Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Beth Barlow Retires, new Surrey Chief Librarian named

Chief Librarian, Beth Barlow, is retiring on December 30, 2011 after 11 years at the helm of Surrey Libraries and nearly 40 years as a librarian. She came to Surrey in January 2001, following a career that took her across all three Prairie Provinces in increasingly responsible positions. She notes that “my years in Surrey were the most satisfying and enjoyable of my career. I’ll miss everyone from our visionary Mayor and Council to the excellent staff in Surrey’s libraries”. She adds that “celebrating the Grand Opening of the City Centre Library was my proudest moment as a librarian – the throngs of people ringing the balconies that day to share in the event took my breath away!”

Surrey has seen its library system expand during Ms. Barlow’s tenure, with the opening of the Semiahmoo Library in 2003 and the City Centre Library this fall. Semiahmoo Library was the first “green” library building in Canada and the only one with an exterior living wall; City Centre Library is the most architecturally striking public library in the country. Beth has chaired the Surrey/White Rock Community Literacy Planning table since its inception and is a strong advocate for literacy in the community.

Beth Barlow was recognized by Surrey’s business community with the Surrey Board of Trade’s Surrey Women in Business Award in 2011 for a Not-for-Profit Corporation, and by the Association of British Columbia Public Library Directors with their annual Director’s Award in 2011 as well. She is an active member of the Semiahmoo Rotary Club and is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

She plans to stay in Surrey, with regular trips to see family and friends in other parts of Canada, travel to satisfy her “bucket lists” and volunteering in the community. Beth is looking forward to having time to read some of the print and e-books in the Surrey Libraries collection.

Melanie Houlden has been appointed as Surrey’s new Chief Librarian, starting January 1, 2012. She has been the Deputy Chief Librarian for 10 years and a member of the staff since 1983, achieving increasingly responsible positions over the years. Melanie is also active in the community. She is the Chair of the Board of Trade’s Environment Committee and a member of its Business Excellence Awards Committee, as well as a longstanding member of the Surrey Leader’s Community Leader Awards Committee. She participates in the Surrey/White Rock Community Literacy Planning Table and the Surrey Schools Welcome Centre Settlement Committee, and is the past co-chair of the Make Children First Committee.

Melanie has also been active in the provincial library scene – she is a Director of the British Columbia Library Association and a recent Past-President. She has participated in a variety of provincial and regional library initiatives.

Surrey Libraries are in good hands as the torch passes from Beth to Melanie.


Penguin and Library eBooks



SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — One of the country's largest publishers, Penguin Group (USA), is temporarily restoring libraries' ability to loan their e-books for's Kindle — but only through the end of the year.

The publisher backtracked Wednesday after saying it was informed by Inc. that the online retailer wasn't aware of Penguin's agreement with Overdrive, a leading supplier of e-books to libraries.

Penguin, which is based in New York, had suspended making new e-books available to libraries and said it won't allow libraries to loan any e-books for the Kindle due to unspecified security concerns.

Amazon, based in Seattle, allows Kindle users to borrow e-books from local libraries through a partnership with OverDrive. The partnership vastly increases the Kindle's presence in libraries and encourages patrons to visit Amazon's website and buy books. Penguin asked OverDrive to disable its "Get for Kindle" function on Penguin books on Monday, and OverDrive said it and Penguin were "in the process of looking at new terms" for libraries.

Now, Penguin says the companies are all working together to "address Penguin's concerns" by the end of 2011. Amazon declined to comment.


The following was posted last night (November 21). The impact on Canadian libraries is not known.

Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of their eBooks. In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin eBook titles from our library catalogue and disable “Get for Kindle” functionality for all Penguin eBooks. We apologize for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier. We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible.

More information on this development will be happening over the next two or three days.


2011 Library Journal Director’s Summit

Library Journal is hosting their third annual Directors' Summit, Moving from Outputs to Outcomes, this time at Columbus Metropolitan Library, headed by executive director Patrick Losinski. Following up on previous summits on fundraising and marketing, this event will address how libraries can garner support by moving from traditional library statistics like circulation and visits to outcome-based or evidence-based data. What are the outcomes that a community values? How do we determine those goals and develop needed services? What is the impact the library has on those who use it? How do we measure impact? Ultimately, how do libraries improve the lives of users and communities and tell their stories in ways that will motivate public funding and support as well as private fundraising?

Date: December 5–6, 2011
Location: Columbus Metropolitan Library
More Information.


eBook Pricing Models

As part of CULC's ongoing work around the topic of portable and downloadable eBook content, a working draft of some pricing models has been developed and shared with the CULC/CBUC members for input at the recent meetings in Surrey, BC. Still a member-only document, it will be accepting inputs soon and shared for further discussion. Members can find it in the Member Only section under “Advocacy & Issue Resources” of the website.


Brampton PL opens first new branch in 25 years


The first new library branch in Brampton in 25 years will open its doors to the public on November 21, 2011.

The Mount Pleasant Village Branch Library, located at 100 Commuter Drive, across from the Mount Pleasant GO Station, is a partnership between the Library Board, the City of Brampton and the Peel District School Board. The new library has been constructed together with an elementary school, and functions both as a public library for the community and a school library for the students.

“This is an excellent example of how organizations with a shared mandate can come together to provide service to everyone in the community,” says Brampton Library Chief Executive Officer Cathy Matyas. “The project is a win-win for all involved, and especially the residents of northwest Brampton.”

The new library branch is located in one of the most innovative developments in the Greater Toronto Area. Mount Pleasant Village is a compact urban community that mixes three-storey freehold townhouses and detached homes in a single development. It also incorporates the historic 1902 Brampton CPR railway station into the design and functional areas of the library and community space.

The Mount Pleasant community has been designed with a focus on public transit and a pedestrian-friendly environment. The innovative development was recognized earlier this year with two awards from the Building Industry and land Development Association (BILD).

The new 19,000 sq ft library has been built on two levels and will open in stages, with the first floor open as of November 21. The second floor, which will house expanded library collections, will open as operating funding is confirmed through the budget process. The temporary Northwest branch library, located at 10500 Creditview Road, will close on November 12 and is being replaced by the new Mount Pleasant Village location.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the public into our new branch library,” says Matyas. “The Mount Pleasant Village Branch Library will finally allow us to provide the range of collections, services and programs that residents in Brampton are demanding. We’ll finally be able to provide both the traditional and new library services that support our growing and diverse community.”

The Library Board, in partnership with the City of Brampton, has commenced construction on a seventh library branch of 30,000 sf for the east side of the city, which will open in the fall of 2012.

For more information, contact:
Cathy Matyas, Chief Executive Officer, Brampton Library

About the Brampton Library

With a population of just over 500,000 Brampton is the 11th largest city in Canada. Brampton boasts a well-diversified and rapidly growing economy. Through its collections, services and programs, the Brampton Library celebrates the growth and diversity of the community, and serves residents from 175 distinct ethnic backgrounds and the 70 different languages that are spoken in our city.