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The Department of Canadian Heritage has sponsored a
project that will seek input from Canadian libraries
and examine the usage and goals of the Library Book
Rate (LBR).

The LBR, which is administered by The Canada Post
Corporation (CPC), is a preferential postal rate for
specific types of parcels sent from public, academic
or special libraries to other such libraries or
individuals. The LBR is an annex to a Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA), signed between Canada Post
Corporation and the Department of Canadian Heritage,
governing the Publications Assistance Program (PAP).

While this program has been in place since 1939, the
Memorandum of Agreement on PAP expires in March 2002
and the LBR will expire with it.  Canadian Heritage is
looking for data to help determine how it should
position the LBR when it considers negotiating an
extension to the MOA in 2002.

The Department of Canadian Heritage has contracted
with Fuse Communications and ASM Advanced Strategic
Management Consultants to conduct the project. The
project will involve the gathering of statistical and
qualitative information about the LBR, and the
experiences of those libraries that use it. In order
to gather this information ASM will be conducting:

-  A survey of a representative sample of Canadian libraries
-  Personal interviews with Librarians
-  Focus groups to measure use and effectiveness of the LBR

It is important that librarians and libraries
contribute their opinions as well as statistical and
other quantitative information on the LBR. This is
your opportunity to have input and to see your
suggestions and comments reflected in the ASM / Fuse
Communications report to the Department of Canadian
Heritage.

We invite you to participate in the study in the
following ways:

Survey: If you would like to participate in the LBR
survey, which will include a short mail-in report and
LBR usage log, please send us the name of a contact
person and the mailing address for your library. The
survey will be conducted over a two-week period in
February 2002. We are particularly interested in
hearing from public, academic and special libraries
and we especially invite participation from libraries
that serve northern, rural, and Aboriginal
communities.

Opinions: Send us your written opinion on the LBR to
the email addresses provided at the end of this
message.

Focus Groups: If you will be attending the Ontario
Library Association SuperConference in Toronto, and
would like to participate in a focus group, please
plan to meet us Thursday January 31st or Friday
February 1st from 1 to 2 p.m.

We will also be available for individual interviews
for those of you who cannot participate in the focus
groups.

RSVP via e-mail to either Maureen or Stan at the
addresses listed below.

If you have any questions about this project please do
not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.

Maureen Cubberley, Partner
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Stan Skrzeszewski, Partner
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ASM Advanced Strategic Management Consultants