Canadian Library Month: History and Background
Launched in 2006 by the Canadian Library Association (CLA), Canadian Library Month (CLM) provides “an opportunity for Canadians not familiar with their local library to come down and experience all the services available to them.”1
CLM serves as a way to establish new relationships between the libraries and local communities while at the same time developing existing relationships.
Canadian Library Month also includes a number of other special days and weeks:
- Canadian Library Workers Day (third Friday in October) via the Canadian Federation of Library Associations
- Canadian School Library Day (fourth Monday in October) via Canadian School Libraries
- First Nations Public Library Week (first week in October) via Ontario Library Service – North
- Ontario Public Library Week (third week in October) via Ontario Library Association
- Saskatchewan Library Week (third week in October) via Saskatchewan Library Association
|Theme: A Visit Will Get You Thinking|
A Timeline of Canadian Library Week and Month2
First National Library Week is celebrated in the United States and Canada, March 16-22. Theme: “Wake up and read!”
The Canadian Library Week Council is formed by libraries and publishers. Canadian library Week is planned annually for April to coincide with National library Week in the United States.
For Canadian Library Week, TWX teletype equipment is used to demonstrate a hookup between Vancouver and Fredericton “showing how [the] nation’s vast distance problems could be cut down to size and reference problems solved.”
The National Book Committee is disbanded. ALA’s National Library Week Committee takes over for the United States.
The Canadian Library Association reintroduces Canadian Library Week.
The Canadian Library Month group of CLA makes a decision to switch from “Week” to “Month” to facilitate a celebration of libraries for a longer time each year.
The Canadian Library Association Executive Council decides to cease coordinating Canadian Library Month.
Canadian Library Month promotional materials are created by the Ontario Library Association (OLA) based on the theme and graphics developed for Ontario Public Library Week.
Canadian Library Week Themes
2005 – Lifelong Libraries – Discover Us
Canadian Library Month Themes (2006 to 2017)
Libraries: The world at your fingertips
Libraries: The World At Your Fingertips
Your Library, Your World: Now More Than Ever
Your Library: A Place Unbound
2014 – Libraries Inspire
The Canadian Library Association’s Executive Council announced in July 2015 that the Association would no longer be coordinating Canadian Library Month on behalf of the community.
Canadian Library Month 2015
This past year has been one of transformation for the CLA. We have made changes to our current activities, including the elimination of some programs, in an effort to streamline activity and finances with a view to CLA’s future success. Canadian Library Month is one activity/program affected by these changes. CLA will no longer be undertaking CLM.
Executive Council took some time to evaluate and discuss the efficacy and impact of CLM activities on the initiative’s goal of highlighting and celebrating the value of libraries alongside CLA’s strategic action plan and it was determined that CLA’s resources could be better spent on more effective advocacy activities spread throughout the year. We will continue to make the declaration of School Library Day and Library Support Staff Day and we will support the provinces in whatever way we can with their library weeks/months.
2016 – A Visit Will Get You Thinking
2017 – A Visit Will Get You Thinking
2018 – A Visit Will Get You Thinking
1 Gordon, Shannon. “Library Month Replacing Library Week.” Feliciter. 52, no. 4 (2006): 171
2 Pretty, Heather. “Opening Doors to the Future: Canadian Library Month 2010.” Feliciter. 56, no. 4 (2006): 172-174