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Canadian Federation of Library Associations / Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques

Canadian Federation of Library Associations Update (May 2019)

June 18, 2019

Katherine McColgan, Executive Director of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), has provided an overview of activities since February 2019.


Meetings with Members of Parliament and Government Officials

Parliament Hill Press Conference

On April 10, 2019, A. Wakaruk (Copyright Librarian, University of Alberta) and K. McColgan presented at a press conference on Parliament Hill organized by NDP MP, Brian Masse, to advocate for the removal of Crown Copyright.

Other Advocacy Developments

Order Issuing a Direction to the CRTC on Implementing the Canadian Telecommunications Policy Objectives to Promote Competition, Affordability, Consumer Interests and Innovation.

CFLA-FCAB submitted a response to the call for submission on the above order to CRTC. Our submission raises the issues of lack of directive for rural and remote communities where market forces are rarely present and provides recommendations relating to; reducing barriers to entry and barriers to competition for new and smaller telecommunications service providers; and, stimulating investment in research and development and in other intangible assets that support the offer and provision of telecommunications services. The full submission can be found on our website.

Meeting with UN Special Rapporteur on Disabilities

K. McColgan attended a meeting with other association and charity leaders to discuss accessibility challenges in Canada. The meeting brought together individuals from associations representing affordable housing, sign language, and infrastructure. It was a good opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by Canadians with the lack of scholarly and creative works in accessible formats.


CFLA-FCAB sent a letter to David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General congratulating him on his appointment and expressing libraries’ interest in items contained in his portfolio such Bill C-51 ensuring proper balance between national security and the right and freedoms of Canadians, as well as the Access to Information Act as it relates to open government, privacy, and crown copyright.

CFLA-FCAB sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland outlining our concerns with the Canada, US and Mexico trade agreement as it relates to the extension of Copyright and suggestions for ways to move forward with Canadians’ interests at the forefront.


NUC – Voilà Survey

CFLA-FCAB launched a survey in the fall of 2018 to gather data on the effects of the transition from the National Union Catalogue to Voilà. A report of the results has been drafted and will be circulated to members in the coming weeks.

Challenges Survey

Information gathered in the Challenges Survey provide information to author an article in the Freedom to Read magazine. See last year’s article.

Remember that the survey is active all year! The survey can be found here. Please be sure to bookmark this link for easy access.

Committee Updates

Cataloguing and Metadata Standards

Cataloguing Code of Ethics Working Group

Cataloguing and Indexing Group (CIG) of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) in the United Kingdom and the Cataloguing and Metadata Standards Committee (CMSC) in Canada have created a working group to address concerns on topics relating to cataloguing, such as creating ethical authority data; ethical use of classification schemes and controlled vocabularies which can contain outdated and potentially offensive terms; as well as professional continuing education on ethical concerns.

BIBFRAME Readiness Task Group

The Task Group has begun work on the survey that will distributed to the library community in Canada to help the group assess what gaps need to be addressed for libraries to effectively adopt this new standard. More information will follow.


Controlled Digital Lending

The Copyright Committee has been discussing the feasibility of moving forward with CDL in Canada. A small working group has been established to look at this issue and will likely have a draft report for consideration late in the fall.


Victoria Owen attended the meeting in Geneva with 12 graduate students from the Faculty of Information at University of Toronto

Indigenous Matters

CFLA-FCAB has signed on as a partner organization to the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages. We are asking Canadian libraries to share their activities and the IMC has developed guidelines to help in the process. The guidelines can be found on the CFLA-FCAB website here (url)


An initial meeting to discuss options for NIKLA was held at the OLA conference and via Zoom. A small group is working on an application for SSHRC funding to further the work and build capacity

TRC Activities Survey

The committee has developed a survey to collect information on activities that Canadian libraries are doing in support of the TRC recommendations. The next deadline for submissions is May 30, 2019.

Intellectual Freedom

Intellectual Freedom Statement

A small working group of the committee did a comprehensive review of the existing Intellectual Freedom Statement. It was determined by the working group the statement is current and adheres to current Canadian legislation. The committee accepted the working group’s recommendation not to revise the statement. This recommendation was forwarded to the CFLA-FCAB Board for discussion. The Board approved this recommendation at its April 12, 2019 meeting.

Position on Third Party Use of Publicly Funded Library Meetings Rooms and Facilities: An Interpretation of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries

The committee developed a statement that affirms that libraries have a core responsibility to safeguard and foster free expression and the right to safe and welcoming places and conditions and that libraries make available their public spaces and services to individuals and groups without discrimination. The statement provides some examples of current practices being undertaken by Canadian libraries.

Strategic Planning Working Group

The Strategic Planning Working Group has completed its mandate by providing its final recommendation to the Executive Committee of CFLA-FCAB’s Strategic Plan. The CFLA-FCAB Board sincerely thanks Working Group members for their dedication and tireless work to bring forward this plan.

Administration & Outreach

Sustainable Development Forum

K. McColgan attended the 6th Forum on March 8, 2019. The keynote speaker was Gail Mitchell from Economic and Social Development Canada. Canada has formed a secretariat responsible for funding programs and monitoring to support of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The session was designed to allow associations contributing to SDGs to provide recommendations and information related to running the program, funding guidelines and delving into partnerships and cross-sectorial discussions.

The GLAMorous side of Cultural Diplomacy

K. McColgan attended a Library and Archives Canada event on March 12, 2019 that hosted a number of panel discussions relaying experiences on how countries have used culture to build international relations. The day began with an opening keynote by Senator Patricia Bovey with panellists from the GLAM community from Canada, France, China, and Britain.

LAC Forum with University Partners

On March 13, 2019 K. McColgan attended this event that discussed disruptive technologies in memory institutions and academia. Wendy Duff, Dean, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, provided the opening keynote discussing the need for archivists to be at the table when discussing database development and the impact that the internet of things has on the creation of data. This followed with panel discussions on big data, AI, and data mining; how libraries are experiencing digital transformation; and the impact of disruptive technology on business processes and operations. We also heard from Sandra Toze, Director, School of Information Management, University of Dalhousie, discussing the transformation of government and the training needs to build sufficient capacity for information management.

Ottawa Association Exchange Forum

K. McColgan attended this session on March 21 which brought together association leaders from the Ottawa / Gatineau area to listen to panelists and exchange ideas on good governance, membership recruitment and engagement, revenue diversification and financial best practices.

New on the website

Indigenous Resources:

Position on Third Party Use of Publicly Funded Library Meetings Rooms and Facilities: An Interpretation of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Statement on Intellectual Freedom and Libraries

CFLA-FCAB Partnering With UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages

Save the Date : CFLA-FCAB National Forum 2020

In celebration of Manitoba’s 150th anniversary, CFLA-FCAB will be joining the Manitoba Library Association’s Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba on April 7 – 8, 2020. More information will be posted to the website as it becomes available.

Save the Date! Manitoba Libraries Conference (April 6-7, 2020) | CFLA National Forum (April 8, 2020) in Winnipeg

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