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CHLA-ABSC e-News: Fall 2006

The Board had another productive meeting early in November hosted at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto General Hospital. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you a few of the highlights of the meeting below.


Patrick Ellis, Taskforce Co-Chair, provided an update on NNLH activities. The Concept of Operations was finalized this summer and sent out to CHLA/ABSC members, NNLH funders and other stakeholders and potential supporters, CISTI subsequently agreed to support. A meeting of Taskforce members and funders will take place early in the new year for the purpose of planning a stakeholders meeting to coincide with the 2007 Annual Conference in Ottawa.

CISTI’s support is invaluable in taking the Concept of Operations forward, and we are grateful for both their financial support and their moral support. Bev Brown devoted much of her time to the NNLH Project Advisory Team. Mary Low is taking over from Bev as the CISTI representative to the Taskforce.


Editor and Assistant Editor, Sandra Halliday and Gillian Griffiths are investigating the process involved in instituting peer review for JCHLA and have begun the process by contacting editors of volunteer-run, peer-reviewed journals (e.g. Evidence Based Library & Information Practice) to determine workflow and organizational issues. Gillian, who becomes Editor with v28(1) of JCHLA, and Teresa Lee, the new Assistant Editor, will continue to explore the matter of peer review.

As most members know, JCHLA is currently published by NRC Press. However, given recent changes in NRC’s pricing schedule, we may have to consider alternative means of publishing our journal. To assist us in exploring our options, MJ Suhonos, a researcher at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation and a University of Toronto FIS student, shared his expertise in online journal development and demonstrated the features of OJS (Open Journal System), an open-source online journal management system that provides an easy and inexpensive way for small organizations to publish their journals. MJ also mentioned a companion system, OCS (Open Conference Systems), that may also be useful to us, depending on what happens as a result of the recent purchase of SPORG.

Development Officer

To coordinate and attract advertising and sponsorship the Board agreed that a Development Officer is needed. It was decided to make this an ex Officio position for the time being as it as this does not require an amendment to the bylaws and allows the Board to recruit someone as soon as possible . The continuance of this as an ex officio or Board position will be evaluated over time.

A separate posting for the Development Officer position will be sent out by email within the week. We encourage all those interested to apply for the position. Terms of Reference for the position are available at

Chapter Initiative Fund Grant Awarded

The Board awarded a $500 Chapter Initiative Fund grant to the Newfoundland and Labrador Health Libraries Association to hold a Research Fair in partnership with Memorial University of Newfoundland Libraries. The Research Fair, which took place Nov 15th-17th, featured Jessie McGowan as Researcher in Residence and included sessions on peer reviewing, choosing appropriate study types for research, grant writing and evaluation. We hope the Fair was a great success!

Conference Planning

Kaitryn Campbell, (in person) and Isabelle Julian (via teleconference), Co-Chairs of the 2007 Conference Planning Committee, provided an update on the planning for the 2007 conference, ‘Capitalizing on Health Partnerships’, to be held Ottawa May 28th-June 1st. This promises to be a fabulous conference, as the Ottawa Valley group are lining up very interesting keynote and invited speakers as well as valuable CE sessions. Watch for more information and don’t forget to visit the Conference website often!

The 2008 conference will take place in Halifax at the Lord Nelson Hotel. Patrick Ellis and Penny Logan will be co-chairing the planning committee, and as reported by Patrick, almost all MHLA members have volunteered to assist with conference planning including two retired members (Betty Sutherland and Caren Mofford). And, yes, there will be lobster!

Although 2008 is happening in Halifax, the planning committee are spread across the Maritimes. The New Brunswick contingent are in charge of program planning activities while the Halifax members are looking after those tasks which require a local presence. I should also mention that Kaitryn Campbell, while Co-Chairing the Ottawa Conference, is currently located in Hamilton where she moved shortly after accepting the Co-Chair position on the Planning Committee. With today’s communication technologies, conference planning can be accomplished ‘at a distance’.

For those who really don’t like to leave conference planning to the last minute, the Board is happy to announce that the MAHIP (Manitoba Association of Health Information Providers) chapter has agreed to host the 2009 Conference in Winnipeg. The Planning Committee will be co-chaired by Christine Daigle-Shaw and Lisa Demczuk. (One remaining question, though: will there be perogies?!?)

Open Access

The Board discussed the issue of open access in light of the request by the CIHR for a response to its document Draft Policy on Access to CIHR-funded Research Outputs. We have composed a response and submitted it to CIHR (available at and are now working on an Association policy statement on Open Access which we’ll circulate to members for input once we have a draft prepared.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Renewal Time
I hope all of you have received your membership renewal notice for 2007. If not (or if you accidentally deleted it), you can renew your membership by following the membership renewal link available at

With the year fast drawing to a close, I’d like to wish all CHLA/ABSC members a Happy Holiday and hope that 2007 will be a productive and fulfilling year for you and your families.

Linda Slater