President's Message, January - April 2015

by Shannon Babcock

As the seasons change, we at ABQLA are gearing up for Spring and Summer with a full roster of section events and our Annual conference.

This year our conference theme is “Connecting the dots—Libraries and community”. Community includes everyone, whether our professional community, our library patrons or the person walking down the street who has never used a library service in their life! Two very special keynotes will be opening and closing the conference. 2014 Library Journal Mover and Shaker and 'Tour Manager' Smitty Miller, founding Community Development Librarian at Fraser Valley Regional Library in British Columbia, will be opening our day. The closing keynote speaker this year is Aaron DeVries, Manager of the Innisfil IdeaLAB in Ontario. Academic libraries will be talking about building community within an institution, bridging with the community surrounding the institution, and finally building institutional communities via social media.   Innovative public library programs are being showcased, from the use of therapy dogs to encourage literacy to addressing the needs of physically challenged library users. School libraries will hear about the building of the new learning commons library standards here in Canada, and witness a case study right here in Montreal.  As always, our mission in ABQLA is to be inclusive of all communities. In addition, our exhibitors provide us with a great window into what is new and exciting, even continuing our learning outside the sessions as we learn about the latest in library products. Registration is now open for the conference, and the full program can be found here.

This spring we also have a full schedule of events and annual meetings for all of our sections. These events address the needs of School, Public, and Academic libraries and give access to great professional development at low or no cost. Watch our website and social media for more details as they become available.

Speaking of professional development, ABQLA’s participation in The Partnership of provincial and territorial library associations provides our members with access to the Education Institute and the Continuing Education Certificate. ABQLA members can benefit from professionals around the country offering their knowledge and expertise to our library community. Highlights of this spring’s program include free sessions such as this one about being information professionals as well topics ranging from reaching seniors, reading recommendations, and negotiating vendor relationship.

CLA, the Canadian Library Association is facing a revisioning and restructuring. In January, they published a paper proposing new directions and have been working with representatives of the library community across Canada to determine next steps. We will be seeking the input of ABQLA members on this topic in the months to come.  More information about these questions can be found here.

Finally many congratulations to our award winners this spring! Look for articles in this issue about the travel bursary and the student scholarship winners!