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ARL Views

ARL and CARL Memberships Convene in Toronto for Joint Spring 2022 Meeting

Last Updated on September 8, 2022, 4:51 pm ET

Toronto skyline with purple light. Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
image © iStock.com

In April 2022, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) convened in Toronto, Ontario, for their first Joint Association Meeting in six years. Member representatives of the two associations, committee members, staff, ARL Leadership Fellows, and guests gathered Tuesday–Thursday, April 26–28, 2022, to network and to interact on trends in the research and learning ecosystem impacting their work. The program brought both associations together to engage with each other and with key stakeholders, decision-makers, and experts at a time when research libraries and archives are shaping the future.

In conjunction with the joint meeting, the CARL Board of Directors met on Sunday, April 24, and the ARL Board of Directors met on Monday, April 25. CARL committees met Monday, April 25, while ARL committees met virtually in the weeks before and after the in-person meeting.

On Tuesday, April 26, ARL member representatives engaged in a facilitated discussion to review and revise the Association’s vision and mission statements and strategic objectives, under the leadership of ARL Vice President Susan Parker, ARL Executive Director Mary Lee Kennedy, and the ARL Task Force on Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles. Later that day, ARL member representatives participated in the ARL Business Meeting, which was held virtually to enable members who were unable to travel to Toronto to take part. In the evening, all attendees of the Joint Association Meeting were invited to the seventh annual ARL Film Festival (the “Arlies”) emceed by Lisa Carter (Wisconsin–Madison), followed by a reception at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library hosted by Larry Alford and the staff of the University of Toronto Libraries.

On Wednesday, April 27, the Joint Association Meeting began with opening remarks by CARL President Vivian Lewis (McMaster) and ARL President K. Matthew Dames (Notre Dame). Lewis led the group in acknowledging that the land on which they were gathered is the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The presidents thanked the Canadian universities who were co-hosting the meeting (McMaster University, Toronto Metropolitan University, University of Toronto, and York University) and introduced their organizations’ boards of directors, new member representatives, visiting program officers, ARL Leadership Fellows, and guests from the Canadian and US research library and archive community. University of Toronto President Meric Gertler welcomed the meeting attendees via video message.

Rick Anderson (Brigham Young), co-chair of the Joint Program Planning Task Force, introduced the programmatic portion of the meeting. Anderson noted that the committee used the Ithaka S+R report, Aligning the Research Library to Organizational Strategy, commissioned by ARL and CARL, as a “structural scaffolding” and that the program would feature voices and themes from that report. Anderson welcomed the meeting’s keynote speaker, Roseann O’Reilly Runte, president and CEO of the Canadian Foundation of Innovation, who gave an address in French and English on Research and Leadership during a Time of Societal Transformations.

ARL Executive Director Mary Lee Kennedy introduced the first program session, in which Roger Schonfeld, director, libraries, scholarly communication, and museums, Ithaka S+R, presented findings and analysis from the ARL- and CARL-commissioned project examining research universities’ current strategic directions and identifying information services needs to support these strategies. Schonfeld noted that Ithaka S+R is preparing case studies based on library alignment with and support for three major strategic directions: efforts to engage the state at public institutions, redressing relationships with historically marginalized people, and defending the residential experience.

After lunch, attendees returned for a session on The Changing Nature of Research: The View from the Senior Research Office with Nancy Ross, vice-principal of research, Queen’s University, and Toby Smith, vice president for science policy & global affairs, Association of American Universities. Next, Greg Raschke, senior vice provost and director of libraries, NC State University, moderated a session on Transformations in the Scholar and Student Experience with Kathe Pelletier, director, Teaching and Learning Program, EDUCAUSE; Phil Bourne, founding dean, School of Data Science, University of Virginia; and Ian Milligan, associate vice-president, research oversight and analysis and associate professor of history, University of Waterloo. Panelists speculated on the directions that technologies supporting research, information access, and learning will take as universities emerge from the pandemic. The final session featured a panel on Transformations in Information Access with Amy Brand, director and publisher, MIT Press; Kate Davis, interim director, Scholars Portal; and Mike Furlough, executive director, HathiTrust.

The day concluded with a reception at the CN Tower hosted by Vivian Lewis (McMaster), Carol Shepstone (Toronto Metropolitan University), and Joy Kirchner (York).

Thursday, April 28, began with an announcement of the 2022 Arlies winners by Lisa Carter (Wisconsin) on behalf of the ARL Film Festival Working Group. CARL Executive Director Susan Haigh introduced the first session of the day, Respect as the Way Forward on the Path to Reconciliation, which provided an overview of the Canadian research library community’s progress toward reconciliation with, and respect of, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Presenters at this session were Camille Callison, member, Tahltan Nation, and university librarian, University of the Fraser Valley, National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA); Lisa O’Hara, vice-provost (Libraries) and university librarian, University of Manitoba; and Leslie Weir, librarian and archivist of Canada, Library and Archives Canada. In the next session, Centering the Student Experience in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice president (AVP) Students and Learning, dean of students, and acting AVP Finance and Planning, McMaster University; Clare Warner, senior advisor, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (Student Affairs), McMaster University; and Marissa Dillon, fourth-year political science and sociology undergraduate student and executive member of McMaster’s inaugural Black Student Athlete Council, McMaster University, highlighted how campus leaders are addressing DEI through a student lens—including the classroom, student life, academic engagement, and other areas. In the final session, Bringing It Home: Transformations in Research Libraries and Archives Organizations, attendees reflected individually and collectively on what they heard in the Spring Meeting sessions, through roundtable discussions facilitated by Joint Program Planning Task Force co-chairs Vivian Lewis (McMaster) and Rick Anderson (Brigham Young). CARL President Vivian Lewis and ARL President K. Matthew Dames thanked all participants, speakers, program planners, and Association staff and adjourned the meeting.

Video recordings and slides from the Joint ARL/CARL Spring 2022 Meeting are available online for ARL member representatives [login required]. See also tweets shared with the #ARLCARL22 hashtag.

ARL will hold its Fall 2022 Association Meeting on October 18–19 in Washington, DC, followed by the ARL Fall Forum on Supporting Mental and Emotional Health for Ourselves and Others on October 20 in DC and online. CARL will hold its 2022 Fall General Meeting on November 15–17 in Ottawa, Ontario.