ASSOCIATES (2011, March, v. 17, no. 3)


News from Canada

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


2011 looks to be an interesting and exciting year for the Canada Library Association. Our 66th Annual Conference will be in Halifax Nova Scotia May 25-28. The opening keynote presentation kicks off the conference on Thursday, May 26 with Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair of TD Bank Group and closing keynote on Saturday, May 28 is Ingrid Parent the University Librarian at the University of British Columbia. There are great sessions being offered that should appeal to all library types and there are also some great social activities to attend. For more conference information please check out the website at

I’m very excited to be part of this year’s conference program and will be presenting the session, “It’s all in the delivery: serving people with disabilities”. This session is based on a customer service training that I worked on and has been implemented at my academic institution and has been presented a two other library conferences as well as at to all the staff at another academic institution here in Edmonton.

We have had to take a serious look at our association and where we would like it to be in the future as we couldn’t continue in our present form and be a sustainable association. This past year the Executive Council was tasked with drafting a future plan with membership input/feedback. It has been a good learning process, as well as, really bringing the membership together and creating interesting dialogue. Change can be frightening but it can also be exciting. It can open doors to new ideas and possibilities as well as provide creative solutions; especially during economic difficulties. The hardest part of change is how it is managed and how to get the community to buy in. The future plan will be voted on by the membership at our AGM on May 26 and that will determine the direction of our association. So at this date there is far more we don’t know which can be a little scary but also very exciting.

With the restructuring of CLA, divisions and interest groups will no longer exist. However, members can form networks of common interests or projects. It is my belief that the Library Technician Interest Group will become a network for library technicians and assistants. Our role and mandate fit in quite well within the network framework and it seems to be a natural progression. Since this will be the end of interest groups, this is the last year that the CLA LTIG Award of Merit will be presented. We are uncertain at this time whether the CLA awards will continue in the future and whether our award will be able to carry on under the network umbrella. There is much that we will need to wait and see until the AGM and how things transpire.


The Provincial Associations are also busy with their upcoming conferences this year. The British Columbia Library Conference will be in early April, the Alberta Library Conference takes place end of April, the Saskatchewan Library Conference and Ontario Library Technician Association Conference both take place early May, and the Manitoba Library Conference and the Atlantic Provinces Library Association both have their conferences in mid-May the week before the CLA conference. There is no lack of professional development opportunities just perhaps lack of funding to attend them all!