Press Release – Canadian Library Association
National Library Association Pleased to See Re-Introduction of Merv Tweed’s Private Member’s Bill
OTTAWA (October 4, 2011) The Canadian Library Association (CLA) was thrilled to learn today that Conservative Member of Parliament Merv Tweed (Brandon—Souris, MB) has once again introduced his Private Member’s Bill, An Act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act (library materials).
Tweed has shown continuous dedication to this issue, having first introduced the bill in 2007. “We couldn’t be more proud to have Mr. Tweed as an avid supporter and champion of libraries,” says Karen Adams, CLA President. “He has remained committed to this issue and the entire library community is excited to once again see this bill before Parliament.”
Bill C-321 will help to protect the Library Book Rate, a Canada Post Service that has, since 1939, provided a reduced rate for mailing library books between libraries and from libraries to their users. The Rate benefits all Canadians, regardless of where they live.
“Members of the library community continue to be concerned about the sustainability of the Library Book Rate,” adds Adams. “Over 2,000 libraries actively use it and an estimated one million Canadians benefit from it annually.”
In addition to protecting the Library Book Rate, the bill also moves to increase the access, including the definition of library material from books, magazines, records, CDs, CD-ROMs, audiovisual cassettes, DVDs and other audiovisual materials.
As Canada Post currently reviews its support for the Library book Rate on an annual basis, bill C-321 is critical to guaranteeing the long-term sustainability for the Rate, which contributes to the public policy goals of literacy, lifelong learning, inclusion, and vibrant communities.
Having been passed unanimously by all members of Parliament in the last session and moved to the Senate just prior to the federal election call, Tweed has expressed that he looks forward to moving this bill ahead again.
“We applaud and thank Merv Tweed for his ongoing support and taking the lead role on this extremely important issue for libraries,” concludes Adams. “We hope that it will have support from all parties once again, so the bill can move ahead quickly.
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, (613) 233-8906 (Office), (613) 299-4017 (Cell)