Copyright, Library Book Rate and Community Access Program among Top Priorities for National Library Association
CLA Hosts National Conference and Trade Show in Nation's Capital
OTTAWA, May 30, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is proud to be hosting its 67th National Conference and Trade Show in Ottawa this year at the brand new Convention Centre. The conference will provide a host of activities and special events for members of the library community. These include professional development sessions, networking opportunities, social media engagement, and delegate receptions, among others.
"We are very excited to host members of the library community from across the country in the nation's capital," said Karen Adams, CLA President. "The conference will provide an opportunity to learn, share and drive the library and information community forward. Being in Ottawa this year means we can really put national advocacy into practice and meet with key parliamentarians to discuss issues that are critical for the Canadian library community."
This afternoon, delegates will be meeting with Members of Parliament, Senators and key political staff to highlight the important role that libraries play in the lives of all Canadians. This evening CLA will also be hosting parliamentarians at its Opening Reception.
There are three critical issues that are currently impacting the library community. First, CLA continues to embrace copyright legislation as one of its key priorities, as Canadian libraries play a vital role in providing Canadians access to all forms of material. CLA continues to urge the federal government to implement a made-in-Canada copyright solution to ensure that the legislation ultimately succeeds in its objectives of being both balanced and technologically neutral.
Second, over one million Canadians are currently benefitting from the Library Book Rate, a Canada Post service that has, since 1939, provided a reduced rate for mailing library books between libraries and from libraries to their users. Members of the library community in all constituencies continue to be concerned about its sustainability, given that it is not currently financially supported by the federal government. CLA is urging the Government of Canada to support Bill C-321, a Private member's Bill introduced by M.P. Merv Tweed (Brandon—Souris, Manitoba), which would protect the Library Book Rate.
Lastly, CLA believes that all Canadians, regardless of economic status or location, require the ability to access information and services through broadband connection to the Internet, along with access to the assistance they need to become digitally literate. For many Canadians, especially those in remote and rural locations, this access has been provided since 1994 by the Community Access Program (CAP) funded by Industry Canada. The entire library community is extremely concerned that funding for CAP has been cancelled, as announced on April 5th, 2012. With only 79% of Canadian households having an Internet connection, and 54% of households in the lowest income quartile, it is clear that community-based Internet access is essential to supplement home access.
"We are very much looking forward to meeting with key decision makers today," said Kelly Moore, CLA Executive Director. "As Canada's largest national library association, one of our key roles is to be an advocate for libraries and library issues with the federal government, and we hope to engage in some very meaningful discussions surrounding these critical issues."
The CLA Conference runs from May 30th to June 2nd at the Ottawa Convention Centre. The official kick-off begins this evening at the Opening Reception, taking place at 6:00 pm in the Canada Hall. For more information, please visit http://www.cla.ca/conference/2012/.
CLA is Canada's largest national library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians, library workers, library trustees, and all those concerned with enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through access to knowledge, literacy and lifelong learning.For further information:
(613) 233-8906 (Office)
(613) 894-2128 (Cell)