Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

UPDATE: Digital Literacy Exchange Program

A small working group is working on the very complex application of 24 questions. There is quite limited space in the initial application (sometimes only 250 words) making it a challenge. That said we have had a very productive call with the people at ISED about the National Approach and MAJOR request we are suggesting for the public library community.

In Year One we have (at this stage) allocated about 350 projects that range in dollar size and reach from about $1,500 (expectation of project to reach 40 participants from the under represented groups that ISED has identified) up to $100,000 (expectation to reach 5,000 participants). We have also created a separate pot of money to support the Far North and Indigenous communities where a train-the-trainer strategy could be effective. Another small packet that is being requested to actually develop a National Digital Strategy – using evaluation and research with a partner like a University.

The core belief is that public libraries know their communities, so within the framework of what the government hopes to achieve it will be the libraries that suggest projects they feel are priorities for their communities. Not dissimilar from programs like CAP back in the late 90s, early 2000s where similar training was quite successful (albeit with a much broader group of Canadians who simply did not have connectivity).

If you are willing to complete the short survey that will provide us with some examples we can cite. I mention the word limitation, but it is super important that we use examples from all parts of the country and many different library types.  Thanks in advance.


Deadline: Friday, March 23rd @ 12:00 noon.


CULC/CBUC to lead a National Application to Digital Literacy Exchange

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des bibliothèques urbaines du Canada is submitting a national strategy for public library digital literacy training as an application for the recently announced Digital Literacy Exchange program. It will be a partner-based application that will engage library organizations to ensure all libraries, regardless of whether they are CULC/CBUC members, have access to this program.

The purpose of the program is to support the development and delivery of fundamental digital literacy skills training to Canadians who would benefit from increased participation in the digital economy. This is foundational work that public libraries are doing every single day in every part of Canada. Funding under this program can expand this service delivery and ensure no Canadian is left out of the digital economy for lack of fundamental skills.

The program is here:

If you are interested in being included in the application as a supporter (ideally organizations that represent multiple public library groups) please submit information here:

Le Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des bibliothèques urbaines du Canada ( met sur pied une stratégie nationale de demande, au nom des bibliothèques publiques, de participation au Programme d'échange en matière de littératie numérique, dont la mise en place a été annoncée récemment. Ce type de demande en partenariat avec des organisations de bibliothèques devrait permettre à toutes les bibliothèques, qu'elles soient ou non membres du CULC/CBUC, d'accéder à ce programme.

Ce programme a pour objet de soutenir l'élaboration et la prestation de formations sur les compétences numériques de base à l'intention des Canadiens qui auraient avantage à mieux participer à l'économie numérique. C'est le genre de tâche qu'effectuent les bibliothèques publiques chaque jour partout au Canada. Le financement obtenu grâce à ce programme peut favoriser ces efforts et faire en sorte qu'aucun Canadien n'est exclu de l'économie numérique par manque de compétences fondamentales.

On peut consulter les détails de ce programme sur les pages suivantes :

Si vous souhaitez être inclus dans la demande en tant que partenaire (idéalement, les organisations qui représentent plusieurs groupes de bibliothèques publiques), veuillez soumettre des informations ici:


One of the busiest weeks of the year for the Canadian Library Community

OLA Super Conference is always busy.  CULC/CBUC is involved all week including the following:

  • LAC Stakeholder's Forum @ The Design Exchange (Monday)
  • The GLAM Summit at the Royal Ontario Museum (Tuesday)
  • Joint meeting with CARL and the Canadian Council of Information Studies (Thursday)
  • Member Social Event - Dinner (Wednesday)
  • Celebrations of a number of Significant Award Wins by Members (Wednesday to Friday)
  • Public Library Leaders Program Graduation of 3rd Cohort (Thursday)
  • CELA Board of Director Meetings (Tuesday)
  • CULC/CBUC Member Reception (Thursday) 
  • Workshop Sessions:  The Ottawa Declaration: About Partnerships within the GLAM Sector; CULC/CBUC Public Library Leaders; Library Space Use:  What We Learned; What I Love About Being a CEO:  CEO Panel; andPL Principles for Licensing Digital Content.  (Wednesday to Friday)
It will be a  good week.  Welcome to Toronto. 


