It is commonplace when attending conferences and meetings to acquire various promotional mementos such as tote bags, binders, key chains, and pens. These are usually accompanied by session handouts, tourist maps, discount coupons, and evaluation forms. This year, perhaps as a means of demonstrating fiscal constraint, CRKN decided to provide everyone with a simple name tag and a lens cleaning cloth. No great reams of paper or other clutter to take up room in your suitcase; just a lens cloth.
At the most mundane level, this small token of appreciation could be interpreted as a sympathetic acknowledgement that the vast majority of members attending the meeting had spent decades working as academic librarians, with all the attendant eye strain that such a vocation suggests. While this may amount to forgivable stereotyping, I read a bit more into it. Perhaps the staff of CKRN anticipated that members would be wondering if they were seeing things clearly, as the harsh realities of our current situation were presented to them in various charts, graphs, and lists.
Perhaps the cloth is a metaphor for CRKN itself. In order to see clearly through the great morass that is scholarly publishing, in order to give Canadian researchers and instructors any hope of competing with their international counterparts, in order to prevent the inevitable balkanization that will emerge as rogue institutions decide to fend for themselves, either because they think they can do a better job on their own or because they can no longer afford to do much at all, it is only CRKN that can provide the clear way forward.
To quote Shelley, way out of context: "Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!"