Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Brampton Public Library names new CEO - Cathy Matyas

Appoints New Chief Executive Officer
Brampton Public Library Board


Janice Awde, Chair of the Brampton Public Library Board, announces the appointment of Cathy Matyas as Brampton Library’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective August 3, 2010.


Ms. Matyas, who succeeds CEO Adele Kostiak upon her retirement at the end of July, will be responsible for working with the Library Board, staff and community partners to build a strong library service to meet the needs of one of Canada’s fastest-growing and most diverse communities.


Brampton Library serves a community of 450,000 through six locations and a new east side branch library is currently under construction in partnership with a community centre, to open in 2012.


Ms. Matyas, who brings 28 years of public library experience to the position, was most recently Chief Executive Officer at the Waterloo Public Library, a position she held for seven years.  She began her professional career in 1982 at the North York Public Library, which was incorporated into the Toronto Public Library, and subsequently held senior library management positions with the Kitchener and Regina Public Library systems.


 “The Library Board was very impressed by the number of very strong candidates it had from which to select our new CEO said Ms. Awde.  Ms Matyas comes to us with an impressive resume and a wealth of experience, including extensive experience in advocacy, partnership-building, fundraising, and strategic planning” We have determined that she is the best possible person for this important job.  Ms Matyas has the abilities and the skills that a CEO needs to meet the challenges of the Brampton Library and the emerging directions the Brampton Library is taking. 


“I’m delighted by this opportunity to work with the Library Board and staff during a period of rapid growth,” said Ms. Matyas.  “There is a momentum in Brampton that I’m excited to be part of.”


Beginning in 2003, Ms. Matyas led a renewal of the Waterloo Public Library to transform it into one of the most progressive medium-sized libraries in Ontario, with programs and services that have been recognized with awards from the Ministry of Culture and community partners. 


Her work in Waterloo also included the development of a long-range facilities expansion plan. Ms. Matyas has guided the planning of a branch library together with the YMCA in a complex which is currently under construction and will open in 2012.


Ms. Matyas also initiated and negotiated a multi-year funding agreement with the municipality to more appropriately align operating support with the growth of the library, as well as provincial standards.  Working with the municipality, she also negotiated a $1.4M collections funding plan to bring library collections up to recognized standards over a two year period.


Coming from the technology-rich Waterloo Region, Ms. Matyas has a keen interest in enabling new technologies to build library services.  She was a key contributor to Waterloo’s successful bid to be recognized as Intelligent Community of the Year in 2007 for the community’s use of broadband technology to build community capacity.  She also secured $400,000 of federal grant funding and led a multi-partner project to build an online portal to provide information and to new immigrants to Waterloo Region.


In her most recent and previous positions, Ms. Matyas has built extensive working relationships with community partners, and positioned her libraries as key contributors to community development. 


“I’m particularly interested in providing an environment that supports innovative thinking and best practices in public librarianship,” said Matyas, “I think that Brampton Library has clearly demonstrated the potential of the public library to be a great community partner, to help stimulate the local economy, and make Brampton a great place to live and work.”


Ms. Matyas currently serves on a number of Boards and Committees in Waterloo Region, including the Grand River Hospital Board, the Waterloo County Hall of Fame Board, and the Waterloo Horticultural Society Board.  She is also an active volunteer for many other events and programs in the community.


She has been a frequent organizer, convener and speaker at Ontario and Canadian Library Association conferences, and is a past President of the Ontario Public Library Association.


Ms. Matyas is originally from Toronto and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Western Ontario. 


CBC program SPARK on the future of public libraries

CULC member Gerry Meek (CEO, Calgary Public Library) was prominently featured in Episode 117 on CBC radio's SPARK.  The full audio can be heard here:


Some of the feedback on the blog includes:
Linda Cook · 5 days ago
Calgary's silver-haired fox also has a silver tongue! What a great interview! He has done the Canadian library community proud with his comments that portray libraries today as the modern, accessible, and inclusive instituions they are - Thank you!
Debbie Habberfield · 5 days ago
Awesome interview. Gerry did an excellent job of explaining to the public what experiences they can have in a public library. It makes me proud to be part of the library community.

Read more here:


CULC/CBUC commends government for Bill C-32 (Copyright); still some changes requested

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada spend time at their Spring meeting in Edmonton analyzing and discussing the newly released bill C-32.  CULC/CBUC will continue to analyze and will be further communicating on the issue of the problems that digital locks impose on public libraries in their mandate to serve all citizens.

