Canadian Library Support Staff day was held on October 16 this year, as declared by the Canadian Library Association. The phrase “library support staff” encompasses a number of employees within Canadian libraries, and a wide range of job descriptions and responsibilities. Each library staff member is important to the daily operations of their library, working either behind the scenes or in public service. The third Friday of October is the day we celebrate our colleagues in these roles.
Support staff are found in departments throughout libraries. They are catalogers preparing books for the shelves, shelvers putting them away, information services staff helping patrons locate items, and circulation staff checking items out for those patrons. Support staff can be found facilitating instructional workshops, leading children’s story times, and helping with electronic resources or interlibrary loans. As the term support staff describes, they work to support the library’s initiatives and mandate, working alongside librarians for their communities.
Library support staff work outside of their library community volunteering their time to associations such as the British Columbia Library Association, and more specifically with the Library Technicians & Assistants section (LTAS) of the BCLA. Members of this section are graduates and current students of library technician programs, and find employment in academic, public, school, and special libraries. Graduates find work in a variety of roles within these institutions, and share these experiences at LTAS meet ups.
Meet ups happen for each regional chapter (Prince George, Fraser Valley, and Vancouver) three or four times a year, with an AGM held in October of each year. The date for the AGM coincides with the Canadian Library Support Staff day, meaning library technicians and assistants from a variety of libraries are able to celebrate the day together. This year the meeting was held at the Surrey campus of Simon Fraser University hosted by outgoing Chair, Ashley Edwards. Attendees were both in person and able to join online, and were a mix of regular members and new faces.
The 2015/16 LTAS executive is full of familiar faces, with board positions being filled by returning members. Their expertise is invaluable as they continue with their current positions or volunteered for a new role. The complete executive board will be announced on the LTAS website as soon as all positions are confirmed.
Canadian Library Support Staff day is the dedicated day for all library support staff. However the Library Technicians & Assistants section of BCLA is your voice in the provincial library conversation year round. For more information about the section, please visit their webpage, blog, or watch their social media for upcoming events.
Ashley Edwards is a Library Assistant with the Information & Instruction division at the WAC Bennett Library, SFU. She is the outgoing Chair of LTAS, and previous co-chair of the Vancouver regional chapter.