Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Paul Takala new CEO at Hamilton Public Library

Hamilton Public Library Board Appoints New Chief Librarian/Chief Executive Officer

The Board of the Hamilton Public Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Paul Takala to the position of Chief Librarian/Chief Executive Officer.

Paul has held the role of Director of Digital Technology with the Hamilton Public Library since March of 2009 and has been with the Hamilton Public Library in a managerial capacity since 1999. He has a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Toronto. Paul brings over seventeen years of public library experience, including several years at New York Public Library, to the position of Chief Librarian/Chief Executive Officer. As one of Canada’s foremost leaders of library technology, Paul has played an integral role in the implementation of many innovative projects at Hamilton Public Library that have enhanced operations and improved the customer experience. He has also been instrumental in creating efficiencies within the Hamilton Public Library that have resulted in an increase in the circulation of over 2 million items in the last five years. Paul’s expertise and leadership skills will create opportunities for continued advancement in technology, customer service and community engagement.

Paul has been active on community boards and committees throughout his library career and currently serves as Treasurer for the Board of the Ontario Library Association. He has demonstrated his commitment and dedication to the Hamilton community through his involvement with many organizations including 10 years of service on Community Information Hamilton’s Board with two years as President from 2006 to 2008. With strong ties to the library community, Paul has also served on provincial and academic committees and is a member of the Canadian Library Association and of the American Library/Public Library Association. He has received several awards in recognition of his commitment to the public library field. The W.J. Robertson Medallion was awarded to Paul in 2006 by the Ontario Library Board’s Association. In 2003, he received the University of Toronto Alumni Association Arbour Award for the Faculty of Information Studies. Paul is also a graduate of the Bay Area Leadership program.

Paul’s appointment was unanimously approved by the Board of the Hamilton Public Library. He will assume his new role on June 1. George Geczy, Chair of the Hamilton Public Library Board, said, “Paul’s experience and background are important assets that he brings to the role of Chief Librarian, but his greatest strength is his passion for libraries and the communities we serve. This passion has been a hallmark of Hamilton’s past Chief Librarians and Paul is set to continue those traditions as he takes the reins of one of the most respected library systems in Canada.”


Ken Roberts to receive Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award at CLA

2012 Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award Announced by the Canadian Library Association

(Ottawa, April 20, 2012) - The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques is pleased to announce that the 2012 CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award is being presented to Ken Roberts of Hamilton Public Library. The CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award is generously sponsored by ProQuest.

Ken Roberts has had a remarkable impact on Canadian libraries through his career in public libraries across the country, from Lethbridge, Alberta and Richmond, British Columbia to Whitby and Hamilton in Ontario. As well as being one of Canada’s great leaders in the realm of public libraries, serving, for example, in multiple terms as Chair of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, Ken has served the profession in major leadership roles including President of the Canadian Library Association and President of the Ontario Library Association.

Ken supports the next generation of the profession as a mentor for the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute and by developing the Public Library Leadership Fellowship programme through the University of Toronto’s ISchool.

As one of the nominators said of him, Ken thinks globally and acts locally: "his ability to synthesize complex thoughts and communicate them so clearly to any audience is one of his most remarkable attributes. His passion, authority and conviction are apparent to all listeners, whether they are a group of city councilors or a class of preschoolers. It is this ability to ‘tell a story’ that resonates so well with everyone who comes in contact with him – even the most unaware citizen will become convinced of the value of public libraries and librarians after listening to Ken."

Ken is a renowned author of children’s books and is in high demand as a public speaker at professional conferences across North America. He has received numerous awards during his career as a children’s librarian, educator, and administrator. Another of his supporters said "what stands out for me with Ken is that, in spite of all his accomplishments, he is a librarian first and foremost and a humble man".

The CLA Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award will be presented at the CLA Closing Ceremonies, to be held Saturday, June 2nd during the CLA 2012 National Conference in Ottawa.

The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques 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.