A copy of the letter to the Ministers is included below.  


June 7, 2010


The Honourable Tony Clement, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Industry

5th Floor, West Tower, CD Howe Building

235 Queen Street

Ottawa, ON  K1A 0H5


The Honourable James Moore, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

15 Eddy Street

Gatineau, QC  K1A 0M5

Dear Ministers,

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council/ Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada (CULC/CBUC) would like to commend the credible effort made by your Government to strike a balance on copyright reform with Bill C-32. We are all aware that the debate on copyright is always contentious and this will no doubt be the case moving forward with this legislation.

CULC/CBUC acknowledges that the Bill is complex and it will take weeks of careful analysis and consultation with Government staff to fully understand the implications of the extensive revisions and significant new approaches proposed. This letter is a preliminary response from CULC/CBUC and we will be providing a more detailed analysis later.

We note several comments from Minister Clement stating that the Government is open to revisions to the Bill. While we welcome open and transparent deliberations on the legislation, we also note the lessons of the recent history of copyright reform where there has been significant erosion of user rights sections of proposed legislation during Commons Committee deliberations. CULC/CBUC will actively participate in the process you establish as the Bill moves forward through the legislative process. CULC/CBUC and its members will be vigorous both in advocating to retain its progressive elements and introducing amendments on behalf of public libraries and our users where we feel it is necessary.

While the full implications for public libraries of the substantive overhaul of the education exceptions and the introduction of new criteria in fair dealing are unclear to us at this time, we applaud your effort to provide clarity in a number of areas for our colleagues in education and for students. The stated intent of introducing language which is technology neutral is also admirable. CULC/CBUC is uncertain that all library, archive and museum exceptions have been amended to the extent necessary to achieve technology neutrality and we will be pursuing this issue as necessary. The “notice and notice” provisions of the Bill are welcomed.

CULC/CBUC is especially pleased with the Bill’s approach on behalf of print disabled Canadians both in a clarification to the parallel importation section of the Bill and in other sections. The reduction of statutory damages for individuals is also appropriate.

While as we have indicated there is much to welcome in Bill C-32, CULC/CBUC is very concerned that the Bill provides unnecessary and overreaching protection for digital locks. There is the potential for a range of very negative unintended consequences in digital lock protection which does not recognize circumvention, and the possession of devices for circumvention, in limited instances for dealing with lawfully acquired content for non-infringing purposes. CULC/CBUC will be seeking clarity from the Government that the Bill’s approach does not impede the ability of public libraries to effectively serve our users, especially those wishing to access content for other geographic regions, and prohibit the use of library exceptions.  We will address specifics of the problems presented by digital locks in subsequent communication with the Government. 

Finally, CULC/CBUC continues to be very concerned over the vulnerability of user and library rights to imposed licences or contracts. Public libraries will continue to advocate for legislative recognition of the right to override non-negotiated contract requirements which impede the application of legislated rights.

CULC/CBUC is committed to work with your Government as Bill C-32 moves forward. Canadian public libraries and our millions of users will welcome a copyright regime which fairly strikes a balance between user rights and the rights of creators and content providers in our digital world. Bill C-32 has the potential achieve such a made in Canada outcome.

CULC/CBUC strives to strengthen our vibrant urban communities through building the capacity of Canada’s urban libraries. Our members collectively serve more than 7.5 active users from 522 physical locations and virtually. In 2009 member libraries loaned more than 175,000,000 items and expended in excess of $480 million on collections including $10 million on digital resources.

Yours sincerely,



Jeff Barber


Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) /

Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada

and CEO, Regina Public Library


Paul Whitney

Chair, Copyright Committee

Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) /

Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada

and CEO, Vancouver Public Library









Library Book Rate - msg from MPP Merv Tweed

UPDATE – Federal Government announces support for Library Book Rate Bill

CULC/CBUC member Barbara Clubb (Ottawa Public Library) received a thank you note from MP Merv Tweed on the progress of the Library Book Rate bill that he is championing.  He indicated strong support from the library community in terms of letters and petitions in support of keeping the library book rate.  Second reading has happened.  Another hour has been set aside for debate on September 23rd and then the bill will be sent to committee for study.