British Columbia Library Association

BCLA Section Updates: ALS, PLIG, and RAIG

By Adam Farrell, Heidi Schiller, and Chloe Riley

Academic Librarians Section (ALS)

The BCLA’s Academic Librarians Section undertook several initiatives in 2016. Key activities include:

ALS looks forward to a promising year of inclusiveness and robust learning and discussion throughout 2017. We look forward to seeing you at the rescheduled December Meeting in early 2017 and/or at the ALS Annual General Meeting during the 2017 BC Library Conference. Please visit for additional updates.

Adam Farrell is the ALS Chair as well as Manager, Innovation & Learning at North Vancouver District Public Library.

Public Libraries Interest Group (PLIG)

The Public Libraries Interest Group changed its name last summer from the Public Librarians Interest Group, and is now moving forward with a strategic planning process. The goal, said Co-Chairs Meghan Savage and Heidi Schiller, is to reinvigorate the group with an inclusive and strategic direction.

The name change was decided by a vote of British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) members in October, with 74 (91.36 percent) in favour of the name change, and 7 (8.64 percent) against. The group then began a collaborative strategic planning process to determine its Mission, Vision, Values, Goals, Terms of Reference, and Initiatives. Since October, PLIG members have approved the following:

Vision: A connected, inclusive, and informed public library community.

Mission: Providing connection, information, and advocacy for BC’s public library community.

Values: The BCLA Public Libraries Interest Group holds the same core values of the BCLA:


  1. Engage the public library community
  1. Provide opportunities for professional development
  2. Increase group capacity

Over the next few months, members will approve terms of reference and then brainstorm initiatives and an action plan to meet the group’s goals over the next three years. PLIG plans to host an AGM during the upcoming BCLA conference in April, at which time members will vote for the group’s officers. The Co-Chairs encourage anyone who is interested to get involved by attending the next meeting on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. (location TBD), by subscribing to the PLIG listserv, and/or by emailing Heidi Schiller ( or Meghan Savage (

Heidi Schiller is the Manager of InfoAction at Vancouver Public Library. She is the Co-Chair of BCLA’s Public Libraries Interest group, Co-Chair of BCLA’s 2017 Conference, and an organizer of Out of the Stacks, a social meetup group for information workers. 

Readers’ Advisory Interest Group (RAIG)

“There are many different pathways to becoming a committed reader.” – Catherine Sheldrick Ross

Every autumn, the BCLA Readers’ Advisory Interest Group holds a readers’ advisory (RA) workshop called RA in a Day. It’s an annual event for library workers, students, and others to come together to build RA confidence and skills, connect with others doing RA work, and learn how to better serve patrons as readers’ advisors.

Last year’s event took place on October 18 at the Vancouver Public Library’s Central branch, on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples.

This year, the keynote speaker, Dr. Catherine Sheldrick Ross, a professor and former Dean in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, spoke about the pleasures of the reading experience. In the course of her research in this area, she conducted over 300 open-ended interviews with avid readers, learning what makes them fall in love with a book as well as what makes them throw a book across the room.

As she discovered, what makes a reading experience pleasurable is unique to each reader. While some readers focus on one big thing that makes reading pleasurable for them, others find numerous little things to engage them. There are no format or genre restrictions. Some readers use reading journals or logs, while others engage in social reading activities, such as book clubs or online book communities. Reading can be escapist, or it can help the reader engage and connect; sometimes, it can be both. Readers can create their own book as they read: skipping ahead, rewriting, or focusing on certain passages. It’s an intensely personal and context-dependent experience.

Understanding the uniqueness and multiplicity of reading experiences can help us figure out how we can help readers find the pleasure in reading. It can be both a challenge and an opportunity, and it is our hope that we can continue to build the knowledge and enthusiasm of new and experienced RA champion with events like RA in a Day

The other events at this year’s RA in a Day included:

RAIG would like to thank our sponsor, Library Bound, and all those who participated in RA in a Day.

RAIG meets 9:15-11 a.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. We are always open to new members. Join our listserv, check out our blog, What Are You Reading, or join us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

Chloe Riley works as a Reference Librarian at Simon Fraser University Library and as an Auxiliary Librarian at Vancouver Public Library.

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