From the President's Desk

May 2017

Closing Remarks from the 2017 Annual General Meeting:

Je suis très honorée et flatée, d’être en face de vous aujourd’hui, en tant que Présidente de ACBD/CALL. La barre est très haute pour moi, et je ne suis pas très grande.

I am very honoured, and at the same time humbled, to be standing in front of you today as the new President of CALL/ACBD. I’ve got big shoes to fill, and my feet are very small.

I am very much looking forward to the journey we are embarking on together for the next two years.  

I attended my very first CALL/ACBD conference right here in Ottawa in 1991. I have a clear memory of being at the AGM – and in particular I remember Cyndi Murphy getting up to the mike to ask a question. I thought she was so incredibly brave to do so and wondered if I would ever be brave enough to ask a question. And here we are today.

First of all, I would like to say “thank-you” to a number of people.

Connie, will you please stand? On behalf of the entire CALL/ACBD Board and the members of our association, I thank you for the leadership you’ve given us over the past four years, first as Vice-President, and then as President. There are many things I admire about you, but one thing that stands out for me is your ability to always look at the bigger picture. With that picture in mind, you strategically look for ways to move our association forward. You care about how CALL/ACBD operates now, and you think about and care about how our association might look in the future. As you move into the role of Past-President, the new Board and I will appreciate your good advice.

Please join me in showing our appreciation to Connie!

Annette, will you please stand? On behalf of the Board, I say thank-you to our out-going Past President, Annette Demers. Annette – you have worked tirelessly for our association for the past six years, and you’ve accomplished a lot. When you became President, one of the key areas you wanted to focus on was education. You wanted CALL to provide high-quality educational programming in a cohesive manner informed by member needs and core competencies. As a result, the Professional Development Pathways document came to be. It was your idea, and you were instrumental in its development. This document will be used for years to come by our Professional Development Committee, our webinar sub-committee, and future conference planners, to help ensure that we have a broad array of professional development offerings for our members. So much of your work in the last six years is a legacy to the association. Annette, you are the only person I know who can take part in meaningful discussion at a board meeting while at the same time putting together a document or an email message on a totally different topic that will be helpful to board members. You are amazing.

Please join me in showing Annette our appreciation!

Thank you to the outgoing members of the executive, with whom I served while as Vice President –Alicia Loo, Erica Anderson, and Maryvon Cote. I’ve learned a lot about the association from you, I’ve enjoyed our discussions, and I’ve truly enjoyed working with each one of you. On behalf of CALL/ACBD, I thank you for all the work you have done over the past two years. And Jennifer Walker, I look forward to continuing on the Board with you for another two years.

Let’s give the outgoing Board members one more round of applause.

Thank you to Nicole Cork, Jessica Symons, Claire Leahy, and other members of the staff at our National Office. They perform many key operations for the association, and they keep us ticking along nicely.  

Let’s show them our appreciation.

My two years as vice-president went by in a heartbeat, and I know that the next two years will go by quickly as well.

Many of you know Denis LeMay, who was the President of our Association from 1991 to 1993. He told me recently, and I quote, “the timeline of office for the executive board members is thus: the vice-president looks to the future (conference planning, the presidency); the past president looks to the past (archives, memory, etc.) The only time left for the presidency is the present!”

As I take on this new role in our association, I have a lot to be encouraged about:

  • I am encouraged by the dedicated CALL/ACBD members who devote so much of their time to our association.
  • I am encouraged that our Membership Development Committee is creatively exploring ways to retain and attract new members.
  • I am encouraged that I’ve met new members who aren’t law librarians in the traditional sense, yet who understand the benefit of belonging to an organization such as ours.
  • I am encouraged that we have a good number of young librarians who have joined our association over the past few years.
  • I am encouraged by our New Professionals Special Interest Group. On Sunday, I attended their business meeting. Note I didn’t attend because I am a new professional, but because I wanted them to know that as incoming president, I support them 100%.  Fifteen enthusiastic new librarians were in attendance, and I learned that their SIG actually has thirty members!
  • I am encouraged by the innovation shown by the SIGs and Committees during their business meetings. They are really engaging their own members, and are also attracting members who might not ordinarily feel drawn to their business meetings.  
  • I am encouraged by the new faces we see in our exhibit hall.
  • I am encouraged by the innovation I saw on Sunday in the Lightning Talks.
  • I am encouraged by the way we are interacting with our wider network –for example, the relationship we are building with the new Canadian Federation of Library Associations.
  • I am encouraged by the opportunities that are arising for legal information specialists in new technology start-ups.
  • I am encouraged by the speaker in the tech talk on Monday who said that we’re not going to be replaced by robots any time soon.

My goal as president is to keep this fine ship, the SS CALL/ACBD, on course, because I think we are going in the right direction. Things are going well, we have our rudder in the water, and we are going forward with the wind at our back. We are a healthy, vibrant organization, and with your help, I want to keep the sails up.

Moving forward, we will continue to look strategically at what our association might look like in the future. Just yesterday, in her president’s roundtable, Connie led a good discussion about what our conferences might look like in the future. This is a great start.

This is your association. If over the next few years, you have anything you need to talk to me about, feel free to send me an email or give me a call.

Members of the new Board – Connie Crosby, Shaunna Mireau, Jennifer Walker, George Tsiakos, Karen Sawatzky, and Michel-Adrien Sheppard, I am really looking forward to working with you. I know that together, we will be able to accomplish a lot for our association.

Merci, et j’ai hate de travailler avec vous au cours des deux prochaines années.

Thank-you and I look forward to working with you over the next two years! 

Ann Marie Melvie
President, CALL/ACBD


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