58th Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Library Association, Toronto, Ontario ~ June 23, 2003

2003 Resolutions of the 58th Annual General Meeting of the Canadian Library Association,

Whereas the 2000 National Library of Canada and Canadian National Institute For The Blind joint Task Force on Information Access identified over 3 million Canadians who are unable to read print due to a physical or perceptual disability; and

Whereas less than 5% of published material is available in formats such as Braille, audio narration, electronic text, or large print that are accessible to these Canadians; and

Whereas without a significant increase in the provision of these unabridged, accessible published materials, a substantive, representative collection for library services cannot be developed nor sustained for these Canadians; and

Whereas information technologies in our knowledge society now facilitate unprecedented opportunities to create and distribute alternative format content based on the specialized needs of the print-disabled community; and

Whereas other nations have secured through legislation specialized, nationwide library services for their citizens unable to read print; and

Whereas the special needs of these populations cannot be addressed by a single library acting on its own;

Resolved that the Canadian Library Association recommends, through joint funding by Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments, the establishment of a national network of public and private sector constituents to:

  • Ensure that Canada provide for Canadians unable to read print an alternative format library service, which is comparable to that provided by most developed countries in the world; and
  • Coordinate and build accessible, unabridged alternative format collections for a comprehensive, library service for these Canadians; and
  • Under the auspices of CLA and CNIB, establish and maintain the standards for alternative format collections and specialized library services; and
  • Support the information and communication technologies appropriate to maintain the service; and

Be it further resolved that CLA urges upon the federal government the need for funding and leadership to mandate the establishment of this network of free library service for Canadians unable to read print. In addition, such leadership to include organizations representing primary providers and professional bodies such as the Council of Administrators of Large Urban Public Libraries (CALUPL), CNIB, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and CLA.

MOVED: Paul Whitney
SECONDED: Jane Beaumont

Resolution 2
Resolved that the Canadian Library Association investigate the question of a bilingual – English/French – name for the association along with related issues of bilingualism within the association by soliciting viewpoints from members and other interested individuals and organizations, and that there be brought forward to the 2004 Annual General Meeting a report and – should it be considered appropriate – constitutional amendments.
MOVED: Peter McNally
SECONDED: Joseph Saad

Resolution 3
Whereas privacy is being eroded and surveillance increased both nationally and internationally since the events of September 11, 2001 (9/11), including the European Union Convention on Cybercrime, the US Patriot Act, the proposed Patriot Act II and US National Information Awareness Program and, in Canada, the Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-36), the Public Safety Act (Bill C-55/-42) and the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency Passenger Database; and

Whereas the Government of Canada has issued a discussion paper entitled Lawful Access Consultation Document; and

Whereas this document is based on the fundamental belief that new law enforcement capabilities are required to deal with new technologies in the post 9/11 environment; and

Whereas the proposed policies are based on the belief that email users do not have the same rights to privacy as regular mail and telephone users; and

Whereas it is proposed that all Internet service providers will be required to ensure that their computer systems have the technical capability to provide lawful access to law enforcement and national security agencies; and

Whereas it is proposed that data preservation orders, without full judicial review, will require service providers to store and save existing data specific to a transaction or client; and

Whereas the Privacy Commissioner and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and many other organizations have expressed opposition or strong reservations towards the Lawful Access proposals;

Resolved that CLA oppose the Lawful Access consultation document proposals; and

Be it further resolved that CLA work with other organizations as appropriate in opposing these proposals; and

Be it further resolved that CLA inform all Canadian Members of Parliament and all national political party leaders of our opposition to these proposals; and

Be it further resolved that CLA undertake an education program informing its membership of the various national initiatives that impact on privacy and increased surveillance; and

Be it further resolved that CLA provide a framework for Canadian libraries to provide educational material, programs, Web sites and displays, outlining these issues for public education and discussion, and report back to the membership.
MOVED: Martin Dowding
SECONDED: Brian Campbell

Resolution 4
Whereas, freedom of the press and public access to information and opinion in diverse media are prerequisites to a functioning democracy; and

Whereas, public interest is served by the availability of a broadly diverse range of viewpoints; and one of the fundamental tenets and responsibilities of libraries is to both facilitate and foster this availability; and

