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

Canadian Federation of Library Associations Update (April 2020)

May 4, 2020

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) has provided an overview of its activities since October 2019.


On December 2, 2019, V. Owen, A. Wakaruk, S. Haigh and N. Marelli met with INDU senior staff to discuss Crown Copyright.

On January 9, 2020, K. McColgan met with Lauren Howard, Outreach and Engagement Specialist, Open Government, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to discuss the Government’s 2020-22 National Action Plan on Open Government.

On March 4, 2020, V. Owen, A. Wakaruk, S. Haigh, N. Marelli and K. McColgan met with several members of the Open Government secretariat, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat about Crown Copyright

On March 4, 2020 V. Owen, A. Wakaruk, N. Marelli and K. McColgan met with Fred Lagrandeur, Senior Policy Assistant, Canadian Heritage to discuss Crown Copyright, general copyright matters, and e-books licensing.

On March 11, 2020, K. McColgan attended the Canadian Consortium of Research Funders’ Breakfast that brings together leaders and senior staff of the funding councils to discuss programs and funding to support research in Canada.

We continue to work closely with Impact Public Affairs to discuss ways in which CFLA-FCAB can support our members in these difficult times through our advocacy efforts with the Federal government.


Much of the activities of the Federation throughout the fall of 2019 pertained to program planning for the Annual General Meeting in January and the National Forum in April. Like our member associations, CFLA-FCAB had to make the difficult and critical decision to cancel the National Forum. I want to thank our many volunteers for the support to the planning and (planned) execution of the Forum. In addition to this work, CFLA-FCAB also engaged in the following:

  • On October 11, 2019, we hosted a webinar that shared what it means to be an Intervenor in a Supreme Court of Canada court case.
  • On October 23, 2019, K. McColgan participated in a panel discussion entitled “Decoding Sustainability and Social Responsibility Programs” that shared what libraries are doing in support of Canada’s sustainable development goals.
  • K. McColgan attended the CRKN Access to Knowledge Conference from October 16-18, 2019 that discussed open access, transforming scholarly communications, and digital heritage.
  • V. Owen attended the WIPO SCCR meetings that took place October 21-25, 2019 in Geneva.
  • On October 23, 2019, CFLA-FCAB issued a letter of support to the Toronto Public Library Board in upholding the principles of intellectual freedom by allowing M. Murphy to proceed with a speaking event.
  • K. McColgan attended the Fédération du milieu documentaire’s annual Congrès des professionel(le)s de l’information from October 28 to November 2, 2019
  • K. McColgan attended the Royal Society of Canada’s COEE2019 Symposium on November 21, 2019 that brought together researchers, government and business leaders to demonstrate the ways in which they are working together to re-establish and expand a relationship of trust with citizens and protect aspirations of inclusive culture threatened by populism.
  • On December 18, 2019, CFLA-FCAB hosted a webinar to discuss the AI for All Canada project currently underway.
  • On January 13, 2020, K. McColgan attended a meeting on the Data Research Infrastructure (DRI) Strategy Transition: Research Data Management that brought together stakeholders from across the country to discuss key priorities and responsibilities under the DRI Strategy research data management.
  • K. McColgan attended the Library and Archives Canada and Ottawa Public Library joint facility design reveal on January 23, 2020.
  • On January 28, 2020, K. McColgan and T. Kyle attended The Partnership meeting to share with member association leaders CFLA-FCAB’s activities and work processes.
  • We held our Annual General Meeting on January 29, 2020 and an update on CFLA-FCAB’s activities on January 30, 2020 as part of the OLA Super Conference.
  • On February 20, 2020, K. McColgan attended a session entitled “A New Age of Digital Government” where participants heard from Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government on the government’s activities in simplifying access to government services, as well as privacy and security measures.
  • On March 26, 2020, K. MacLeod attended The Partnership Meeting, hosted by OLA, to discuss what activities associations across the country are engaged in to support their members during this crisis.

