2017 Pre-Budget Submission
Although CFLA-FCAB is a new body, the legacy of library advocacy in Canada is strong. Our recommendations for the 2017 federal budget will create opportunities for the people and communities who need support the most, and fuel innovation from the research and knowledge networks that are vital to Canada’s economic growth. Libraries make Canadians’ lives better and our country more productive. We hope that the Government of Canada will consider adopting the following recommendations to do the same.
Improve Rural Broadband Internet Access
A key pillar of broadband access is fibre-optic equipment, but laying fibre-optic networks, and even providing wireless access across a country as large as Canada is costly and time-consuming. A cost-effective solution would be to connect libraries in rural communities with fibre-optic and wireless connections. Taking this step would allow the federal government to improve broadband internet service and access in rural, northern, and indigenous communities where libraries are critical resources.
Invest in library services and infrastructure
Libraries benefit all members of a community, but libraries across the country are challenged to ensure that their services are accessible to all. To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary the CFLA-FCAB is calling on the federal government to invest $50 million in a targeted Library Upgrade Investment Fund, which will allow libraries of all formats in all communities to improve their facilities and services, and be welcoming places where all Canadians can find the resources they need to contribute to our society and to the economy.
Indigenous education in library services
Indigenous people should be provided with support to train as professionals in all areas that control the interpretation and preservation of their culture, history, language and arts. This approach is based in community and rooted in a tradition that enables sharing, literacy and research. Support for training Indigenous professionals in library services and archival methods will equip them to retrieve and store information and materials for the community’s use, education, and enjoyment. We recommend that the federal government fund Indigenous education in library services to preserve indigenous knowledge in a respectful way.
CFLA-FCAB also supports the submissions of other Canadian Library associations. Specifically, CFLA-FCAB endorses the policy options submitted to the committee by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the National Reading Campaign (NRC).
CARLs recommendations to enable increased access to research data, digitize Canada’s documentary heritage through a nationally coordinated, collaborative program led by Library and Archives Canada, and to invest in the growth of the Federal Science Library to support Canada’s open science commitment will benefit the entire library community.
National Reading Campaign (NRC)
We support NRC’s Indigenous Libraries Appeal for $90 million in new funding over three years to support the creation, growth and sustainability of public libraries on First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities.