About Nunavut Library Association

Mission Statement The Nunavut Library Association provides a forum for discussion, encouragement and professional development for its members. The mission of our Association is: to support anyone working in or with Nunavut libraries to represent all types of libraries in Nunavut to advocate for excellent library services for Nunavummiut with all levels of government and other agencies to promote library services and literacy in the official languages of Nunavut.

CLA releases its submission to the RSC Expert Panel

The Canadian Library Association has publicly released its written submission to the Royal Society of Canada’s Expert Panel on the Status and Future of Libraries and Archives in Canada. Nunavut Library Association member Carol Rigby was a member of the working group for this submission, hoping to ensure the voices of Canada’s northern, rural and remote libraries were included in the bigger national picture.

As announced by CLA:

“The CLA Brief was presented to the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on The Status and Future of Canada’s Libraries and Archives on January 16th, 2014 in Toronto by CLA Treasurer Mike Ridley and Councillor Jane Schmidt.

CLA originally made a verbal presentation to the RSC Panel on October 22, 2013 in Edmonton.  The presentation was made by CLA 2013 President Pilar Martinez, Treasurer Mary-Jo Romaniuk and CLA Councillor Karen Hildebrandt.  2014 President-Elect Marie DeYoung and Interim Director Barb Clubb participated by telephone.

Please click on this link to read CLA’s  response.”

Years of advocacy for the Library Book Rate finally succeed

Proof that diligent and persistent advocacy work pays off–after years of letter-writing in support, the Library Rate for mailing library materials at reduced cost is now permanent.

For many years, The Nunavut Library Association has actively participated in advocacy and letter-writing campaigns to support the Library Book Rate, a subsidy provided by Canada Post for the shipment of library books from one library to another at much lower rates than regular parcel postage. In addition, NLA has advocated for the inclusion of other library materials than books under this rate, such as CDs and DVDs.

This rate used to have to be renewed from year to year, and every year required a new campaign in support of maintaining the rate. In 2007, Brandon-Souris MP Merv Tweed introduced a private member’s bill to make an expanded definition of the library rate permanent in the Canada Post Corporation Act. After many years of work and several Parliaments, his bill was finally passed with unanimous consent, and given Royal Assent in June.

Nunavut libraries make extensive use of this rate to provide service to their small and remote communities, and are delighted to join in the celebration of the passing of this legislation.

You can check out the press releases issued by Merv Tweed and the Canadian Library Association (CLA) when the bill received Royal Assent for more details.

Nunavut Library Association endorses joint statement on Qualities of a Successful Librarian and Archivist of Canada

In the wake of the resignation of Daniel Caron, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, in May, the Nunavut Library Association was invited to comment on and then endorse a joint statement on the  qualities of a successful Librarian and Archivist  of Canada.  NLA members were consulted and provided their comments, and NLA President Yvonne Earle endorsed the statement on May 24, 2013. This statement was ultimately endorsed by 22 national library and archive-related associations and organizations. An explanation of the statement and the full texts of the letter sent to the Clerk of the Privy Council and the statement in English and French can be found on the Canadian Library Association website.

Librarians as authors

So many of us in the library field find our way there through a love of literature… but did you realize that many people who have worked in libraries are also well-known authors?

Some of us use Abe Books, the new-and-used bookselling website, to track down copies of things we would like to purchase that may no longer be in print, and they put out a very interesting reading list newsletter. A recent edition listed “Literature by Librarians” ranging from Giacomo Casanova (yes, the great lover) to Beverly Cleary, Jorge Luis Borges to Anne Tyler. If you’re curious, check it out!

Concerns about librarians’ freedom of speech: the new code of conduct at Library & Archives Canada

Nunavut Library Association members are concerned about the chilling effect a new “code of conduct” instituted at Library and Archives Canada will have on LAC’s ability to continue its traditional role of leadership and collaboration in Canada’s library community.

Leigh-Ann brought the following news article to our attention: Canada’s federal librarians fear being muzzled.

Some member comments on this issue:

“Thanks for this article, Leigh Ann.  Very scary. The one thing that bothered … apart from the muzzling activities … is the comment about how things are pretty sad when librarians are being picked on. It seems to be based on the idea that librarians are a meek and mild bunch. Not so. Jocelyn”

“This is why everyone in the Library field is feeling that LAC has completely lost touch with its primary purpose and its mandate. They are not supporting Librarianship – they are smothering it. This policy is the same as the government scientists are facing- we can have information but heaven forbid we share it, contemplate it or gasp critically think about information. Last week there was an article saying Canada has gone from first place in the best places to live list to the 13th spot. It’s hardly a wonder when we have gone without consent from a democracy to a dictatorship.  This is my personal opinion and in no way reflects the opinions of my employer, NLA, or other related parties. Jenny”

