President's Message - March 2012

This past year was filled with excitement for ABQLA members, and it goes without saying, for its President. And it is with great pleasure that I reported on this at the Partnership meeting in Toronto. For those who are not familiar with the Partnership, it is a group that consists of the Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Executive Directors of every library association of every province, territory, and region of Canada. We meet twice per year to discuss national issues and do much valuable networking.

First, I was pleased to report that our 2011 one-day conference on mobility was a smashing success and that we were already way ahead in the planning of our 2012 conference to be held on Thursday May 3rd at The New Residence Hall at McGill University. This year’s theme is Opening Up, Innovation and Access and it looks as promising and as timely as our mobility theme.  I also reported that in 2012, ABQLA will be celebrating its 80th Annual Conference.  This was cause for many positive comments from the members of the Partnership as was the distribution of our conference flyers prepared for the  Congrès des milieux documentaires.  And just between you and me, due to last year’s success, I recommended that they sign-up early since space is limited.

In addition, I was happy to report that we sponsored a session at the 2011 Congrès des milieux documentaires.  Cathy Dempsey’s talk entitled Marketing Messages That Matter attracted some 50 participants. I explained that we were very pleased with this turnout because the Congrès is a gathering that mainly welcomes French-speaking delegates.

In December, the annual CODE fundraiser also gave us reason to celebrate.  ABQLA teamed up with CLA’s Montreal Network and SLA’s Eastern Canada Chapter to organize the annual fundraiser in support of CODE, following a tradition that is now on its 28th year.

This time there was the added excitement of having the event at Phillips Lounge, a new downtown venue that provided a fantastic setting for the evening.  This edition of the fundraiser was highly successful and the CODE committee is extremely grateful to everyone who supported the event.

All this renewed interest in our association got us thinking that it was time to refresh our look. The Communications Committee came up with a new logo approved by the Board that will reflect a more dynamic image of our association. The new logo is more aesthetically appealing for use on the website and on print material.   And with this new logo a redesign of our website which is already underway became evident. So come and visit us at  in the next couple of weeks to discover our new look.

The Partnership had also asked us to reflect on our challenges as an association. Most of us shared one main challenge and that is concerning a succession plan for our associations’ committees.  How can we guarantee the survival of our associations mainly supported by volunteers? Perks to the job such as attendance at conferences like the OLA Super Conference and the CLA annual conference is certainly a major draw but other perks may need to be offered to help welcome new people and new ideas to our boards and committees.

This full day of discussion with the Partnership was followed by the annual OLA Super-Conference held in Toronto on February 1st to 4th.  The theme this year was Innovation, Imagine. Innovate. Impact.  The buzz words were The Future is Here. I will not attempt to summarize this totally thought-provoking 4 day conference but will invite you instead to visit the OLA website at  and download any session that might interest you.

As I am writing this last President’s Message, I am wondering what else I could have wished for during my term as President and I have come to the conclusion that just seeing the renewed interest in our events and a fresh, new optimism from everyone I worked with this past year was extremely rewarding and that I could not have asked for more.

Julie-Anne Cardella