Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Catherine Biss Receives FIAA Outstanding Alumni Award

Markham Public Library CEO and iSchool Alumna, Catherine Biss (MLS 1975) is the recipient of this year’s FIAA Outstanding Alumni Award as announced at the 2011 Faculty of Information Spring Reunion for “her outstanding leadership, mentorship, and exceptional capacity for innovation in librarianship.”

Part of her nomination letter states: “Catherine has dedicated her entire professional life to pursuing her passion for libraries. She has often shared with her staff the transformative experiences she had as a child using her public library and developing a relationship with the children’s librarian who would never fail to engage her imagination and instilled in her a life-long love of the library. Such commitment to her profession is apparent in her approach to her current role as CEO of Markham Public Library.”

Ms Biss was recognized by the Mayor of Markham and Council for her FIAA award that Mr. Henderson presented to her at the last Library Board meeting, Monday, May 30.

Congratulations Ms Biss.

For the full story:


BPL wins Marketing Award for their Mobile App

Marketing excellence award for Burlington Public Library: Marketing Magazine recognizes BPLMobile marketing campaign

Burlington, ON – This month in Ottawa the professional marketing community recognized Burlington Public Library with an award of excellence for their marketing campaign of the BPLMobile library app, launched to the public in December 2010. This industry award is part of the Marketing Excellence Recognition Program sponsored by Marketing Magazine and the Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing.

Nicole Paterson, Burlington Public Library’s marketing communications manager, accepted the award on behalf of the library at the annual MARCOM conference, an educational and professional development forum for public and non-profit sector marketing professionals from all across Canada.

The Library’s marketing department received this recognition for the strategic marketing and promotional plan to launch BPLMobile, which included leveraging local retail partnerships, developing unique creative marketing collateral, and using targeted strategy to reach a broad audience, within a very limited budget.

“Burlington Public Library was one of the first libraries in Ontario to offer a mobile app to customers,” says Maureen Barry, chief executive officer. “This leading-edge service initiative was supported by an innovative marketing campaign that was bold yet economical. We are very proud of our team.”

BPLMobile is a mobile application for smart phones that allows library members to take Burlington Public Library with them wherever they go. BPLMobile users can browse the collection, reserve items, manage their accounts, check the library’s hours and locations, and connect to the library’s social media sites.

In the past two years, BPL’s marketing communications department has built a strong reputation with other libraries and non-profit/public sector organizations. In 2009, the Library was a founding member of the Ontario-based Marketing Public Libraries ThinkTank. This year Burlington Public Library continues to help lead the marketing charge by presenting at conferences in Toronto at the Ontario Library Association, and in Buffalo, New York at the Western New York Libraries Council.

Burlington Public Library is a tax-supported registered charitable organization with six branches citywide. The Library is a local gathering place for people of all ages and a portal to the global community through the Internet. Every Burlington resident, regardless of personal income, has access to a vast array of resources and services within a safe and welcoming environment.


Call for Pilot Libraries

LAC-BAC has again, as announced at the meeting in Halifax, agreed to fund up to 4 more pilot libraries to offer Lest We Forget. The hope building on the success of the first four (thank you Fraser Valley, Winnipeg, Burlington and Toronto) is that LAC-BAC can then develop some simple operational plan for all libraries to be able to share the military records with their communities through Lest We Forget Workshops.

To this end we are seeking libraries who are willing to be pilot libraries.  Below you will find a list of requirements and resources that LAC has provided. The idea is that this will help you decide about your ability to be a pilot site starting this autumn.

If you can confirm back your continued interest by June 17th along with a proposed program contact(s) and specifically what branch or branches you would anticipate delivering the workshops in.  LAC will then work with CULC/CBUC to determine the best fit for the pilot based on the following:  a)  those who have expressed interest, b)  where LAC has pre-expressed interest from school boards/schools, c) where LAC can best support through third party contacts and local LAC archival activities, and d) where the pilot results will build on the first-round of experiences (regionally, linguistically, structure of school/public library relationship.  The plan is for each pilot site to be able to reach at least 300 local students in the pilot community/area.

Up to four pilots will be chosen.  Contracting timelines are not yet known.

Requirements for Libraries

The “Lest We Forget” project puts the local public library in the centre of the community, allowing it to provide a service of benefit to many local stakeholders (veterans, genealogists, historians, school boards, teachers, and students in the area).

Each workshop is about 2 hours itself; set-up and clean-up additional. First round pilots added elements in partnership with the school including a trip to the local cenotaph; war monuments; legion; cemetery, etc.