CULC/CBUC Members to Receive Awards at OLA Super Conference

Ontario Library Association Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award

Vickery Bowles, Toronto Public Library

In July 2017 Ms. Bowles defended Toronto Public Library's stance on a library room booking for Barbara Kulaszka’s memorial service. Ms. Kulaszka was a lawyer who had represented Holocaust deniers in her practice, and the booking was seen by many as allowing Nazi rhetoric to enter the library space. Ms. Bowles insisted that denying access to these library services contravened the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the principles of intellectual freedom and the cornerstone of the library’s mission and values.

Despite mounting political pressure from the Mayor of Toronto, and intense scrutiny from national and international media, Ms. Bowles remained steadfast to the values of librarianship and was able to maintain a respectful dialogue throughout the situation. Her efforts have gone on to encourage more library systems to reflect on their policies, and to remind librarians of their professional values and principles.

The Ontario Library Association Board of Directors established the Award for Intellectual Freedom in 1997 to recognize the courage shown by individuals and organizations in defending the rights of library patrons to full access to information. In 2000, the Award was renamed the Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award in memory of the former Chief Librarian of Toronto Public Library whose efforts on behalf of intellectual freedom in Canada are legendary.

Ken Haycock Award For Promoting Librarianship

Sandra Singh, Vancouver Public Library

The Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship is awarded to a candidate who has demonstrated exceptional success in enhancing the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship. This may have been accomplished through:

  • Exceptional practice as a librarian;
  • Teaching the profession in formal and informal settings: or
  • Writing
  • Selection will also be based on the nominee’s demonstrated actions as an Ambassador and role model for librarianship.

    Ontario Library Association President’s Award

    Dr. Guy Berthiaume, Library and Archives Canada

    The President's Award for Exceptional Achievement acknowledges an outstanding action or contribution that has in a major or unique way enhanced or furthered librarianship in Ontario. The selection is at the full discretion of the President of the OLA. Awards are only given if there is something of true historic significance to recognize.

    Ontario Library Boards’ Association (OLBA) W.J. Robertson Medallion

    Catherine Biss, Markham Public Library

    Under Catherine’s leadership, Markham Public Library has grown from a decentralized system of branches to an award-winning sophisticated urban library. Catherine’s vision for innovative and collaborative library service has resulted in a number of innovations at Markham Public Library, focused on customer experience and community engagement. A former chair of CULC and the current chair of CELA, Catherine has served on numerous boards and professional committees. Her work with NELI as a professional mentor has inspired new generations of leaders, as has her internal leadership of her own staff.

    The W.J. Robertson Medallion is presented by the Ontario Library Boards' Association to a public librarian who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the advancement of public library service in Ontario.

    William John Robertson was a founding member of the Ontario Library Association. The thirty three "originals" that established the first constitution at the first Annual meeting of the Association in April, 1901, were a very distinguished and active group and W.J. Robertson was among the most prominent.

    Ontario Public Library Association (OPLA) Lifetime Achievement Award

    Susanna Hubbard Krimmer, London Public Library

    Susanna's vision for libraries extends beyond traditional library services and includes the enhancement and expansion of library services to all areas and users in the community – in an effort to serve identified community needs. Susanna recognizes the need for libraries to be innovative in their use of tools and information to achieve great results for users. Susanna's strong grasp of industry standards and her participation in province-wide committees (former President, OLA) and associations have inspired the progressive direction of London Public Library and by extension, libraries across the province. Susanna takes the time to develop other leaders in the library community, taking the time to engage coworkers, fellow colleagues, and the community.

