more information.

LTAIG -- The Library Technicians and Assistants Interest Group of the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) has been in existence for about 20 years. In previous years, it did exist as a separate organization from BCLA, but there was not enough interest and support to keep it functioning. The Interest Group has been organized for about 15 years, and is primarily a “virtual organization.” Based in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, the group has members throughout the province. Electronic connections between members through a discussion list and website are the primary means of communication. The LTAIG website is available through the Interest Groups sections of the BCLA website at -- the site features results of surveys of education and work-related topics for library technicians. For information, contact

For more information on this cross-provincial LT group, email Diane Walker at

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