Training will be provided by LAC.  A final report will need to be completed by the participating libraries that will feed into a larger report to help inform the next stages of development of this program for delivery across Canada.

Facility and Resources

  • 1 workshop room (can hold up to 35 persons / one classroom). Preferably lockable, if originals being used, and separated from main library area. Room may be the computer area if adequate table space and chairs are available
  • 12 small tables or 6-7 large tables; 35 existing chairs (students ideally in clusters of 4)
  • 2+ computers with internet access and video projector** (preferred, but not critical). Available for online research if needed, though on-site workshop is more about physical document review)
  • 7-10 magnifying glasses to be shared by students (can obtain at “Dollar Store” vendors)
  • 30 pencils, 5-10 small plastic baskets (for holding pencils and magnifying glasses)
  • Access to a photocopier/printer (printer should be preferably colour and laser)
  • Small print budget (reg forms; informational booklets; 3 pages of printing for student handout).  This is variable depending on what the teacher has ordered from LAC. This is maximum.

** It is preferable for “Workshop Coordinator” to introduce the workshop by walking through a PDF (electronic) version of a military file on a laptop computer with video projector (though this is not necessary as this introduction can be done without computer/projector by simply holding up a sample military file and explaining the common records enclosed).

Local Contacts

The library needs to have connection and relations, or ability to build them, with:

  • local high schools (preferably publicly-funded and independent)
  • local military service groups
  • local history or similar groups who might be able to build on the experience for the kids. 



  1. The library needs to appoint a project leader who can serve as the contact for LAC-BAC staff and CULC/CBUC.

Each workshop will require 2 staff members for each delivery.

  1. Workshop Support (typically front end staff member)
    Primary functions: confirm registration; meet group; liaise with the school about military records order form; liaise with LAC for originals, digitization and/or reproductions)
  2. Workshop Co-ordinator (typically a professional librarian and experienced program deliverer to the public, students (Gr 9-12) and teachers)
    Primary functions:
    • co-ordinating with “Workshop Support” (front desk / info desk staff) on upcoming workshop Setup of room for workshop (original military service files laid out if reproductions not ordered, magnifying glasses, student handouts, feedback forms, pencils).
    • (each workshop is approx. ½ day of work including setup, workshop, post-workshop work)
    • Interact with a LAC archivist onsite during workshops, if they are located near one of LAC’s records centres, where possible
    • Administer the workshop and ensure the teacher and student wash their hands before handling the documents; explain how documents are to be carefully handled
    • Support the teacher and students during the workshop in deciphering difficult-to-read writing, to the best of their ability (they do not need to be an expert in this area)
    • Submit feedback/attendance statistics periodically throughout the year and coordinate with CULC and LAC on promotion of the program with school boards, local genealogy groups, historians, etc. (useful if the library has an existing communication plan (or bulletin) and outreach strategy, can include this workshop as an item)

Note: it is possible to coordinate the workshop with 1 staffperson if these duties are combined. It is preferable to have two staffpersons for coverage. It is useful to have both staff cross-trained so that they understand each other’s role (once trained, they can do this for each other at their convenience).


Paul Whitney Re-elected to IFLA Governing Board


The results of the IFLA elections for President-Elect and Governing Board for the term 2011-2013 have just been announced.

Paul Whitney, consultant and former chief librarian of the Vancouver Public Library, was re-elected for a second term on the IFLA Governing Board with the second highest number of votes of all candidates. Congratulations to Paul!

Sinikka Sipilä, Director General of the Finnish Library Association, has been elected President-Elect. She will serve as IFLA President for 2013-2015.

The other directly elected members of the Governing Board will include:

  • Inga Lundén, Sweden
  • Barbara Lison, Germany
  • Kent Skov Andreasen, Denmark
  • Donna Scheeder, United States
  • Frédéric Blin, France
  • Buhle Mbambo Thata, South Africa
  • Genevieve Clavel-Merrin, Switzerland
  • Christine Mackenzie, Australia
  • Ingrid Bon, Netherlands

Full details of the ballot results are available at:

Kelly Moore
Executive Director
Canadian Library Association


CULC/CBUC to help Slave Lake Library Rebuild

The wild fire in May destroyed more than 40% of the town of Slave Lake, including the public library.  At the CULC/CBUC meetings in Dartmouth (Halifax) it was decided that CULC/CBUC would make a cash donation and encourage all members to consider a cash or inkind donation to assist this facility and these people in need.  

Information can be found, through the local rotary club, at: