President's Message - June - August 2012

WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN FOR ABQLA!

It started with a fabulous kick-off and ended with an exciting conference. In between all that, ABQLA hosted a highly relevant session at the Congrès des milieux documentaires du Québec, re-vamped its website, started updating its bylaws, published interesting issues of The Bulletin, participated in the CODE fundraiser, and each section organized fun and interesting events. As Chair of the 2012 Conference Planning Committee, I had the pleasure of working with a truly dedicated and enthusiastic group of people. We were able to attract world-class speakers and a record-breaking crowd. We had wonderful involvement from our sponsors as well. Truly, without their participation, it would be impossible to host such an event. We also managed to fit in some networking and socializing opportunities into the day as well, particularly during the 80th Anniversary Cocktail and the Anne Galler Award Dinner. I wish our new Vice-President, Robin Canuel, good luck with the planning of the 2013 Conference.
 
Still on my conference “high”, I was delighted to represent ABQLA at the Canadian Library Association Conference and Tradeshow in Ottawa at the end of May. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn something new, meet people, renew old acquaintances, and touch base with some of our sponsors. In addition to the usual conference activities, Maria Varvarikos, Carole Laguë and I had the chance to participate in CLA’s first ever, “CLA on the Hill” – Advocacy Afternoon. Maria and I had the opportunity to attend the Question Period in the House of Commons. Then we joined Carole to meet directly with Mr. Marc Garneau, Liberal MP and with Mr. Maxime Beaudoin, Parliamentary Assistant to Ms. Mylène Freeman, MP for the NDP. Mr. Garneau and Mr. Beaudoin were very kind and attentive in listening to some of our concerns, particularly the cuts to Library and Archives Canada and federal government libraries. For me, these meetings certainly took me out of my comfort zone; however they were eye-opening. I only wish that we could have met with a Conservative MP as
well. It would have been interesting to get their perspective on this difficult situation.
 
As your representative at the CLA Conference, I had the opportunity to attend the Provincial Association Leaders Meeting. There, I heard from other associations, big and small. Although we all work at different scales, it was interesting (and consoling) to hear that we are all faced with similar challenges and opportunities. For the coming year, I look forward to working with the new Board of Directors. Stay tuned for information on our Fall Kickoff and section events. Also, don’t forget to take a look at the program of the Congrès des milieux documentaires du Québec. Having had the opportunity to attend the CLA, OLA and CMD conferences in the last year, I can tell you that the Congrès is definitely on par with the other large conferences. It is great that ABQLA can participate in such a worthwhile event. Finally, I would like to wish you all a wonderful and restful summer.
 
P.S. Kudos to our very own Elizabeth Lemyre and Sonia Djevalikian of the Kirkland Municipal Library, for winning the 2011, Splash, TD Summer Reading Club Library Award at the CLA Conference. Each year, the TD Summer Reading Club Library Awards “…recognize and reward … the most innovative and effective TD Summer Reading Club programs in local public libraries across Canada.” For more information on this award and to consider submitting your summer reading program for next year’s awards, visit: http://www.td-club-td.ca/index-e.html.