Whereas, the consolidation of media ownership, both horizontally and vertically, in Canada and internationally has the effect of reducing the range of opinions that can be expressed; and

Whereas consolidation in the publishing and distribution networks in Canada and internationally reduce public access to diverse media and information, requiring libraries to make a concerted attempt to move beyond mainstream distributors; and

Whereas libraries are the primary social institution with responsibility to assure the broadest possible availability of a wide range of ideas and information; and

Whereas Media Democracy Day has been organized by the Campaign for Press and Broadcast Freedom for the last three years and will be held this year on October 17/18, 2003; and

Whereas the Canada Standing Senate Committee on Transportation and Communication is studying “the current state of Canadian media industries, emerging trends and developments, the media’s roles, rights and responsibilities in Canadian society, and current and appropriate future policies”;

Resolved that CLA endorse Media Democracy Day and encourage libraries and other library organizations to do likewise; and

Be it further resolved that the CLA encourage libraries and other library associations to engage in public education activities such as displays, bibliographies, web sites and programmes on the current extent of concentration in Canadian and international media industries and its impact on access to the widest possible range of information and analysis; and

Be it further resolved that the CLA encourage Canadian libraries to deepen and broaden their collections by working with local, regional and alternate publishers; and

Be it further resolved that CLA work with interested provincial organizations and the Canadian Campaign for Press and Broadcast Freedom to distribute an information kit on media democracy to make available to all Canadian libraries in Fall 2003 in time for Media Democracy Day; and

Be it further resolved that the CLA prepare a submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications studying the current state of Canadian media industries; and

Be it further resolved that the CLA work with organizations such as Campaign for Press and Broadcast Freedom, Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Canadian Association of Media Educators, University Departments of Communication, journalism schools, local alternate media and other community organizations to further the intentions of this resolution and to report back to the membership.
MOVED: Martin Dowding
SECONDED: Jeff Lilburn

Resolution 5
Whereas Cuba is a small impoverished island country of 11 million people; and

Whereas Cuba has achieved for its entire population a high standard of healthcare, basic literacy, nutrition and education; and

Whereas Cuba has been subject to continuous foreign attempts to undermine its government through economic blockades, subversion, military adventures, assassination attempts and funding of political opposition through “civil society” organizations; and

Whereas Cuba is being challenged by foreign governments and organizations for not upholding the core library principles of intellectual freedom and access to information regarding its libraries as part of a broader effort to overthrow the Cuban government; and

Whereas ending such foreign intervention is a precondition for enabling Cuba to develop fully its own social economy and broad democratic participation and debate; and

Whereas Cuban libraries can play an important role in developing a full and democratic culture within Cuba;

Resolved that CLA oppose any foreign government attempts to undermine Cuba’s government through economic blockades, subversion, military adventures, assassination attempts and outside funding of political opposition through “civil society” organizations; and

Be it further resolved that CLA call upon International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to convene an international Commission of eminent librarians to hold public hearings to investigate further the role of “independent libraries” in Cuba and charges that they are funded through foreign agencies whose political program is regime change; and

Be it further resolved that CLA encourage such a Commission to publish and disseminate widely the results of its findings.
MOVED: Brian Campbell
SECONDED: Martin Dowding

Resolution 6
Resolved that CLA express its deep appreciation to all Exhibitors who participated in this joint conference, allowing thousands of conference registrants in Toronto to benefit from this display of new products and services, and invite their return to the 2004 CLA Conference in Victoria, British Columbia.
MOVED: Wendy Newman
SECONDED: Madeleine Lefebvre

Resolution 7
Resolved that thanks and appreciation be extended to the American Library Association (ALA), the Canadian Library Association (CLA) Program Committee, the Due North preconference organizers, the CLA Local Arrangements Committee, the Toronto Public Library, CLA Staff, the governments of Canada, and Ontario, the City of Toronto, and to those many additional individuals, groups, institutions, government departments and companies whose efforts and generosity have greatly contributed to the success of this historic joint conference of ALA and CLA.
MOVED: Wendy Newman
SECONDED: Madeleine Lefebvre