Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

New Mayors for many of Canada's big Cities

The news headlines last week were Calgary and no doubt this week they will be for Toronto's mayoral victory for Rob Ford. However, CULC/CBUC member libraries and their boards are going to be spending a lot of time with their newly elected Mayors and Council. Here are some of the changes:


Calgary – Haheed Nenshi replaces Dave Bronconnier who did not run.

The incumbent Mayor, Stephen Mandel, won in Edmonton.


Barrie – Jeff Lehman defeated incumbent Dave Aspen.

Burlington – Rick Goldring defeated incumbent Cam Jackson.

Hamilton – Bob Bratina defeated incumbent Fred Eisenberger and former mayor Larry Di Ianni.

London – Joe Fontana defeated incumbent Anne Marie DeCicco-Best.

Oshawa – John G. Henry defeats incumbent John Gray.

Ottawa – Jim Watson defeated incumbent Larry O'Brien.

Thunder Bay – Keith Hobbs defeated incumbent Lynn Peterson.

Toronto – Rob Ford replaces David Miller who did not run. He defeated former Deputy Premier George Smitherman and current Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone.

Vaughan – Maurizio Bevilacqua (who recently gave up his federal MP seat to run) defeated incumbent Linda Jackson

Incumbents in Brampton (Susan Fennell), Cambridge (Doug Craig), Kitchener (Carl Zehr), Markham (Frank Scarpitti), Mississauga (Hazel McCallion), Oakville (Rob Burton), Richmond Hill (Dave Barrow), St. Catharines (Brian McMullan), Windsor (Eddie Francis) and Whitby (Pat Perkins) won another term.


The incumbent Mayor, Sam Katz, won in Winnipeg.


HPL's Ken Roberts Nominated for a Silver Birch Award

HPL CEO Ken Roberts receives a Silver Birch Reading Program nomination for Thumb and the Bad Guys <Groundwood>.  


Silver Birch is a Children's Choice reading program that encourages reading and gives the choice to children and young adults to choose their favourite Canadian books.  


The Silver Birch is one of many reading programs offered by the Ontario LIbrary Association under the banner of the "Forest of Reading®".  


For a full list of Forest nominated titles visit < <> or visit S & B Books, the Official Wholesaler for the Forest®.  


LWF Update and Pilot Locations

The CULC/CBUC and LAC/BAC partnership to pilot the deliver of Lest We Forget Workshops outside of the National Capital Region is proceeding.  All pilot centres had representatives trained, in Ottawa, in late September.  The pilot centres are Fraser Valley Regional Library; Winnipeg Public Library; Burlington Public Library and Toronto Public Library.  Contact with local schools and other stakeholder groups continue.  Burlington has announced a series of 10 workshops beginning in early November.  LAC and CULC continue to discuss a formal announcement of the partnership and something is expected in November


National Library Association Continues to Urge Support for Private Member’s Bill

OTTAWA (September 30, 2010) The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is pleased with the progress of Bill C-509, an Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act to provide for the long-term, sustainable provision of the reduced rate of postage for library materials. The Bill, introduced by Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon—Souris, Manitoba, will protect the Library Book Rate available through Canada Post and is currently at second reading in the House of Commons.

The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport) and Merv Tweed joined CLA today on Parliament Hill to deliver remarks on the Bill. “As the Minister responsible for Canada Post, I am keenly aware of the benefits of the Library Book Rate and its history,” said Minister Merrifield. “I am here today to proudly state that our Government is proud to support literacy and our libraries across the country, both urban and rural, and that our government will strongly support Mr. Tweed’s Bill.”

“Over 2,000 libraries actively use the Library Book Rate and an estimated one million Canadians benefit from it annually,” added Tweed. “It is clear that many Canadians will benefit from an expanded Library Book Rate and I am happy to acknowledge our government’s support of this Bill.” With increased public visibility and the help of Canadians, this Bill has received widespread support from all Members of Parliament. “We are thrilled to see support from all sides and we hope to continue this momentum as the Bill moves through the various stages,” commented CLA Executive Director, Kelly Moore. “Members of the library community continue to be concerned about the sustainability of the Library Book Rate, which contributes to the public policy goals of literacy, lifelong learning, inclusion, and vibrant communities.”

The Library Book Rate is a Canada Post service that has, since 1939, provided a reduced rate for mailing library books between libraries and from libraries to their users. Canada Post currently reviews its support on an annual basis.

Bill C-509 would provide that the Government of Canada support a concessionary postal rate for Canada’s public libraries, thus guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of the program. The legislation would also expand the Library Book Rate program to include non-print materials such as CDs, CD-ROMS, and DVDs.

The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA) is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

For more information, please contact Alana Fontaine, CLA Public Affairs: Telephone (613) 233-8906


Vancouver Public Library Board Names New City Librarian

(Vancouver, British Columbia) – The Vancouver Public Library Board of Trustees is very pleased to announce that a new City Librarian has been hired to commence work on December 20.

Following an extensive international search, Sandra Singh will be the city’s 11th head librarian and will oversee the operation of the landmark Central Library, 20 neighbourhood branches, the rapidly expanding virtual and over 800 Library staff.

“The Library Board is thrilled that someone of Sandra’s calibre will be our next City Librarian and lead the Library during a period of exciting and challenging change,” said Board Chair Joan Andersen.

“Sandra's passion for public libraries, her profound understanding of the important role Vancouver Public Library plays in the city and her vision for the future make her an excellent choice,” she added.

The Library Board was pleased with the number of extremely qualified candidates who applied for this leadership position.

A former director at Vancouver Public Library, Ms. Singh is currently Director of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia. The Centre is dedicated to the intellectual, social, cultural and economic development of people in British Columbia. Prior to joining UBC, Sandra held two senior management positions at VPL overseeing east side library branches and leading the Library’s computer systems department. While at VPL, she led the award-winning national project Working Together which pioneered community development techniques to plan and implement services with socially excluded communities.

Ms. Singh succeeds Paul Whitney who became Vancouver’s City Librarian in 2003 and who is retiring after a distinguished 36-year career in BC public libraries.

“While the Library Board regrets that Paul has chosen to retire, we are confident that Sandra’s extensive knowledge, experience, skills and enthusiasm will make her an exceptional City Librarian,” said Ms. Andersen. “The 13 Library Board members and all staff congratulate and welcome her back to the Library.”

Ms. Singh said she is thrilled to return to VPL at such an exciting time for public libraries.

“I am both delighted and honoured to be given this opportunity to become part of VPL’s future and look forward to working with the remarkable people who have helped make VPL the exceptional library system it is today – the Board, staff and community” said Ms. Singh.

“The constant growth in the use of mobile devices presents wonderful opportunities for the Library to examine new ways of delivering service. And, at the same time, we must explore how the Library can further contribute to making our community economically, socially and environmentally sustainable,” she added.

“I believe it is critical that all public institutions work with their communities to determine the future. Vancouver Public Library will continue and expand upon community engagement to determine how best to respond to community issues and will develop services taking advantage of evolving technological advances.”

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jean Kavanagh
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Vancouver Public Library
604-331-3895; 604-612-4059 cell