History of the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries

In May of 1973, at the Library Association of Alberta (LAA) Conference, the College Librarians Committee met to investigate the feasibility of shared procedures such as acquisitions, cataloguing and a union list of films and serials. A second, more formal, meeting took place in November of that year at Red Deer College where the first constitution and bylaws were adopted. The group decided upon the name Alberta Council of College Librarians and voting members were determined to be “personnel of public and private college libraries and/or AV departments in Alberta.” The Council did not have an executive until the November 1977 meeting. In 1978, the semiannual newsletter began, an institutional membership fee of $10.00 was established, as well as the first bank account. In December 1982, a formalized agreement between the Council and the Alberta Government Libraries Council was signed, which set up a joint Union List of Serials. The Union List ceased operation in 2001 when electronic access to serials made the List redundant.

In 1984 the name of the group was changed to Alberta Association of College Librarians (AACL). This change was required as part of the registration process under Alberta’s Society Act. Over the years, AACL has evolved to be an association of librarians that acts as a forum for the discussion of issues such as copyright, resource sharing, faculty status, collection evaluation, security systems, electronic databases, automation and disaster planning. There has been long-time participation in the annual statistics survey. As of spring 2002 there were 31 member libraries and 89 librarians on the membership list.

In 2010, significant changes were directed and welcomed by the AACL membership. The AACL was renamed as the Alberta Association of Academic Libraries (AAAL). The association’s name change was put forward after two member institutions, Mount Royal University and MacEwan University, transitioned from colleges to universities in 2009. In addition to the name change, the membership criteria were expanded to include all academic libraries in Alberta. An additional change in voting privileges was approved, so that each member institution, regardless of size or number of staff members attending a meeting, holds a single vote.