CLA Library Technicians & Assistants Network Future Planning Session (C2)
Lauren Bourdages, CLA Library Technicians & Assistants Network Moderator, Reserves & User Services Associate, Wilfrid University
Article by: Sonja Myers
Voices were heard as library technicians and assistants from across Canada discussed the future possibilities and changing roles played in the library world. Positive ideas and concerns both played a part in the discussion that can be best described as a learning experience that leaves you wanting more information.
Being in the field of information, concerns were raised as to the lack of it in regards to the new CLA structure. Just like anyone else who reviewed the CLA new vision, there are a lot of gray areas that are not quite clear. In the new proposal one would have to become a member of a provincial network to be a CLA member, would that include Library Technician associations in the provincial network or is it assumed that since the Library Technician associations haven’t been contacted when forming the proposal then they are not included? It’s a great plan in ways of easier networking, and hopefully revival of the CLA.
Library technicians and assistants from each province discussed plans in their career and future projects which they hope to achieve. Surprised by the new programs that would have never crossed a person’s mind unless they were to leave their familiar province, it was equally just as fascinating to hear about topics such as creating student mentoring programs or teaching a student how to break into their field after graduation. Eager plans and ideas were shared that can become a reality, because what is new to one person is a normal fact of life to the other. If all the provinces in the future get together and communicate with each other more freely, then the new possibilities would be endless.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case with library technicians. There may be many, but so few actually speak up. By narrowing down the reasons why this is, hopefully more library technicians will speak up and put in their voice in the CLA. It’s not that there is no library technicians’ voice within the association, it’s that there are so few so it comes out as but a whisper. Of all the student chapters in the CLA, there is only one library technician chapter. By evening out the number of librarians and library technicians within the CLA the membership numbers would not only rise, but it would bring the gap between the two closer together.
It’s equally exciting and terrifying the changes which are being made to CLA. If the CLA decides to also include Provincial Library Technician associations then it would be exciting to be able to get together with like minded, friendly people from across Canada to connect and benefit us all as a whole. If not, then library technicians will once again wonder where they fit in with this new CLA. The seed of potential within the CLA has been planted, and the future is full of possibilities.