CLA – The Canadian Library Association’s Faustian Bargain

It is with profound disappointment that we now write, after reading about the CLA’s complete indifference to the current situation facing our colleagues, the libraries and archivists, currently on strike, at the University of Western Ontario. It has not been our practice to outwardly condemn the actions of associations who purport to support our profession in Canada on this website. BUT, after reading the indifferent message that the President of CLA, Karen Adams, on the CAUT listserv, wrote in support of colleagues on strike, we say, “enough is enough”…..we urge our readers to think seriously about how CLA has failed to act, in good faith, in good conscience, in support of our profession not just in the case of UWO but in the case of our colleagues at McMaster. We have long known that CLA was an association that served to advance the administrative careers of professional administrators, more than the profession, itself. Now, Karen Adams has shown this to be true. The role of CLA in our profession has been seriously put into question.

This entry was posted in Academic Librarianship, Canadian Library Association, UWO. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to CLA – The Canadian Library Association’s Faustian Bargain

  1. Gillian Byrne says:

    This is muckraking at its worst – you state that you have “long known that CLA was an association that served to advance the administrative careers of professional administrators, more than the profession, itself” without putting forward a shred of evidence to substantiate that claim; you refer to an “indifferent” message from the CLA president without including or linking to that message. If you have an argument to make, make it with evidence. Inflammatory rants such as this do nothing to support the striking librarians at UWO or the profession of librarianship.

    I would be delighted to see a rational, reasoned argument about the failure of the CLA to protect and support our profession; disappointingly, this is not it.

  2. Jane says:

    Reaction on Twitter that there should be a link to the letter in question. Here is the response from CLA, copied from CAUT list-serv:

    Thank you for the update on the situation at UWO.
    >
    >
    > In any case of negotiations between institutions and library staff, CLA
    > encourages both sides to work in good faith towards fair and equitable
    > settlements that ensure the on-going provision of quality library
    > services to users. As the Canadian Library Association, we count both
    > libraries and all those who work in libraries as members. We cannot and
    > will not indicate support for one side over another in the case of
    > dispute or strike. Each situation involving negotiations is unique, and
    > must be resolved with respect to local circumstances.
    > Karen Adams
    > CLA President

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