Your CALL/ACBD Executive Board has had a busy year. With the exception of the month of August, we met monthly via conference call. This past November, we gathered in Toronto for our annual in-person meeting. For a day and a half, we reviewed and discussed the excellent work of each committee and special interest group of our association. We also identified our budget needs for the 2018 fiscal year. That budget was finalized at the beginning of January.
The Board keeps a close eye on our finances, which we review on a monthly basis. Unfortunately, we are in a deficit situation this year, but we will be doing all that we can to keep our expenses to a minimum, as well as support and maintain our revenue streams.
As discussed in the President’s Roundtable yesterday, we continue to be concerned that our membership is shrinking. There is a bit of good news in relation to this. In 2017 we had 358 members. This year, we have 368. Not a large jump, but a jump none-the-less. This small increase is due to a rise in student memberships. Our National Office notes in their report that membership is the highest it has been since 2014. This is encouraging, and is due in large part to the great work of our Membership Development Committee.
The Toronto Association of Law Libraries approached us a few months ago, asking if we would participate with them in a salary survey of law librarians across Canada. The Executive Board decided that indeed, the time is right for a salary survey, and we would like to participate. Mark Lewis will represent CALL/ACBD on this project. Katie Thomas, both a TALL and a CALL/ACBD member, is also on the committee. You’ll hear more about this in the coming months.
You may know that in December of 2017, the federal government started its mandatory review of the Copyright Act. Over the last while, they have been conducting copyright consultations across the country. On May 11, Kim Nayyer, Co-Chair of our Copyright Committee, appeared on our behalf in front of the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology, addressing four points – interlibrary loan, fair dealing, overriding license provisions, and Crown copyright. Thanks very much to Kim for representing us. Thanks also to our Copyright Committee Co-Chair Ken Fox, and Executive Board liaison Connie Crosby, for assisting Kim in preparing for her appearance in front of the committee.
Kim has had a busy year. In November, she approached the Board with a proposal that we form a Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization Committee. Kim’s hope is that the committee and this initiative will look at ways to make our association more inclusive and inviting to diverse groups of people in the profession, and find ways for our profession to adopt practices that are mindful of our diverse clients. In December, the Executive Board officially formed the Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization Committee. This brand new committee met for the first time yesterday morning, and you’ll notice they’ve already provided a report for the AGM. Not only do these important issues require the work of a committee, the Board felt that these issues also require a statement that our whole association can stand behind. Our association’s diversity statement has been crafted, and will be brought to the membership in the form of a resolution in part two of our AGM tomorrow.
Our Association is a member of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations – the CFLA. In 2016, the CFLA determined that their highest priority was to help libraries respond to the Calls to Action found in the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They established the CFLA Truth and Reconciliation Committee, which delivered a report early in 2017 that contained 10 overarching recommendations. The first recommendation was to establish a Standing Committee on Indigenous Matters, which they did. Tim Knight, Cathy Cotter, Alexia Loumankis, and Margo Jeske, represent CALL/ACBD on that committee.
At the CALL/ACBD Executive Board meeting in April of this year, the Board decided that we would like our association to officially state that we support the recommendations presented in the Report. This will be brought to the membership in the form of a resolution tomorrow, during the second part of our AGM.
At our Executive Board meeting earlier this month, the Board decided that starting this year, we would announce the Honoured Member nominees in advance of the Annual General Meeting. In the past, all nominees were kept secret from the membership until the AGM. Over the years, we’ve definitely enjoyed the element of surprise, but the Board decided that informing members of nominations in advance will better highlight this tradition, ensure all nominees are in attendance, and allow nominees to prepare for the event. This will also give members time to prepare comments if they wish to speak in support of nominations at the AGM.
Our Board continues to think about the future of our profession and our association. Yesterday, at our President’s Roundtable, we discussed the future of the profession and how it relates to CALL/ACBD. Notes of that session were kept, and the Board will be looking closely at the ideas that came up during the discussion.
In December, when Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin retired from the Supreme Court, I sent her a letter on behalf of the association, congratulating her on her retirement, and thanking her for her leadership.
Finally, I acknowledge the work of our Executive Board. Vice-President - Shaunna Mireau, Treasurer - George Tsiakos, Secretary - Jennifer Walker, Members-at-large Karen Sawatzky and Michel-Adrien Sheppard, and Past President - Connie Crosby – make up a hard working team. We are fortunate to have such an engaged group at our helm. I am privileged to be working with them.
Thanks also to our National Officer, Nicole Cork. She is my right-hand person, and keeps me on track. Thanks also to Jessica Symons, and Samantha Chow, our event planners, for all the work they have done for us this year.Thank-you.
Ann Marie Melvie
Click here to view past Presidential Messages.