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Karen Adams is the new President of the Canadian Library Association


For Immediate Release

(Ottawa, June 6, 2011) – Karen Adams, Director of Libraries of the University of Manitoba, began her term as President of the Canadian Library Association at the 2011 CLA National Conference and Trade show in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 28. Karen assumes the role in a period of transition for CLA, and will lead the Association for the next 18 months.

She grew up in Manitoba’s Interlake region, and received her BA (Hons) in English Literature from the University of Manitoba in 1967, and M.L.S. from the University of Western Ontario in 1975.

During the period 1998-2008, she was the Director of Library Services and Information Resources for the University of Alberta Libraries, serving as chief operating officer of the library system. Prior to that, she served 7 years as Executive Director of the Ottawa-based Canadian Library Association, a national organization representing the interests of library workers and libraries of all types. Her research interest continues to be information policy, with particular emphasis on copyright, and she is co-editor with Dr. William Birdsall of Understanding Telecommunications and Public Policy: A Guide for Libraries (1998) and Access to Information in a Digital World (2004). For the last eight years, she has written the Canadian chapter in the Library and Book Trade Almanac, with emphasis on federal information policy.

In a career that also includes teaching and consulting, Karen has been Saskatchewan Provincial Librarian (1984-1990) and Director of Public Library Services, Government of Manitoba (1980-1984).

Karen currently serves on the Canadian Association of Research Libraries Board and chairs its Public Policy Committee. She has recently served on the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada’s advisory committee on copyright, and the American Library Association’s Presidential Task Force on Library Education. She was also the Canadian representative on the ALA Committee on Accreditation from 2004 to 2008.

In her position at the University of Manitoba, she is responsible for a $24 million budget and 280 academic and support staff, located in 19 libraries on the Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses, and in the City’s hospitals.

The Canadian Library Association is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, librarians, library workers, and library trustees and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy. Comprehensive information about CLA and its programs and services is available on the CLA web site:

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