    The Ontario Public Library Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a library staff member who has given life long service to the profession and has contributed significantly to the growth and innovation of public libraries in Ontario. The President of the Ontario Public Library Association presents the award at the annual Public Library Awards Gala held at the Ontario Library Association’s annual Super Conference.


CFLA Statement – Concerned about US Net Neutrality Protection Elimination

GATINEAU, December 14, 2017

Canadian Federation of Library Associations – Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB) Concerned about US Net Neutrality Protection Elimination

Recent news of the United States’ Federal Communications Commission Order calling for the end of protecting net neutrality raises grave concerns. The future of information sharing globally could be put at risk if net neutrality is no longer protected. Ensuring that intellectual freedom is preserved, and access to information remains equally open to all is crucial to fostering an informed, educated democratic society.

The Order named “Restoring internet freedom” aims to remove the 2015 Open Internet Order clause that requires: transparency (network management practices, performance characteristics, and terms and conditions of services must be made available); and, no unreasonable discrimination (providers cannot discriminate the transmission of lawful network traffic).

“Net neutrality is required to ensure there is equitable access for all, to all types of information on the internet. The removal of Net Neutrality Protection would allow corporations to provide priority services for those willing to pay more, and disenfranchise those without the ability to pay” stated Peter Bailey, CFLA-FCAB Chair. “CFLA-FCAB fully supports the statements put forward by the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries in encouraging the United States Congress to vote against this Order”.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA-FCAB) is the united, national voice of Canada’s library community. Our member associations represent over 10,000 library workers in every province and territory. Our purpose is to advance library excellence in Canada, champion library values and the value of libraries and influence national and international public policy impacting libraries and their communities.


More information:
Katherine McColgan
Executive Director

GATINEAU, 14 décembre 2017

La Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques-Canadian Federation of Library Associations (FCAB-CFLA) préoccupée par l’élimination de la protection de la neutralité d'Internet aux États-Unis

Les nouvelles récentes concernant le décret de la Federal Communications Commission Order [Commission fédérale des communications] des États-Unis sur la fin de la protection de la neutralité d'Internet soulèvent de sérieuses préoccupations. L’avenir de l’échange de l’information à l’échelle mondiale pourrait être mis en péril si la neutralité d'Internet n’était plus protégée. La préservation de la liberté intellectuelle et de l’accès à l’information pour tous est cruciale pour créer une société démocratique informée et éduquée.

Le décret, intitulé « Restoring internet freedom » [Restaurer la liberté d’Internet] vise à supprimer la clause du décret sur l’ouverture d’Internet de 2015, qui exige la transparence (les pratiques de gestion du réseau, les caractéristiques de performance et les modalités des services doivent être accessibles) et interdit toute discrimination déraisonnable (les fournisseurs ne peuvent faire de discrimination dans la transmission du trafic licite sur le réseau).

« La neutralité d'Internet est nécessaire pour assurer un accès équitable et universel à tous les types d’information sur Internet. L’élimination de la protection de la neutralité d'Internet permettrait à des entreprises d’offrir des services prioritaires à ceux qui sont prêts à payer plus et d’exclure ceux qui n’en ont pas les moyens, affirme le président de la FCAB-CFLA, Peter Bailey. La FCAB-CFLA appuie sans réserve les déclarations émises par l’American Library Association et l’Association of Research Libraries, qui invitent le Congrès américain à voter contre le décret. »

La Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (FCAB-CFLA) est la voix nationale unie de la communauté des bibliothèques du Canada. Nos associations membres représentent, dans chaque province et territoire, plus de 10 000 employés de bibliothèques. Nous nous employons à promouvoir l’excellence des bibliothèques au Canada, à défendre les valeurs des bibliothèques et à influencer les politiques publiques nationales et internationales touchant les bibliothèques et leurs collectivités.


Pour information :
Katherine McColgan
Directrice générale