NLA Supports Canadian School Libraries

The Nunavut Library Association is pleased to offer its support for the newly established Canadian School Libraries organization.

As our association is small, we don’t have a dedicated school association or chapter, but anyone working in a school library in Nunavut can obtain valuable information from the organization’s website. This  includes their landmark document Leading Learning, published in 2014, and associated resources. They also offer access to the Canadian School Libraries Journal, which also contains the archived editions of School Libraries in Canada, and is now published three times a year.

Writing to NLA to introduce the organization, CSL Chair Anita Brooks Kirkland indicates that it is the

home for the national school library standards, Leading Learning, in English & French. CSL’s  goal is to provide school libraries with “one-stop” shopping for resources, news & professional development.  As you will see on our home page, school library and multi-library associations that often support schools across Canada have shared their logos/links and sometimes news on CSL ( … We really want to be able to connect people across the country, including Nunavut.
We encourage your association to connect with us anytime if you need some help with school library concerns. You members may be interested in some of the resources on our website, so I encourage you to share our link as you best see fit.

So if you’re involved with running a school library in Nunavut, check out their website for helpful resources and connections to other people working with similar challenges and opportunities.

NLA advocates for fair e-book pricing

FairE-book pricing BannerThe Nunavut Library Association has added its voice to those advocating for a fair e-book pricing system for libraries. The campaign was launched by the Canadian Library Association and a number of partners on June 15, 2015. NLA has sent a letter of concern to Nunavut Minister of Culture and Heritage George Kuksuk, and received a reply indicating that the matter is being considered by federal, provincial and territorial ministers and that his department will keep NLA informed of developments. More details and all the correspondence are posted to the “Fair ebook Prices” campaign 2015 page on our website.

This issue is critical to the future of libraries and readers’ access to information. For more information, check out the Fair Ebook Prices website. For those who tweet, check out #FairEbookPrices.

Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada

Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada was recently launched at the Canadian Library Association’s annual conference, held this year in Victoria, B.C.Leading Learning from CLA

The document has been developed jointly by CLA’s Voices for School Libraries Network and CLA’s School Libraries Advisory Committee, in consultation with many regional groups, associations and individuals, including the Nunavut Department of Education.

The press release from CLA provides more information and background on all the partnerships involved and further contacts.

The complete Leading Learning document is available free of charge through the CLA website, as is the supporting extensive bibliography.

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.

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.”