FORWARDED FOR: Peter Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
[with apologies for cross-posting]
To the members of the Canadian Library Association and other concerned
representatives of the library community:
On behalf of Communication Canada, I am writing in response to the
issues you have raised concerning recent changes at Communication Canada
whereby the Depository Services Program (DSP) and Canadian Government
Publishing (CGP) were combined into one unit. I would like to take this
opportunity to address your concerns and to alleviate any fears you
might have concerning Minister Goodale's and Communication Canada's
commitment to the DSP.
As you may know, the DSP and CGP deliver common services and work very
closely together: both use the same catalogue of Government
publications, manage a distribution system (either to libraries or to
the public and retail outlets), liaise with Government departments, and
support the Government of Canada Publications Site. The decision to
manage the two programs under a single director is consistent with the
approach that was taken for the first seventy years of existence of the
DSP, between 1927 and 1997, when the two programs were managed jointly.
Only between 1997 and 2002, as a result of organizational arrangements
within Public Works and Government Services Canada, were the two
programs managed separately.
We can assure you that neither the funding nor the operations of the
DSP are at any risk as a result of the alignment of business functions.
In fact, we are confident that the public and the depository libraries
will in fact be better served as a result of the changes. All services
previously offered will continue to be offered, including a full suite
of services to and liaison with the library community. Clients of the
two programs will continue to receive the same products and services
that they have customarily received, and improvements to the
Publications Site will continue as planned. The new position of
Director, Publications, will be staffed through a competitive process
that takes the need for familiarity with the depository library
community and its interests into account.
You have also recommended giving consideration to moving the DSP to the
National Library. As noted above, the advantages of a close
relationship between Canadian Government Publishing and the DSP are
significant, and together the two programs make an important
contribution to Communication Canada's ability to achieve its mandate to
improve communications between the Government of Canada and Canadians.
Communication Canada is nevertheless prepared to consider a closer
partnership with the new National Library organization, and we will be
meeting with National Library staff to explore a variety of options in
In closing, Communication Canada would like to thank you for your
continuing commitment to the Depository Services Program and to the
objective of making government information freely and equitably
available to the public.
Assistant Executive Director, Communication Programs and Services
[log in to unmask]
For more information on the Call for Action, please visit the CLA
website at http://www.cla.ca/issues/dsp_goodale.htm. Thanks to all of
you who took the time to make Minister Goodale aware of the concerns of
the library community.
Canadian Library Association
328 Frank Street
Ottawa, Ontario CANADA K2P 0X8
(613) 232-9625 ext. 320
Fax: (613) 563-9895
email: [log in to unmask]