[with apologies for cross-posting]

For Immediate Release, February 18, 2002 - CLA President Margaret Law is pleased to announce that Canada Post and the Department of Canadian Heritage have ratified a deal that will continue the Library Book Rate (LBR). Created in 1939 the LBR is a discount provided to Canadian libraries mailing print materials to other libraries or their users.

Understanding the value of the Library Book Rate to Canadians across the country, particularly to those in rural areas, CLA spoke to federal members of Parliament and officials from the Departments of Canadian Heritage, Industry Canada and Canada Post. Through its recently launched Campaign for Canada's Libraries CLA voiced its concern that the Library Book Rate would be cancelled during the current round of negotiations. The response given was clear-it is essential to Canadians and their leaders that library materials can be delivered across the country through Canada Post at a discounted rate.

The three year deal will see the current mailing rate for libraries increase by 6.8% in 2002, 0% in 2003, and 6.3% in 2004, an overall increase of 13.1%.

Department of Canadian Heritage officials have commended CLA for taking a proactive stance on ensuring that the LBR continues. CLA will be working with the Department and Canada Post in order to strengthen the ties between the three groups and to begin discussions for the next round of negotiations which will begin in 2004.

These discussions will be based in part on information that is currently being gathered in a study examining the use of the LBR. This study, which includes a survey component as well as consultations, was commissioned by the Department of Canadian Heritage; it is being conducted by ASM Consultants with Fuse Communications. It is imperative that librarians across the country provide data and input to this study. For this reason, CLA asks that everyone who has received a copy of the Library Book Rate survey to complete it.

CLA President Law thanked CLA members and those from other associations within Libraries Advance Canada for their support of the CLA initiative and work. "It is clear that when we work together and speak with one voice, we can and will be heard."

For more information on CLA and its Campaign for Canada's Libraries (including a list of the MPs visited) visit or contact Vicki Whitmell, Executive Director, Canadian Library Association, 328 Frank Street, Ottawa, Ontario. K2P 0X8. 613-232-9625 ext 306. [log in to unmask]

For more information on the LBR study, contact; Stan Skrzeszewski, ASM Consultants, 411 Rippleton Place, London, Ontario L6G 1L4. 519-473-7651. [log in to unmask]

Canadian Library Association
328 Frank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 232-9625; Fax: (613) 563-9895