With the permission of Thomas Hickerson we are circulating an email he wrote to the CARL-list (August 30) and which has also been circulated on the CAUT Librarians list (August 30):
As many of you are aware, Canadian members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) were notified this week that Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC) is planning to withdraw from ARL membership. Some Canadian ARL members expressed their regret regarding this decision and raised concern about LAC institutional participation internationally and nationally. Regarding this matter, I arranged for a phone conversation with Daniel Caron, and we spoke this morning.
In today’s conversation, he explained that as an element in the challenges resulting from the extensive funding reductions this year, LAC reviewed all of its various membership commitments. He confirmed that LAC would withdraw ARL, explained the framework employed in making such decisions and confirmed those memberships to which LAC remains committed. Internationally, these include the International Federation of Library Associations and the International Council on Archives. Nationally, these include the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Canadian Library Association, Association pour l’avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation, L’association des bibliothécaires du Québec, and Association of Canadian Archivists.
Commitment to continuing discussion regarding CARL/LAC collaboration was expressed, including arrangements for his meeting with the CARL Board during our Fall General Meeting in Ottawa.
While I regret the decision to withdraw from ARL, I appreciated the forthright discussion and feel that this significantly addresses some of the specific concerns raised by this decision.
H. Thomas Hickerson, Vice Provost and University Librarian, University of Calgary, Administrative Suite, Taylor Family Digital Library, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4