Holiday greetings to all! We are writing to announce a new, national non-profit membership organization that is being created to promote, advance and support the profession of academic librarianship and to further the professional interests of academic librarians in Canada: entitled the Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL).
After the November 18, 2011 Symposium, “Academic Librarianship: A Crisis or Opportunity” held at the University of Toronto, there was a clear directive from those attending that there was a need for a strong, vocal and pro-active association to support the interests of academic librarians in Canada.
While we share many values and goals with librarian colleagues working in other sectors we believe that there is a need for an association focused specifically on the unique concerns of academic librarianship. To this end, we define professional academic librarians as those colleagues with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (or from a program in a country with a formal accreditation process as identified by ALA’s Human Resource Development and Recruitment Office) who work at, or aspire to work at, degree-granting post-secondary institutions.
Since the fall symposium, a small working group has started to lay the foundation for such an association. Three documents, a Mission Statement, a Terms of Reference and Academic Librarianship: A Statement of Principles have been prepared in anticipation of the creation of this organization. A website has been created and a membership page has been set up in Eventbrite. Interested members can join the association and at that time indicate their willingness to join committees that reflect the interests of our community. In the hope of fostering a strong new generation of professionals, we have also made provisions for the establishment of a student committee which will act as an active liaison between the organization and future academic librarians-in-training.
In the first year we will need to build and strengthen our infrastructure, working with our committees to identify and set priorities, and to begin to lay the groundwork for future plans. The first membership meeting is being planned for the end of January in Toronto. We hope you will join us!