Thursday, 28 January 2016

Canadian Library Association to Disband

The following is an announcement from the Canadian Library Association

Today the Canadian Library Association (CLA) took the first formal step to establish a new unified national library advocacy organization.

CLA has been the national voice of the Canadian library community since 1946 and has profoundly changed the awareness of libraries and advanced many issues of critical importance to libraries and to Canadians. The work of CLA has created a permanent legacy that positively impacts Canadian libraries and all Canadians. At the Special General Meeting of the Canadian Library Association held Wednesday January 27, 2016 in Toronto, the membership voted to dissolve the Association.

The dissolution of CLA follows an extensive process during which CLA worked with a large number of library associations across Canada to develop a proposal to advance the interests of libraries. The proposed Canadian Federation of Library Associations unifies the diverse library communities across Canada. CLA’s membership took this decision with a view to the future. Changing times and a proliferation of other library associations has seen a decline in CLA membership resulting in challenges in sustaining an effective organization. It was clearly time to reconsider the viability of the organization. The Executive Committee unanimously supported the motion to dissolve CLA in order to enable the creation of a new national federation. Over the next few months CLA will undertake the normal requirements to wind down an organization and pave the way for the Federation.

While the demise of CLA is regrettable, the rise of the Federation as a new and more effective voice for Canada’s libraries is a reason to celebrate.

Those of us who use newspaper archives will have noted that many of the microfilms of heritage Canadian newspapers were produced because of the efforts of the Canadian Library Association.

The decision to reform into an umbrella advocacy group for provincial and local library organization rather than remaining an individual membership organization is one that some genealogical societies in decline might want to emulate.

No comments: