This year we are happy to share our season social festivities with our colleagues in fellow special library organizations in and around Toronto! But how much do you know about them and what they get up to? We asked reps from each organization to tell us a little bit about their respective association in advance of our Joint Season Social on Dec. 5th, 2019.

Toronto Association of Law Libraries (TALL)

Since its inception in 1979, TALL’s aim has remained the same: to provide the legal information professional with a network to exchange ideas and promote professional development. Our members cover the gamut of the legal community, ranging from law firm, academic, government, legislative, law society, court house and corporate libraries as well as several legal publishers. TALL connects its membership through educational programming, social events, a quarterly newsletter, a listserv, a Membership List and an Organization Directory.

Special Libraries Association Toronto (SLA Toronto)

SLA Toronto was founded in 1940 and represents the interests of information professionals in Toronto and most of the province of Ontario, west of Kingston. The Toronto Chapter is a dynamic and active chapter of Special Libraries Association (SLA), an international organization headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. We provide an opportunity for information professionals in our area to learn and network at events, as well as participate in the community via our social media.

Toronto Health Libraries Association (THLA)

The Toronto Health Libraries Association (THLA) was originally established as the Toronto Medical Libraries Group during the fall of 1965 to meet occasionally and informally in order to discuss matters of mutual interest. THLA is a professional organization of members from medical and allied health libraries in the Toronto area. As a chapter of the Canadian Health Libraries Association/Association des bibliothéques de la santè du Canada (CHLA/ABSC), THLA is dedicated to the improvement of health and health care through the promotion of excellence in access to information.

Ontario Library Association Special Libraries Committee (OLA-SLC)

The OLA Special Libraries Committee (OLA-SLC) is a group of special librarians and non-traditional information professionals dedicated to collaborating, promoting, and sharing the wealth of knowledge in our professional community in Ontario. Members come from a diverse range of fields including librarians in government, law, business and news, as well as research consultants, information specialists, knowledge workers, prospect researchers, and students. The committee hosts professional development events, article nights, community socials, and provides opportunities for partnerships and community outreach.

Faculty of Information Alumni Association (FIAA)

The Faculty of Information Alumni Association (FIAA) is an organization made up of the nearly 7,000 graduates of the Faculty of Information and its predecessors. Upon convocating, each graduate automatically becomes a member of FIAA, and is welcome to attend any alumni event, serve on FIAA’s executive, volunteer, or participate as a member-at-large. We are a vibrant community, with a mandate is to represent alumni interests.

Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (Apra Canada)

Apra Canada will be a leader and strategic partner in philanthropy, contributing to the success of its Canadian members, the nonprofit community and other constituents. As a premier organization for fundraising research, analytics and relationship management, Apra Canada’s mission is to promote the value and impact of its members. Apra Canada is a chapter of Apra International and is a registered society in the Province of British Columbia. Apra Canada Membership is open to Canadian researchers, front-line fundraisers and others with an interest in the field of advancement research.

What is your favourite part of being a member of your organization?

SLA Toronto – Rita Egede, SLA Toronto Director, Programming: I love the learning opportunities that the association provides. This year, I took up the role as programming director, and I am now a better and resourceful event planner. I have learnt new event tools, expanded my network and improved my leadership capabilities.

THLA – Naz Torabi, THLA President-Elect: THLA connects all health/medical librarians around Toronto. We have approximately 80 members and it is a great way to network and to get connected with other professionals in GTA.

OLA-SLC – Maggie Tiong, OLA-SLC Committee Member: I have met so many fascinating professionals from diverse backgrounds.

TALL – Julie Hetherington-Field, TALL President: The people!  When I first arrived in Canada 14 years ago, TALL members took me under their wing and taught me what I needed to know to be able to get a job here.   The members of TALL may have changed a little over the years but that same sense of community and collegiality remains.

What was your favourite event held by your organization last year and why?

FIAA – Sooin Kim, FIAA President: At the Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference in May, Eve Leung and I hosted a fun “Meet-Up in Edmonton” alumni reunion. Faculty of Information Alumni from all across the country got together to mix, mingle, and catch up over delicious appetizers and drinks at Revel, a lively local bistro.

SLA Toronto – Rita Egede, SLA Toronto Director, Programming: The Joint Holiday Social was my favourite event held last year. It was an event that brought together members of five (5) library associations in the Toronto region. It provided members the opportunity to be appreciated through awards and gifts, have fun and to connect with special library professionals in the community.

THLA – Naz Torabi, THLA President-Elect: I have been very impressed with the types of events that THLA has organized in the past. They always have the best speakers about very interesting and timely topics. For example, 6 months ago, I attended a lecture about the use of graphic medicine for patient care by Shelley Wall who is an assistant professor in the Biomedical Communications Graduate Program at the University of Toronto. It was an inspirational talk and very informative. I would be very happy to talk about this topic with anyone at our joint holiday social.

OLA-SLC – Maggie Tiong, OLA-SLC Committee Member: We held a tour of Snakes and Lattes board game café and learned about how the games are classified. It was fascinating and then afterwards we played a few games.

TALL – Julie Hetherington-Field, TALL President: The Securities lunchtime session arranged by our Education Committee.  The lunch and learn was well-organized and appreciated by the attendees. Close runners-up are the Tax lunch and learn (a maze of information that we have to find our way through at times) and the establishment by the Social Committee of the coffee roulette program, which has introduced me to new people and reminded me to catch up with friends.

What does your organization do really well?

SLA Toronto – Rita Egede, SLA Toronto Director, Programming: I would say Professional Development Programs (in-person trainings, webinars, and networking events).

OLA-SLC – Maggie Tiong, OLA-SLC Committee Member: We are inclusive of information professionals in a wide variety of professional situations.

TALL – Julie Hetherington-Field, TALL President: TALL fosters a sense of community and cooperation among its members, even though many of our employers are direct competitors.  We understand how to protect the confidentiality of our workplaces while helping each other when we can.

What are you looking forward to doing next year as a member of the organization?

FIAA – Sooin Kim, FIAA President: The FIAA Executive is thrilled to welcome so many bright and talented recent graduates to our team for the 2019-2020 term. Each of our FIAA committees is strong; we have energetic and engaged student representatives; and a wonderful Alumni Development Officer. We are all looking forward to working together to continue to best serve the interest of our vibrant, 7,000-strong Alumni.

THLA – Naz Torabi, THLA President-Elect: Recently, we have started to digitize our paper archives. Some of our historical newsletters go back to 1982. We are finding a lot of gems and digitizing them will be a great way to better preserve them and make them accessible. I can’t wait until we have everything digitized and open to the public.

OLA-SLC – Maggie Tiong, OLA-SLC Committee Member: I am looking forward to preparations for the OLA Superconference.

TALL – Julie Hetherington-Field, TALL President: The TALL eXchange conference in October 2020!  As we all look to the future of our profession, I have high hopes the conference will give some great ideas and reassurances.

What is a fun fact about your organization?

FIAA – Sooin Kim, FIAA President: On June 12, 2019, the Team FIAA were Champions of Trivia Night at the Fortunate Fox. We are fairly certain that our victory inspired the Toronto Raptors to clinch the NBA Championship the very next night.

-TALL Blog Editors

Coming soon:

The Joint Season Social! For tickets, check out the Eventbrite page. See you on December 5th!