President's Message, May-August 2014

Greetings ABQLA members,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you for the very first time as President of ABQLA. For those I have not yet met, this past year, I had the privilege to serve ABQLA as Vice-President of the Association and Conference Planning Committee. Prior to this I served as School section President and Vice-President, so have now had the opportunity to get to know the ABQLA Board over a number of years.  I look forward to the coming year and the great ABQLA experiences that lie ahead.

As this is the “conference issue” of the Bulletin, huge congratulations are due to the amazing conference planning committee and volunteers! Pulling together a conference is always a great deal of effort. This group of extremely dedicated library professionals ensured that we had resonant theme, a top-notch roster of speakers, more vendors than ever before, more student attendees than ever before, and for the first time ever, we sold out the venue! Congratulations on a job well done!  Please see our conference website for presentations and slides that you might like to revist. Sonia Smith, our very capable new Vice-President, is taking on the role of Conference Chair this year, I wish her and this year’s committee continued success. All the best Sonia!

This year’s conference also saw the first winners of the new ABQLA awards. Congratulations to Alisa Soukhodolskaia and Jennifer Zhao on receiving the first ABQLA travel bursaries, and additional congratulations to Allison Smith on being awarded the first ABQLA student scholarship. We look forward to hearing about your work! These are great added benefits available to ABQLA members.

Congratulations also go to Wendy Wayling, recipient of this year's Anne Galler Award. The award is for outstanding library service, to an individual who has enriched librarianship in Quebec and has made a lasting contribution to the profession. In addition to serving ABQLA in many capacities, including President, Wendy has been the Children's Librarian at Westmount Public Library for many years, and has had a lasting impact on young people and families in her community. Well done Wendy!

It is likely not a coincidence that our highest level of student participation in the conference came the same year that we introduced free ABQLA membership for students of recognised library programs. These future library leaders are off to a great start, joining a professional association and pursuing professional development at this early stage of their careers.

In June I performed my first official duty as representative of ABQLA at the Canadian Library Association conference in Victoria, British Columbia. It was a great opportunity to connect with the other associations, and colleagues, as well as our valued exhibitors. The new national standards for school libraries were also unveiled at this time, a very exciting day!

And what of the year ahead? As an association, we have access to wonderful webinars through the Education Institute, and what is more, your professional activities can count towards the CEC, the Continuing Education Certificate. We can look forward to a packed timetable of relevant professional activities, networking with colleagues at the social events, and ongoing learning through our section events and next year’s conference. Our association is growing and evolving, and it is exciting to see.

Have a wonderful summer, I look forward to seeing you this Fall.

Shannon Babcock

President, ABQLA