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CLA President Appoints President's Council on the 8Rs Securing Our Future: Sustaining the Library Movement

Canadian Library Association President, Stephen Abram, today announced the formation ofthe CLA President's Council on the 8R's. The Council will be chaired by widely respected and admired CLA Past-president Wendy Newman. The Council will delve into the report of the 8R's Research - 8 key issues facing libraries in the coming decade. These are recruitment, retirement, retention, rejuvenation, repatriation, re-accreditation, remuneration, and restructuring.

The results are being presented in a series of reports summarizing data for each library sector from administrations and staff, focusing on recent changes and anticipated challenges with respect to their human resource strategies. Visit www.ls.ualberta.ca/8rs/reports.html to view the reports; the Executive Summary in PDF is available here.

The initial 8Rs report entitled The Future of Human Resources in Canadian Libraries will be ormally released June 17, 2005 by the 8Rs Research Team at the CLA Conference in Calgary. This report represents the culmination of nearly twoyears of intense research, including a survey of 461 library administrators and human resource managers, a survey of over 2,200 librarians and nearly 2,000 paraprofessionals, in-depth telephone interviews with 17 library administrators and 3 focus group sessions. A literature review and analyses of existing data were also conducted.

Ernie Ingles, Chair of the 8Rs Team and Vice-Provost (Learning Services) & Chief Librarian at the University of Alberta stated, "The 8Rs research data is an unparalleled and unprecedented body of data from which we can start to identify strategies and tactics to address the discoveries made in the research. It is a very exciting opportunity for CLA to provide national leadership on the issues of the 8Rs."

The 8Rs research project began in response to calls for a greater understanding of several intersecting human resource challenges believed to be facing Canadian libraries. Of primary concern was that of having a sufficient number of adequately trained and experienced staff that could succeed a senior librarian workforce poised to retire in large numbers over the next 5 to10 years.

Stephen Abram said, "I believe that this President's Council on the 8Rs is an exciting and critical project for Canadian libraries and I hope it will provide a legacy for generations of libraries and library workers to come. I want to ensure that this Council achieves wide support and recognition. I am especially pleased that widely respected and admired CLA Past-president Wendy Newman has agreed to chair the President's Council on the 8Rs. Almost 30 leading CLA members from across Canada in all regions and types of libraries and from all sectors, representing a diverse range of points of view have accepted my call for participation. It is this kind of volunteer effort that makes CLA and the Canadian library movement stronger."

Wendy Newman, Council Chair and Librarian in Residence at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information Studies and former CEO of Brantford Public Library asserted that "The report covers much ground that has never before been examined in libraries. The 8Rs study provides the data and analysis to inform national coalitions and partnerships between libraries, educational institutions, and representative professional associations of the issues surrounding the supply and demand of the workforce. In doing so, the study permits an unprecedented opportunity to assess our readiness to accommodate change and to illuminate potential strategies that can be used by libraries in planning their own human resources."

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is Canada's major national library association, representing the concerns of some 57,000 individuals who work in library and information services in Canada. CLA encompasses all types of libraries - public, school, post-secondary academic and special (private- and public-sector) - from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

8Rs Research Team

The 8Rs Research Team is comprised of:

University of Alberta
Ernie Ingles (Chair), Vice-Provost (Learning Services) & Chief Librarian
Kathleen De Long, Associate Director, Finance and Human Resources
Chuck Humphrey, Data Library Coordinator
Allison Sivak, Research Associate

Tandem Social Research Consulting
Dr. Marianne Sorensen, Chief Methodologist
Jennifer de Peuter, Research Associate



The work of the 8Rs Research Team is also being supported by:

Canadian Association of Research Libraries
Canadian Urban Libraries Council
Alberta Community Development, Government of Alberta
Library and Archives of Canada
University of Alberta
Ontario Library Association
Saskatchewan Provincial Library, Saskatchewan Learning, Government of Saskatchewan
University of Manitoba
Toronto Public Library
Atlantic Provinces Library Association
New Brunswick Public Library Service
Government of Prince Edward Island
Library Association of Alberta
Nova Scotia Provincial Library
British Columbia Library Association
Association pour l’avancement des techniques de la documentation
Association of New Brunswick Librarians

These sponsors were prescient in morally and financially supporting this research to build a foundation for a knowledge and data driven strategy for the library sector. Lastly, the study would not have been possible without the willing participation of the many library staff members who took the time to diligently complete lengthy and detailed surveys. This study truly represents a major national effort and investment in understanding the future of our library movement. I have read the report and it is huge, and deep, and rich. It will take years for us to mine its wealth of information and insights! For more information visit www.ls.ualberta.ca/8rs.