National Library Associations Applaud Private Member’s Bill

OTTAWA (March 2, 2009) Canada’s two major library associations are pleased with the introduction of Bill C-322 (formerly Bill C-458), an act to amend the Canada Post Corporation Act to provide for a reduction in the rate of postage for library materials.

Mervin Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon—Souris, Manitoba, re-introduced his Private Member’s Bill on February 25, 2009. Bill C-322 will protect the Library Book Rate available through Canada Post.

“We are extremely pleased to see the re-introduction of this Bill,” commented CLA President, Ken Roberts. “Members of the library community continue to be concerned about the sustainability of the Library Book Rate, which contributes to the public policy goals of literacy, lifelong learning, inclusion, and vibrant communities.”

The Library Book Rate is a Canada Post service that has, since 1939, provided a reduced rate for mailing library books between libraries and from libraries to their users. Canada Post has not guaranteed support for the program beyond 2009.

“I believe Bill C-322 is crucial to protecting library services that benefit all Canadians,” said Tweed. “The positive response I have received from citizens from coast to coast since first introducing this Bill in 2007 speaks to the importance of protecting Canada’s Library Book Rate.”

Bill C-322 would provide that the Government of Canada support a concessionary postal rate for Canada’s public libraries, thus guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of the program. The legislation would also expand the Library Book Rate program to include non-print materials such as CDs, CD-ROMS, and DVDs.

“We offer our full support for this Bill,” added Sylvie Thibault, President of the Association pour l’avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation (ASTED). “The addition of audio-visual materials recognizes that people are not all text-based learners and need access to information through a whole host of audio-visual and digital media.”

With over 2,000 libraries actively using the Library Book Rate and an estimated one million Canadians benefiting from it annually, it is an indispensable part of the service delivered by the public, academic, school and special libraries that make up the association.

“It is my belief that with increased public visibility and the help of Canadians, this bill will receive widespread support from all Members of Parliament,” added Tweed.

Members of the library community are encouraged to complete Tweed’s petition in support of the bill, which can be found on his website at www.mervtweed.com. Completed petitions can be forwarded to Tweed’s Ottawa office to be presented in the House of Commons.


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.


L’ASTED est une association professionnelle nationale culturelle et scientifique sans but lucratif, dédiée à l’avancement des sciences et des techniques de la documentation par la mise en commun de l’expertise de ses membres, ses publications, ses activités de toutes sortes, ses services et les liens qu’elle maintient autant avec des organismes du milieu de la documentation et de l’information qu’avec la société en général.

For more information, please contact Alana Fontaine, CLA Public Affairs: Telephone (613) 233-8906, E-mail cla@impactcanada.com

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