History of APLA

History The first Maritime Library Association was founded April 17, 1918 at Acadia University. E.J. Lay, Librarian of the Amherst Public Library was elected President of the Association which had sixteen members. Unfortunately, interest in the new association waned after Mr. Lay died a few months later. Irregular efforts were made during the 1920's to revitalize the Association.

In 1922, an attempt was made to organize an Association and once again Acadia University was the site of this effort. W.C. Milner, Archivist, Halifax Branch of the Public Archives of Canada, was elected President. Meetings were held at intervals over the next few years, but little was accomplished. An article written by Mary Ingraham (Chronicle, May 15, 1935) gives some insight into the activities of the 1922-1928 period:

At one time, we had an enrolment of 57 members, and though many of these were eminent people, an honour to our organization, fewer than 1/3 of the number were librarians or actively engaged in library work. The librarians of the Maritime Provinces being in the minority, they naturally lost interest in an Association founded in their interest, but manned by people with other aims in view. Much good work was done, attention to local history was aroused through essay competitions; books were distributed and a few community libraries founded. But as an Association for the coordinating of library interests throughout the Maritime Provinces, and for promoting intelligent cooperation and a spirit of mutual helpfulness among the librarians, the organization seemed doomed to failure.

After the 1928 annual meeting which was held, again, at Acadia University, no more conferences were held, no dues were collected, and the Maritime Library Association lapsed into a state of dormancy once more.

In 1934, while attending the American Library Association conference in Montreal, a group of fifteen Maritime librarians decided that it was time to try again at organizing an Association. Mrs. John Stanfield of Truro, N.S. was elected President and a constitution was written. Even though the original Maritime Library Association had not met in six year, and the founders of the new Association had been members of the original, there was some opposition from the President of the old body to the use of the original name and the extant funds. Thus the new group decided to use the name "Maritime Library Institute", and proceeded to hold its first annual conference at Acadia University on May 30, 1935. At this time, the constitution was adopted, and the Association which was to become the Atlantic Provinces Library Association had its official birth.

In 1940, the name was changed back to "Maritime library Association" and the change to "Atlantic Provinces Library Association" (APLA) was made in 1957 when Newfoundland became a member. The objectives of the original Institute are listed in this manual and do not differ greatly from those which are the guidelines for the present Association. Over the years, in an attempt to fulfil these objectives, the Association has engaged in numerous activities. Annual meetings continue to provide a forum for discussion and learning, as well as the opportunity for the business meeting of the Association. APLA has taken an active role in promoting the establishment of libraries in the Atlantic provinces, in encouraging the recruitment of professional librarians, and in supporting the establishment of a library school at Dalhousie University. Various briefs have been presented to royal commissions investigating library related matters. As well, letters of concern have been addressed to those involved in decision making which affects libraries and librarians.  


Campbell, Evelyn. "Atlantic Provinces Library Association". Canadian Library Journal, 1957, pp.9-13.
Eamon, Virginia. "Library associations in Nova Scotia". APLA Bulletin, Summer 1976, pp.48-58.
Ingraham, Mary. Chronicle, May 15, 1935. Lochhead, Douglas G. "Atlantic Provinces Library Association". Library Journal, 1959, p.807.  

Past Presidents of APLA

1934/35 Mrs. John Stanfield
1935/38 Estelle Vaughan
1940/41 Winifred Snider
1941/45 Marion Gilroy
1945/48 M.J. Thompson
1948/49 Maurice Boone
1949/50 Bramwell Chandler
1950/51 Patricia Hart
1951/52 Peter Grossman
1952/53 Dorothy Cullen
1953/54 Maurice Boone
1954/55 Ruby Wallace
1955/56 H.W. Ganong
1956/57 James MacEacheron
1957/58 Jessie Mifflen
1958/59 Douglas Lochhead
1959/60 Mary Cameron
1960/61 Laurie Allison
1961/62 Dorothy Cull
1962/63 Charlotte Allen
1963/64 Kathleen Currie
1964/65 Eugene Gattinger
1965/66 James Boylan
1966/67 Dorothy Cooke
1967/68 Alberta Letts
1968/69 Eileen Travis
1969/70 Carin Somers
1970/71 Eleanor Magee
1971/72 Don Ryan
1972/73 Don Scott
1973/74 Heather Harbord
1974/75 Katherine Le Butt
1975/76 Pearce Penney
1976/77 Edward Hanus
1977/78 Alan Macdonald
1978/79 Terrence Amis
1979/80 Lorraine McQueen
1980/81 Ann Nevill
1981/82 Barbara Eddy
1982/83 Anna Oxley
1983/84 André Guay
1984/85 William Birdsall
1985/86 Elizabeth Hamilton
1986/87 Richard Ellis
1987/88 Joy Tillotson
1988/89 Gwen Creelman
1989/90 Susan McLean
1990/91 Andrea John
1991/92 Judy Head
1992/93 Suzanne Sexty
1993/94 Marion Pape
1994/95 Charles Cameron
1995/96 Susan Libby
1996/97 Sara Lochhead
1997/98 John Tesky
1998/99 Francesco Lai
1999/2000 Peter Webster
2000/01 Pamela Stevens-Earle
2001/02 Norine Hanus
2002/03 Elaine MacLean
2003/04 Laurette Mackey
2004/05 Allan Groen
2005/06 Jennifer Richard
2006/07 Ivan Douthwright
2007/2008 Donna Bourne-Tyson
2008/2009 Susan Cleyle
2009/2010 Donald Moses
2010/2011 Sarah Gladwell
2011/2012 Jocelyne Thompson
2012/2013 Lou Duggan
2013/2014 Louise White
2014/2015 Crystal Rose
2015/2016 Lynn Somers
2016/2017 Suzanne Van den Hoogen
2017/2018 Kathryn Rose
2018/2019 Patricia Doucette
2019/2020 Trecia Schell
2020/2021 Ann Smith