ASSOCIATES (2019, November, v. 26, no. 2)

Feature

News From Canada

Andrew Plait
Library Assistant II
Medicine Hat Public Library

Greetings, everyone. Here’s hoping this article finds you doing well.

I’m really liking what’s going on regarding the move for a number of Australian libraries to scrap late fees — well done! I hope that the overall impacts side more with positive experiences vs. negative ones, particularly for all those library staff who would be directly affected by these changes.

Perhaps the most controversial piece of news in this submission centers around the Toronto Public Library’s decision to “allow feminist writer and activist” Meghan Murphy to rent space for a presentation. Murphy, who is largely seen as an individual holding a stance against transgender women, and the Toronto Public Library have experienced tremendous backlash since the general public became aware of the booking. The event drew a large gathering of protesters and, as a result, Murphy’s other Canadian appearances are receiving additional attention including location changes and increased security measures coming into effect.

Another issue that’s causing quite a number of Canadian libraries (and many other North American libraries as well) to unite in solidarity has been the recent restriction by Macmillan Publishers Ltd. to limit ebook sales to libraries to one copy per new ebook for the first eight weeks following the ebook’s release. Libraries are advocating on behalf of their patrons with lower incomes while Macmillan’s stance is that libraries are reducing their ability to sell ebooks.

For Alberta library employees like myself, we’ve undergone two elections this year: one provincial, one federal. There was a span of several months where our provincial government had indicated it would be withholding the remainder of 2019’s library grants until late October when the budget would be released, a move that caused some outcry among libraries and library workers, particularly those in rural areas. The budget was eventually released and, while we’ve received the remainder of those funds, municipal operational budgets have been impacted. While Alberta libraries can’t currently say whether or not they’ll be directly affected by that, there will be more news to follow in the new year.

Stay well, everyone — be well!

Canadian Public Libraries

Attempts were made to find library-related news for each province and territory. The headings remain for future reference regardless of whether or not news was found.

Alberta

Calgary Public Library joins fight against publisher restrictions on e-books (Oct. 9/19)
EPL joins other public libraries across North America to protest publisher’s ebook restrictions (Oct. 8/19)
Mayor declares Act of Kindness Month in Fort Saskatchewan (Nov. 1/19)
Provincial funding for libraries unchanged in budget (Oct. 29/19)

British Columbia

Courtenay Library hosts author talk, slide show on surviving B.C.’s new wildfire reality (Oct. 9/19)
Meet the two B.C. authors who stood their ground in the face of wildfire evacuations (Oct. 17/19)
New library kits teach young kids about topics like death and anxiety (Oct. 22/19)
Okanagan Regional Library joins fight against Macmillan Publishers’ e-book restrictions (Nov. 2/19)

Manitoba

Construction begins for library named in ‘beautiful tribute’ to Bill and Helen Norrie (Oct. 29/19)
Sarah McLachlan helps launch musical instrument lending library in Winnipeg (Oct. 4/19)

New Brunswick

Noisy library? Construction forces Saint John Free Public Library into mall (Aug. 18/19)

Newfoundland & Labrador

Learning about strangers with different backgrounds at RIAC’s human library (Oct. 10/19)
Novels, non-fiction and Nintendo: St. John’s library adding video games (Sept. 24/19)
This 10-year-old bookworm became N.L.’s youngest librarian — for a day (Oct. 29/19)

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

‘Kindness goes a long way’: Why libraries train staff to work with society’s struggles (Aug. 19/19)

Nunavut

Ontario

Kitchener Public Library to put free menstrual products in washrooms (Oct. 25/19)
[Ottawa] Library CEO urging patrons to join fight for e-books (Oct. 22/19)
Super library design set at five storeys as floor details emerge (Oct. 31/19)

Quebec

Prince Edward Island

Celebrating P.E.I. history at the library (Oct. 18/19)

Saskatchewan

Halloween Party Promotes Library’s Role in Community (Oct. 28/19)
Mirasty retires as SMVS librarian after 40 years (Oct. 31/19)
‘Not just about borrowing books’: Saskatoon groups advocate for new downtown library (Nov. 1/19)

Yukon

Nifty tech next to your favourite novel (Oct. 22/19)

Other Canadian Library-Related News, Columns and Articles of Interest

Event featuring Meghan Murphy ignites debate about libraries’ role as forum for free speech (Oct. 27/19)
How Canada’s libraries are bridging social-service gaps (Aug. 20/19)
Hundreds protest controversial writer outside Toronto library (Oct. 29/19)
Libraries are hubs of innovation and inclusivity (Sept. 10/19)
The library is open—to Meghan Murphy and everyone else (Oct. 30/19)
Planned Event Reignites Debate About Libraries’ Role as Forum for Free Speech (Oct. 28/19)
Why public places like libraries and parks are critical for bringing people together – and even saving lives (Sept. 10/19)
You May Have To Wait To Borrow A New E-Book From The Library (Nov. 1/19)

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