[with apologies for cross-posting]

Ottawa, Ontario, June 26, 2002 -- The Canadian Library Association
(CLA) recently established a Task Force to respond to the Government of
Canada's (GOC) ongoing consultation with Canadians on its Innovation
Strategy. A GOC discussion paper, released this spring, presents an
opportunity for the library community to effectively communicate to key
stakeholders and decision makers the significant contribution that
libraries make to the government's vision of " a truly national effort
to achieve excellence in all we do: to be the best and nothing less."
The two-part report at addresses key
components of the Innovation Strategy that are highly relevant to the
activities of libraries: Achieving Excellence: Investing in People,
Knowledge and Opportunity and Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for
Canadians. The consultation process is designed to stimulate and
encourage the public sector at every level, the private sector, the
not-for-profit sector, educational communities and groups of Canadians
to consider how they can contribute to ensuring the continued growth and
development of our economy in the 21st century.

The members of the Task Force reflect the strengths and diversity of
CLA's personal and institutional membership from libraries across
Canada. They are: Claude Bonnelly (Directeur, Bibliothèque, Université
Laval); Greg Buss (Chief Librarian, Richmond Public Library); Sandy
Cameron (Library Director, Regina Public Library); Ray Doiron (Past
President of the Canadian School Library Association and Associate
Professor, Faculty of Education, University of PEI); Sara Lochhead
(University Librarian, Mount Allison University Library); Carrol Lunau,
(Resource Sharing Officer, National Library of Canada); Mark Leggott
(University Librarian, University of Winnipeg); Stan Squires (Public
Libraries Network Specialist, Heritage and Libraries Branch, Ministry of
Culture of Ontario); Edel Toner-Rogala, Chair of the Task Force (Chief
Librarian, Prince George Public Library).

Wendy Newman, President Elect, serves as an ex officio member of the
group, and Gwynneth Evans provides office support and advice. The Task
Force began its work during the week of May 6 and, in innovative
fashion, has met through e-mail and teleconference to collaborate on the
creation of a comprehensive brief that uses concrete illustrations from
libraries across Canada to make the points that underline the
contribution of libraries to a knowledge-based society. The
contributions of libraries are both broad and deep: from reading,
literacy learning and practice, through the support and development of
information and media literacies, to their role as heritage/cultural
centres to stimulate creativity and imagination, to their pivotal role
in training, in narrowing the Digital Divide and supporting local social
and economic development, through their role in online delivery of
government information and transactions, their unique significance in
supporting scholarly research and communications and the increasing role
in the infrastructure of technologies and services for the smart

The federal government is holding regional meetings on this strategy
during the spring and summer and will complete its consultation with a
summit in the fall of 2002. The CLA Executive Council has set a goal of
obtaining representation at the regional meetings and particularly the
national summit. The CLA brief will be used by individuals and groups to
address the role and contribution of libraries to the issues raised in
the Innovation Strategy.

The Task Force builds on and extends CLA's Campaign for Canada's
Libraries. The brief will be delivered to officials of Industry Canada
and Human Resources Development Canada, and will be posted on the CLA
website by the end of June. For more information, write Gwynneth Evans,
Interim Executive Director of CLA, at [log in to unmask]

Media Contact:

Peter Wilson
Communications Coordinator (ext. 320)
[log in to unmask]

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