I see that we are at a bit of a cross-roads with our profession and the Association. We are being challenged to adapt on both counts – thinking about changes in the law, changes in the legal profession, changes in technology, and changes to our work. As our colleague from AALL Holly Riccio said yesterday, « plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. » We have seen this before. We have seen change our whole careers, and we have prevailed.
Today we see law firms, law schools, courts and other great institutions looking to find ways to meet the future. Fortunately, with our connection to our colleagues across organizations and across Canada through CALL/ACBD, we are particularly situated to see outside those boxes. If we connect and share with one another, we can see what is coming and help the legal profession adapt.
One of my clients has a big sign in their boardroom that reads: “Times of great challenge bring great opportunity”. Two years ago Cyndi Murphy did a great job of going through the CBA Legal Futures documents, putting together slides for the Canadian Bar Association conference that year showing how we, as librarians and other information professionals, fit into that future. We have an understanding of how information works, how to use it to advantage, and how to retain and share knowledge so that future needs are met.
I am excited as we embark on a new period of strategic planning. We are looking to see how the Association stays relevant in a time when the Internet provides so much of our social network and professional development. The Internet, however, is just a platform, just a tool, that we can use to our advantage.
On Sunday at the President’s Roundtable we had people think about the benefits and value the association brings to Members. Some of the ideas we discussed were CALL/ACBD being a place where people share: sharing materials, knowledge and experience. It is a safe space for Members to develop their leadership skills and other competencies. It is a community—of not just colleagues, but also friends. In many cases professionals in our law library community are working alone, and this brings a place where they can find collegiality and a sympathetic ear.
I challenge everyone here to make our student Members and new professionals welcome, to give them the support we have always had ourselves. And how can the Association provide support to our Members throughout their careers?
We will be reaching out with more questions that will help shape our strategic plan for the coming few years. I hope you will join the discussion.At this conference I have learned that my colleagues at CALL/ACBD truly have my back, as so many have helped literally give my thoughts a voice. This is just one example of the supportive, collaborative nature of our Members. I don’t worry about the challenge of the future when I know all of you are here with me. I hope you feel the same.
Click here to view past Presidential Messages.