Via Canadian Library Association
The first “CLA on the Hill” day was a tremendous success. The day started with an Advocacy Boot Camp which gave delegates a context for our activities, training in how to manage a meeting, and the key talking points for the day. Then more than 60 members were divided into 18 teams, and fanned out over the Hill for meetings with 63 MPs, Senators, and key Hill staff. CLA members highlighted copyright legislation, library book rate, the Community Access Program, and budget cuts affecting federal libraries and Library and Archives Canada as key issues. Many members also attended Question Period – a highlight of the day!
Our Hill Day advocacy had some immediate impact, with a question being raised in Question Period the next day on the Community Access Program, and reference to our key issues in the latest debate on Bill C-321 on Library Book Rate.
The opening night reception was a fantastic party. Even after a late vote, several MPs made the effort to join us. MonkeyJunk were fabulous! – when was the last time anyone danced at a CLA opening reception?!
The opening keynote speaker, Daniel Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada, was not without controversy. He outlined a vision of future activities and services for our national institution, and discussed some of the implications of the modernization process as well as the recent federal budget cuts. Before his presentation, two conference delegates as well as several non-delegates handed out black ribbons in support of CAUT’s day of action, protesting Dr. Caron’s decisions with respect to the required cuts to the LAC budget (CLA commented on the cuts in a press release on 2 May). CLA had to ask the non-delegates to leave the conference space, as is common practice for associations holding a trade show.
Following the keynote, Dr Caron participated in a lively Q&A session. The keynote speech and a transcript of the Q&A session will be made available on the CLA post-conference website in the coming days. As President Karen noted at the closing session: it’s not often that we have an opening keynote that is still being discussed at the end of the conference!
The CLA National Conference is the venue for library staff and library supporters from across the country to engage, debate and learn. More than 800 delegates took part in this year’s gathering. Make your plans to join us in Winnipeg next year!
For full post, photos, transcripts and more, visit: www.cla.ca.