Magazine article American Libraries

Canadian Library Association Annual Conference: Soggy Calgary Fails to Dampen Spirits

Magazine article American Libraries

Canadian Library Association Annual Conference: Soggy Calgary Fails to Dampen Spirits

Article excerpt

Calgary, Alberta, hosted the 60th annual conference of the Canadian Library Association June 15-18. Torrential rain, flooding, and the declaration of a state of emergency didn't dampen the warm Calgary hospitality or the spirits of the 1,000 attendees. This year, CLA President Stephen Abram and his program committee shortened the conference format by half a day and incorporated two special tracks, technology and leadership, into a tightly woven program under the theme "Rediscovering the Library Movement."

This year is the centenary of the province of Alberta, and to mark the event the provincial and territorial government ministers responsible for libraries held a summit in conjunction with the conference to discuss common issues, including the Community Access Program, which funds affordable internet access to schools and libraries, and the Library Book Rate, which provides reduced mailing costs for interlibrary book loans.

Greetings from ALA came by way of then-President-elect Michael Gorman, who is also a CLA member. Keynote speakers were David Snowden, director of the Cynefin Centre; author and activist David Bollier, founder of; and Sharon Wood, the first woman from North America to climb Mount Everest. Snowden discussed social complexity, narrative inquiry, and sense-making in organizations. Bollier emphasized "the need to put a strong coherent argument for the value of libraries in market-obsessed times, as librarians are alone in believing in free access." Wood gave an inspirational speech on risk-taking, illustrated with breathtaking slides of her Everest climb.

The 8Rs Canadian Library Human Resource Study, a report on the future of human resources in Canadian libraries, was unveiled at the conference. A task force has been formed under the chairmanship of former CLA President Wendy Newman to analyze its findings and develop an action plan.

At the lengthy Annual General Meeting, members heard that CLA's financial outlook is brighter than it has been in several years. Under the stewardship of Executive Director Don Butcher, a substantial deficit has been turned into a modest surplus. In his report Butcher stressed the association's progress in its three key thrusts: advocacy, continuing professional development, and networking.


A draft report on a national network for equitable service for Canadians with print disabilities led to a successful AGM resolution in support of the effort. …

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