Update on January 31, 2013 CAPAL Membership Meeting at OISE, Toronto

Dear CAPAL members,

We had a constructive meeting on January 31, which began with an open forum (45 min) followed by a membership update, despite conflicts with sessions at the Super OLA Conference and the wintery blast that swept into Toronto on that day. After an initial welcome and a brief update on the origins of CAPAL, important discussions arose. Jane Schmidt from CLA kindly joined the meeting and asked some pertinent questions, for example, why not address these issues within CLA? As we discussed at the meeting, academic librarianship has distinct concerns that are unique to our profession and, which differ from those in corporate, public or other types of libraries. Academic librarians are members of post-secondary institutes which uphold the principles of academic freedom and the value of scholarship and research. Our members come from diverse backgrounds with a range of advanced degrees, in addition, to their professional, master’s degree in information studies. Our interests and concerns do differ, as do our professional responsibilities: scholarship, professional practice and service. When joining CAPAL, members selected their primary areas of interest and/or committees. The top three choices were scholarship in the profession, publication, communication and education, which, in turn, will be CAPAL’s priorities. We will shortly be undertaking a poll of our membership to confirm our priorities, beyond the basics of founding a national organization (legal, technical, constitution, etc.) to ensure that we focus on the most pertinent issues at the beginning.

The meeting concluded with a positive vision for the future. We had excellent feedback on our priorities and concluded with a clear sense of direction. We are surging forward and will provide further updates shortly. We also gained two new members after this meeting who have joined the steering committee, what we originally called the organizing group. Kathryn Rose from Memorial University from the east coast who will voice concerns from the east and Juliya Borie from the University of Toronto, who has volunteered to translate our website into French for our Quebec members. We must all remember that CAPAL remains an organic entity, a membership organization, that will change with contributions from the membership. If you have further questions about the meeting, please do write to any members of the steering committee or to the general CAPAL email, capalibrarians@gmail.com.

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