Committee Updates

Cataloguing and Metadata

The Cataloguing Ethics Steering Committee is working on a draft of the cataloging ethics document and plans to have a draft posted for public comment in mid-May.

The BIBFRAME Task Force issued a survey in November 2019 to a random selection of 1500 libraries across the country. As per research ethics application, the survey closed on February 1, 2020. There was a presentation on the project at the OLA Super Conference in January 2020. The task force will write the final report in April / May 2020 and June 1 is the scheduled end date of the task force.

In addition, CFLA-FCAB maintains representatives on the Canadian Committee for Metadata Exchange (CCM), the Canadian Committee for Cataloguing (CCC), and work continues on updating the RDA Toolkit.


A Canadian version of Guidelines for Canadian Libraries in Implementing the Marrakesh Treaty has been prepared and will be made available on the CFLA-FCAB website.

CFLA-FCAB, CARL, and CCA have partnered in a new working group on Crown Copyright and have been engaged in various discussions with government officials to work towards the removal of Crown Copyright on government documents.

A working group on Controlled Digital Lending continues to work on a white paper and a risk matrix, a working group was struck to explore issues related to AI and copyright, a working group is tasked with preparing a proposal on the effects of CUSMA and the extension copyright to life +70, and the committee is keeping a watching eye on the impacts of COVID-19 on presses (mainly academic).

Indigenous Matters

The White team has been using a survey to monitor and record progress of encouraging libraries, archives and cultural memory institutions to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action.

The Working Group on Space, Design and Collection is releasing a report on recognizing and supporting Indigenous cultures, languages and knowledge through culturally appropriate space planning, interior design, signage, art installations, territorial acknowledgements of geographic-specific traditional territories and public programming.

The Indigenous Languages Working Group, as part of the Green Team, put together an Indigenous Language Events Portal Guide for the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages.

The Committee organized six sessions at OLA on cataloguing and Indigenous matters, concluding with an open discussion session, they are working toward a special issues of “Open Shelf”, the mandate and committee structure is currently being examined, a session on open government data is being developed, and the committee is looking at forming a joint task force with the CFLA-FCAB Cataloguing and Metadata Standards Committee.

The IMC-CQA responded to the release of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report and created a statement for public release through CFLA-FCAB to create awareness in cross-sectorial libraries.

Intellectual Freedom

The committee engaged in a number of activities both nationally and internationally throughout the fall; reviewing the IFLA Statement on Censorship, documenting the budget cuts to libraries across Canada, creating a social media presence to inform the public about libraries being targeted for censorship, reviews CBSA seized materials as they are issued, developing a CFLA-FCAB Statement on Workplace Speech consistent with the CFLA-FCAB Code of Ethics, continue to manage the Annual Challenges Survey, developing an Information Freedom Toolkit.

The committee also reviewed the Intellectual Freedom Award in December 2019 and discussions continue.

CFLA-FCAB submits an article each year for Freedom to The committee reviewed the article prepared by T. Kyle in the fall of 2019 and will be charged with this task moving forward.

The committee is most recently discussing the privacy issues that have been raised with Zoom online conferencing.

Revenue Development Committee

The Revenue Development Committee was struck in the spring and it has been working on ways in which CFLA-FCAB can increase and diversify revenues to create a more sustainable organization moving forward. The main topics discussed have been creating various categories of supporters, exploring charitable status, and reviewing the existing membership fee structure.

Moving Forward in 2020

As you know, CFLA-FCAB embarked on the hiring process for a fulltime Executive Director in the fall. The search remains open at this time and although K. McColgan’s secondment ended on February 2, 2020, she and CARL have agreed to continue to support CFLA-FCAB’s work one day per week until the position is filled.

I would like to once again thank all members for their continued support and active involvement on our Board, Executive Committee and strategic committees and working groups. Your guidance and knowledge is extremely valuable to our work.

We hope that you will continue your support to CFLA-FCAB to help stay involved in these very important discussions.

(Via Canadian Federation of Library Associations)

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