Looking Back on Recent Developments in Library Associations and Institutions in Canada
June 30, 2020
The latest issue of Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research includes several articles on the recent history of library associations and organizations in Canada:
Shift Happens: The Recent Evolution of Canadian Library Associations
Susan Cleyle, Suzanne van den Hoogen
Expectations weigh heavily on the shoulders of Canadian library associations. Association members and library workers increasingly demand that library associations assume the role of professional development provider, policy developer, advocate and lobbyist. As a result, associations must evaluate the landscape in which they are operating, and be prepared to align their mission, vision and values to ensure they are meeting the expectations of their respective library sectors and communities. This paper introduces five articles written by leaders in Canadian library associations that recently undertook a significant shift in their structure, focus and direction following a period of evaluation and reflection. Three guiding principles emerge from these articles: listen to your community, do not go it alone, and any shift, big or small, takes time.
This paper explores the history of the Canadian Library Association (CLA-ACB), from its inception in 1946 to its disbanding in 2016. While the CLA-ACB is not without accomplishments, especially in the areas of lobbying and advocacy, the association’s financial instability and challenges encountered in meeting member expectations ultimately led to its dissolution. Extensive consultation with the library community confirmed the continued need for a national library voice, best achieved through a new model, a federation of library associations.
Leading Change and Restructuring the Manitoba Library Association
Provincial and regional library associations provide the infrastructure for effective library advocacy, professional learning, development and networking, and help to lead libraries forward. This article highlights the re-structuring of the Manitoba Library Association, a project initiated to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization.
The Fédération des milieux documentaires (FMD): a federation of associations and institutions
Lionel Villalonga, Réjean Savard
Creation of a new grouping for increased professional cooperation in Quebec. For several decades, associations and groups for information professionals in Quebec have tried to create a federation of associations within the information science community. This newly created entity hopes to bring together the main players within this community all the while eliminating a level of competition between associations, thereby boosting professional solidarity of all those involved in the field. This article recounts the creation process up to the presentation of the objectives of the Fédération des milieux documentaires, which was officially established in 2018.
The CARL Portage Partnership Story
Portage is the research data management initiative of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and its story has been very much about establishing partnerships in a complex environment to advance research data management services and infrastructure in Canada. Many jurisdictions make up the space in which research data management takes place. A variety of legal, political, cultural, economic, technological, and scientific factors are at play and how they fit together depends on the connections between a number of stakeholders. The levels at which these stakeholders operate and the transient nature of research data itself made the development of partnerships a complex undertaking for Portage. This article describes the building of partnerships in a multi-jurisdictional environment, discusses challenges in operating in Canada’s digital research ecosystem, and highlights the importance of working with Canada’s regional academic library associations in laying the foundations for digital research infrastructure to support data management.
“Spinning In”: The Merger of Canadiana.org with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network / Réseau canadien de documentation pour la recherché.
Jonathan Bengtson, Carol Shepstone
This article explores the background and process that led to the merger of the Canadian Research Knowledge Network / Réseau canadien de documentation pour la recherche and Canadiana.org in 2018. Seizing a moment of opportunity in a rapidly shifting digital research landscape, the two organizations “spun in” to each other in order to leverage their complementary mandates and overlapping memberships. The new merged organization is now better positioned to meet the challenges of collaborative work in research and Canadian heritage content acquisition and access.