On behalf of the interim Board of CFLA-FCAB, I’m writing to provide an update on Federation activities since our last update on May 20th. We continue to set up your new association of library associations, providing a united voice for Canadian libraries.

First, a warm welcome to Kevin Brennan, who started as our Senior Project Executive in June, and who is already having a great impact on the progress we’re able to make on setting up the Federation. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we transfer activities from CLA and determine how an association of associations can work most effectively to meet national needs beyond those met by other national, regional and sectoral library associations.

Initiatives related to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action

CFLA-FCAB has made answering the call to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Committee one of the top two priorities for CFLA-FCAB this year, in addition to copyright issues. How can CFLA-FCAB help all Canadian library associations and their members to respond to the call to action? Planning is underway, with a committee being set up that includes CFLA-FCAB Board members and is open to others who are members of a member association. Please contact Camille Callison at Camille.Callison@umanitoba.ca or Kevin Brennan at kbrennan@cfla-fcab.ca if you would like to participate on this important ad hoc committee.


In early July, CARL, CULC and CFLA-FCAB sent a joint letter to the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development on behalf of the Canadian library community, expressing congratulations and gratitude that Canada has passed Bill C-11 “An Act to amend the Copyright Act (Access to copyrighted works or other subject-matter for persons with perceptual disabilities),” thereby becoming the 20th country to accede to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Marrakesh Treaty. This Treaty is now slated to come into force in September 2016, and will lead to the elimination of unnecessary barriers to equitable access. The letter, written with contributions by Lise Brin, Victoria Owen, Susan Haigh, Rob Thiessen, and Christina de Castell, signed by Victoria Owen (as the CLA representative who participated as a delegate at the Diplomatic Conference in Marrakesh in 2013), in addition to thanking and congratulating the Minister, noted ”The Canadian Federation of Library Associations, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council believe that there is still work to be done both in policy and in practice in order to eliminate the many barriers than still exist for users with disabilities, and we look forward to opportunities to continue this work with this government.”

There will be more information relating to copyright work in preparation for the 2017 Parliamentary Review in the next update.

Federal Budget Consultations

The Executive Directors from OLA, CULC, CARL, and the Senior Project Executive at CFLA-FCAB will be working together to formulate responses to the government’s invitation for pre-budget submissions. There are areas that rise above the issues of particular types of libraries, such as copyright, broadband connectivity, net neutrality, and other issues, where CFLA-FCAB will take the lead in submitting a position statement and suggestions, in consultation with other associations. CFLA-FCAB will also reinforce and support the messages being sent by our member associations.

National Forum 2017

Our first National Forum will be graciously hosted at the Library Association of Alberta conference in Jasper, Alberta, April 27, 2017 – the day before the Alberta Library Conference begins on April 28th. The National Forum will be followed in the evening by the opening reception for the conference. Programming is being developed to involve participants from across the country. We heard at the final CLA Forum in Ottawa that members do want an annual national event, focused on important policy-related discussions. Please mark this date in your calendars now, and plan to stay for the Alberta Library Conference while you’re there!

Social Media

Follow us on Twitter @CFLAFCAB (tweeting in both languages) and on Facebook at Canadian Federation of Library Associations (English) and Fédération Canadienne des Associations de Bibliothèques (French). Please stay in touch with CFLA-FCAB through the various channels and engage with us frequently. Website coming soon – please stay tuned.

Transition from CLA

A new national membership in IFLA has been taken out by CFLA-FCAB to replace the one held by CLA. There will be a meeting of the Canadian Caucus at IFLA on Saturday, August 13th at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception. CARL is stepping up on behalf of CFLA this year to cohost with ASTED and LAC-BAC, and further details will be provided soon. CFLA has adopted responsibility for RDA as the Canadian Publisher and will be appointing a representative to the RDA Board shortly. ALA Accreditation processes will be taking place for McGill and UBC this coming fall, and CFLA-FCAB is coordinating the appointment of Canadian representatives on each ALA accreditation panel. In another month we will be in a position to write a more comprehensive report on all CLA activities and initiatives that have been transferred to CFLA-FCAB or another Canadian association.

Recognition of Meritorious Service

The following remarks were made at the CLA Forum in May, during the presentation of a plaque to the CLA Executive Council by the CFLA-FCAB Interim Board.

“On behalf of libraries and library associations across the country, we, as members of the interim Board for the Canadian Federation of Library Associations- Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques would like to present this plaque to the Canadian Library Association (CLA) Executive. This plaque is a small memento, expressing ‘our deepest gratitude to the Canadian Library Association and its dedicated volunteers and staff for tirelessly championing our values, impacting public policy, and strengthening our community over the past 70 years.

CLA has been the national voice for libraries on issues regarding access to information, privacy, intellectual freedom, accessibility, and copyright. CLA has promoted and protected the cultural, economic and educational health of communities through their libraries. In 1946 when CLA was formed, after decades of trying to make it happen, the words spoken at the first proceeding still ring true today. G.R. Lomer, Librarian of McGill University and Director of the Library School said:

As members–to-be of this new, and I trust lusty, Canadian Library Association, let us see to it that this Convention does not fail in the purpose for which it was called. This can be done only if each of us gives what he or she can of personal energy and selfless cooperation, and of social vision. Let this day be the V-Day of our profession in Canada in its war against apathy, ignorance, narrow-mindedness, selfishness, and regionalism of any kind.

We celebrate the contributions of CLA to Canadian society, with our colleagues across the country. At this point in history, we wanted to thank everyone involved throughout the seventy year history of CLA, and mark this moment with appreciation and respect.”

Interim Board at Open Session at CLA

Thanking the CLA Executive

Thank You

We would like to say thank you once again to the Canadian Library Association Executive, for their hard work during a very difficult time, as they wrapped up the business of CLA over the past 18 months. Particular thanks to President Sandra Singh and Executive Director Valoree McKay, both of whom continue to move things along even now.

In addition to the inaugural association members of CFLA-FCAB, we wanted to thank the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) who participated extensively during the transition period before May 2016, helping to determine what was needed for a Canadian association of library associations. CRKN is now also providing storage space for CLA office files and other short-term archives, as a much appreciated in-kind donation.

Finally, I’d like to express a personal thank you to Paul Takala, who has served as interim Chair since the early spring, and provided inspiring leadership for the Interim Board and others. Paul and I will both continue to serve on the Interim Board and Executive until our first election during the inaugural CFLA-FCAB AGM at the end of January.

The AGM will take place in Toronto during OLA Super Conference February 1-4, 2017. The exact date and time for the CFLA-FCAB AGM will be announced soon.

Donna Bourne-Tyson
Interim Chair, CFLA-FCAB
July 2016