The On To Ottawa Trek – Jason's Version

Exciting news!  I've been asked to attend the Canadian Library Human Resources Summit in Ottawa on October 6-7.  It's sort of short notice but an all-expenses trip paid to Ottawa so who am I to complain? 

Here's the blurb I was sent which explains a bit more about what the summit is and how it came about:

The Canadian library community has an invaluable data resource through the research of the 8Rs Research Team on the state and future of human resources in the Canadian library community. To assist practitioners and management to use the research, in 2005 then CLA-President Stephen Abram struck the President’s Council, composed of individuals from a variety of practice settings. The President's Council in the past year has focused primarily on information gathering, with the major project being the Info*Nation website ( These projects have helped to bring in other contextual information to the published 8Rs report, and have continued to raise the profile of the work that has been done thus far.

The key question for the next incarnation of the President's Council is how to map out the next stage of work: an action-oriented national strategy. This strategy should include actions designed to ensure that the sum of work already accomplished by the President’s Council is maintained. CLA has offered to lead a community-wide effort in partnership with other associations and organizations that can commit resources to achieving the project goals.

VISION: To develop a national strategy and action plans that will ensure an adequate supply of well-educated, well-trained librarians and information professionals who will meet Canada’s knowledge and information management needs in the first three decades of the 21^st century.


· To build upon the President’s Council work and to recommend specific actions that will lead towards the achievement of this vision.

· To propose and promote specific actions and outcomes to be undertaken by organizations and associations on key human resource issues.

The Summit’s agenda will involve research presentations on several different human resource concerns we are currently facing in the library community, including the accessibility of MLIS education, leadership development models, and continuing professional development for staff. These presentations will include models that could be adopted by the Canadian library community to address the concerns. After the presentations, small breakout groups will discuss whether these models (or others) might be feasible from their perspective, and report their discussions back to the larger group.

The Summit delegates represent a range of library sectors (academic, public, and special; representing individual libraries as well as associations). The delegates tend to be senior administrators, human resource managers, and/or executive association members who have much experience in the field and have the ability to speak to their area’s need for and interest in a particular strategy.”

I booked my flight tonight and will get to Ottawa late on Saturday afternoon.  I'll have that evening and all day Sunday to be a tourist before going to the conference on Monday and Tuesday (anybody in Ottawa want to get together for supper and/or drinks?). 

I don't know what they're calling us but the seven “youth delegates” as I think of the group of new librarians who've been invited have also been asked to blog about their experiences so I'll be sure to post that URL when it's up. 

That whole idea about “find an specialty and become a ranking practitioner within your first three years as a librarian” that was raised in a list of tips for new librarians by Wendy Newman that I reprinted has me wondering if Library HR/Organization Development might turn out to be my specialty?  That would be…unexpected. 

But it makes sense in some ways.  In fact, I had a conversation today with someone and we both wondered if I may be the only professional librarian working in the HR department of a public library in Canada?  Who knows?  Maybe I'll find out at the Summit…

Comments 7

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I'll be at Access this week and will only be back in Ottawa on Saturday night. However, on Sunday I should be free for some drinks or to act as a tour guide for part of the day, if needed. There's lots to see around town, so if you need any suggestions, feel free to e-mail or Facebook message me.

    Posted 01 Oct 2008 at 11:22 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm just a couple hours away in MTL but alas no car.
    Hmm, so I've been working for 3 yrs and still don't have that specialty and certainly not “a ranking practitioner”. Colour me full of fail.

    Posted 01 Oct 2008 at 1:54 pm
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I was invited to be a youth delegate too, but they changed their minds when they found out that I'm not actually a librarian yet. 😛 Have fun!

    Posted 02 Oct 2008 at 12:32 pm
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Hey, I'd love to get together but I have Cubs on Monday and am heading to Toronto Tuesday evening.
    Lousy timing. Looks like a fun gig though.

    Posted 02 Oct 2008 at 7:43 pm
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    Well, I didn't say Org Development was my specialty – only that it might become so.

    Posted 05 Oct 2008 at 5:29 am
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Sounds like they need to hear from you more than they need to hear from me!
    If you have any thoughts on recruitment or other HR issues, feel free to post a comment or send me a private message and I'll look for an opportunity to pass them along.
    Hope you find something soon.

    Posted 05 Oct 2008 at 5:31 am
  7. Anonymous wrote:

    That's too bad – it would've been great to see you.
    Next time…

    Posted 05 Oct 2008 at 5:32 am

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