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Library Service to Multicultural Communities

First draft submitted December 17, 2015; Revised January 6 and January 22, 2016

Canadian libraries at national, provincial and local levels affirm the value and benefit of multiculturalism by responding to the complex needs of a diverse population. By reflecting and supporting cultural and linguistic diversity, libraries play an important role in preserving the identity and values of multicultural communities while recognizing their contributions to Canadian heritage.

To demonstrate their commitment to serving multicultural communities, libraries:

  • Ensure community members have equitable access to library collections, programs and services, in a manner which meets their needs
  • Reflect the diverse nature of Canadian society through collections, programs and services
  • Develop policies on serving diverse and multicultural communities
  • Commit to ongoing creation and adaptation of collections, programs, services and policies based on community input and changing community needs
  • Employ staff that reflect the diversity of communities

Canadian public libraries have a significant role to play in meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse Canada while also promoting cross-cultural understanding. As providers of democratic public spaces, public libraries are uniquely positioned to be both agents of social cohesion and social change.

In actively working to support multiculturalism Canadian libraries will strengthen their bonds with the diverse communities they serve and support their needs in a meaningful and democratic way.

Developed by an ad-hoc committee of CLA Community-Led Library Service Network members:

Sara Gillis

Linda Garvin

Diana Guinn

Leah Rucchetto

Eric Drew

Sarah Green

John Pateman

With input from the Visible Minority Librarians of Canada Network

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