Saturday, January 28, 2012

 The Alberta Association of Library Technicians

The Alberta Association of Library Technicians (AALT) was formed in 1974 by a group of enterprising Library Information Technology students from SAIT.  They accepted a challenge issued by their instructor, Bill Manson, to form their own organization.  The small group researched, planned, met with other library technicians and an association was born.  The first AALT conference was held February 21-22, 1975 with 37 people attending the annual general meeting.  At this meeting the very first executive board was elected and on September 8, 1975 AALT was officially incorporated.

AALT is dedicated to supporting the professionalism of Library Technicians through communication, continuing education and cooperation.  This mission is met by publishing a journal, hosting an annual conference and by working with other organizations to promote library technicians throughout the province.  AALT relies on the leadership of an elected board of directors comprised of dedicated volunteers.


AALT offers membership to library technicians, other library professionals, libraries and associations.  AALT members receive access to a members-only website with access to the AALT Technician, members directory and the bi-annual salary survey.  Members are invited to participate in a number of committees and a focus group.  Additionally, AALT maintains a job board and gives library technicians an opportunity to network.

The first issue of the AALT Technician was published in 1975 and is continued on a quarterly basis today.  Each issue features articles and anecdotes written by board members and AALT members.  In 2009 the decision was made to deliver the Technician electronically only.

AALT supports Library Technicians by providing professional development opportunities. The very first AALT workshop, “What is a Computer and What is it Doing in my Library?” was held in 1976. Since then AALT has delivered programs ranging from author readings to computer literacy. Though currently being revised, AALT also manages a mentoring program that pairs a student with an established library technician. AALT hopes to be able to offer it again by 2013.

The annual AALT conference is an opportunity for library technicians from all areas of Alberta to come together to learn and share experiences.  Sessions are designed to appeal to those working in all types of libraries; school, academic, public, and special. The conference also includes topics of general interest and wellness. The conference is held alternately in Southern Alberta and Northern Alberta.  The 2012 AALT conference, Achieving Balance, will be held May 3-6 in Canmore, AB.

Sarah Stephens
AALT President-Elect 2011-2012

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