“As public servants and Librarians we have a responsibility to fairly and accurately represent how policies impact our institutions. I understand that ‘he who pays the piper calls the tune’ but this policy, along with the accompanying policies at Treasury Board, is excessive. Librarians at BAC-LAC and across the country have ample reason to be unhappy. The National Library has stepped away from its role of National leadership and is assuming a much more limited mandate as the Library for the government of Canada. This has already caused most of the Provincial archive associations to withdraw from the Pan Canadian Documentary Heritage Network because funding cuts have effectively made it a shell. ….  Right now it appears that the provinces are tacking together a lot of programs to build a ‘by default’ national library service but for the sake of comparison remember that in the US the Digital Public Library of America is scheduled (or it was anyway) to open in April, 2013. We have nothing like that on the horizon in Canada. That could be a project for the National Library but right now they are so reduced in mandate and demoralized that it will never happen. We are missing opportunities because of the lack of vision and cost cutting government which can’t tell the difference between fat and muscle. Ron”

“From my perspective as a cataloguer, Canada was once in the forefront of developing standards and methodologies for multilingual cataloguing and dealing with multiple official languages, thanks to work done by LAC–now very far from the case. The once-robust national union catalogue has faded from use as its software gets more and more outdated and fewer libraries can contribute to it, especially those of us who need Unicode to meet our patrons’ needs. It is very sad to see the groundbreaking, world-class work of Canadians disappear from the world cataloguing landscape, and to be actively discouraged from participating in professional associations and conferences is the death knell for a truly professional public service. Carol”

As well, the Canadian Library Association has issued a statement on the LAC Code of Conduct, urging LAC “to revisit its Code of Conduct in order to strike a more even balance between  the duty of loyalty to the Government of Canada that all public servants have and the freedom of expression that is imperative to the work of librarians in a strong democracy.”

New website officially launched

NLA president Yvonne Earle officially re-launched the NLA website in its new WordPress dress on January 14, 2013:

“We are officially launching the new NLA website. Our thanks to Tina Rose for the impetus and initial testing of WordPress and to Carol Rigby for all her work to bring our new website live. It has taken a lot of volunteer hours and is much appreciated.

Thanks also to NALD who allowed us to use their original design and supported our initial website for 4 years.


Yvonne Earle”

Please see the second website report from Carol Rigby posted in the NLA Minutes and Business Reports publications section of the website for further details.

Creepy Crawlies at latest NLA meeting

The fall meeting of the Nunavut Library Association was held at the Nunavut Legislative Library, in person and by teleconference. Those attending in person got a sneak preview of Halloween with the creepy crawly cupcakes provided by Tina Rose, courtesy of her nephews. Eat your hearts out, anyone who missed the meeting!

Creepy crawly cupcakes for Halloween!

Minutes from the meeting and a report on updating the website are posted on the publications page for meeting minutes.

Nunavut wins Read for 15 territorial challenge!

October 19, 2012: Catherine Hoyt, Chair of the Friends of Iqaluit Centennial Library, reports that Nunavut has won the annual Read for 15 challenge:

The Nunavut Literacy Council will be sharing details in their upcoming newsletter. Here are some details they passed on to me;

  • Our final number was 6,583.
  • Tusarvik School in Repulse Bay was the winner of draw ($100.00) and they had 342 readers
  • Many great moments were mentioned on send-in sheets;
    • Schools and parents/community members coming together to read.
    • Libraries holding special reading events.
    • Daycares gathering children and parents for reading sessions.

The Friends of Iqaluit Centennial Library at the Rotary Fall Fun Fair 2012

Rotary Fall Fair – Saturday, October 5th

For the 3rd year the Friends of the Iqaluit Centennial Library held a successful outreach program at the Rotary Fall Fair. Each October hundreds of Iqaluit families enjoy an afternoon of carnival games, canteen and cotton candy. The “Friends” host a free booth to promote library programs and services to our community. This year we were able to distribute over 460 new children’s books. Children were able to choose between Inuktitut, English and French books. There were library loot bags, tattoos and children played a free game to win a finger puppet. We collected e-mail addresses for our mailing list and people could even sign up for a library card. This was excellent opportunity to reach families who are not regular library users. We are already planning our booth for next year!

Report submitted by Catherine Hoyt, Chair, The Friends of Iqaluit Centennial Library.

YABA Presentation

Presentation of the 2012n CLA Young Adult Book Award to Catherine Austen by Michael Monaghan (CEO of Library Services Centre, award sponsor) and Carol Rigby (jury chair)

May 29-June 1, 2012: NLA member Carol Rigby wound up her five-year term on the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award jury with the opportunity, as this past year’s chair, to present the award to this year’s winner, Catherine Austen, for her novel All Good Children at a gala awards evening at this year’s annual CLA conference, held in Ottawa. She also presented this year’s “notables” — the top ten shortlist — at a conference session. The notables presentation is posted in the publications section of this website. Carol can now go back to reading something other than 100+ YA novels in a year.