CNIB distributes business plan for National Digital HUB

Following up on the presentation to CULC/CBUC last November in Surrey the National Board of CNIB has supported the National Digital HUB business plan.  It appears all members of CULC/CBUC have received a copy.  Follow-up from CNIB is planned this Spring.  The CULC/CBUC Executive will look at it and notify members what is needed from them.  Thank you to those who have proactively provided comments.  


Editorial about National Library Week in the USA.

Beyond books: Why you should check out your public library

Updated: April 8, 2012 2:01AM


For many of us, the public library always will be synonymous with books.

The books drew us to the library in the first place, helped us discover new worlds — real and imaginary — beyond our day-to-day experiences.


Libraries continue to embody that same spirit of search and discovery, but in a manner that has been transformed as dramatically as the way we generate, share and consume information. They make this new digital era available to all Americans.


In Chicago, for example, an innovative space at the main public library called YOUmedia lets any teen with a city library card have in-house access to computers, plus video and audio recording equipment to create their own content with the help of a mentor.


At another YOUmedia space in Miami, workshops help teens think critically and creatively about their lives by teaching them to publish an autobiographical digital story or to visualize their favorite books.


In a world where information is increasingly available, learning to analyze it, create it and make it your own is a valued skill.


For many teens, the library might be the only place they can get online and be connected to the digital world.

They are in good company. One-third of Americans — mostly older, rural and-or poor — lack broadband access at home and can’t participate fully in contemporary life, much less in the $8 trillion global Internet-enabled economy.

Imagine the difficulty of finding work today without access to the Internet, especially when 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies only accept online applications.


According to a University of Washington study, in 2009, more than 20 million people used public library resources as part of their job searches, with half of them filling out applications or submitting resumes. Those figures only have increased as libraries nationwide have added services for job seekers.


Beyond providing access, librarians are helping Americans navigate the digital landscape. Classes focus on everything from how to operate an e-reader to how to publish your own eBook.


Libraries in Alaska, Oklahoma and other states are adding video conferencing capabilities. Some libraries even will connect you with a digital mentor to strengthen your skills.


Library services no longer are only contained in the physical library. Book mobiles have been supplemented by mobile computer labs — visiting minority communities in St. Paul to teach digital literacy classes in Spanish, Hmong and Somali, for example.


In Dover, Mass., the library has installed matrix bar codes around town that link signs at the market and playground to community information and services.


Seattle Public Library offers live chats with librarians 24 hours a day, getting answers to reference questions and live homework help.


The Knight, MacArthur and Gates foundations support public libraries because they help people acquire the skills to become lifelong learners, compete in the global economy and provide the knowledge to participate in civic life. Libraries are good investments.


Yet, some communities are cutting library budgets, forcing reductions in service just when Americans most need to deepen the digital and information skills that libraries foster.


This National Library Week, rediscover your library, as a portal to other worlds — and your own community.

Check out all the library has to offer — and consider what you might have to offer it.

It’s no longer a place where you go to learn about someone else’s past, but to create your own future.


Paula Ellis, vice president, Strategic Initiatives, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation;


Deborah Jacobs, director, Global Libraries Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;


Julia Stasch, vice president of U.S. Programs, MacArthur Foundation


Chicago Sun Times Post Tribune:


Grand Forks (ND) Herald:


Daily Camera (Boulder):


CAP-Youth Initiative stays in tact; but funding for operations ends

In letters sent to provincial operators and many CAP sites around the country, Lisa Setlakwe, Director General of the Regional Operations Sector at Industry Canada had the following to say:

CAP contributed to bringing computer and Internet technologies to Canadians across the country, and has successfully achieved its objectives. In these challenging fiscal times, the Government remains committed to prioritizing expenditures and retuming to budget balance. CAP was scheduled to end March 31,2012, and will not be renewed.

Federal funding wiÍl continue for CAP YI to support youth internships at community Internet sites. This will provide young Canadians with vital skills and work experience needed to make a successful transition to the workplace. Former CAP-supported sites will continue to be eligible for this funding.