[with apologies for cross-posting]

Communication Canada, a federal government department responsible for
the Depository Services Program, has very recently and unexpectedly
announced that they will be realigning the DSP under the department's
publishing operations.

As you may be aware, the Depository Services Program ensures public
accessibility to government information. The DSP also acts as a
government information safety net. The DSP achieves these goals by
supplying libraries in Canada and abroad with the latest government
publications in all formats. In turn, these libraries provide local
access to this information in an impartial and professional environment.

The library community has worked with the DSP for 75 years to help
ensure Government of Canada information is available to all Canadians.
Unfortunately, this reorganization is occurring without any consultation
from the library partners or the public. Concerns have been expressed
about the long-term viability of the program if reorganized under
Communication Canada's publishing division.

The reorganization could drastically curtail public access to
government information, the program's mandate and budget, and input into
the administration of the DSP from the library community.

We need your help. Please visit the CLA website
( please find a sample
letter to the Hon. Ralph Goodale, Minister responsible for Communication
Canada and the DSP.  The draft letter for your use is at the bottom of
the page and available in a Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format.

Most importantly, the letter calls on the Minister to ensure the
preservation and long-term stability of the Depository Services Program.
The letter also recommends, as a possible solution, moving the DSP to
the new National Library and Archives.

Public access to government information is a fundamental right and any
program that provides this access must be protected. Anything that you
could do to send this clear message to the federal government would go a
long way to registering our concerns and to protecting the DSP. Feel
free to use parts of this letter if you prefer to write your own.

Please send your comments or letters to the following:

The Hon. Ralph Goodale, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Works and Government Services
and Minister responsible for Communication Canada
18A1 Place du Portage, Phase 3
11 Laurier Street
Hull, Quebec K1A 0S5
Email [log in to unmask]

Guy McKenzie
Executive Director
Communication Canada
Heritage Place
155 Queen Street, 5th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1M4
Email: [log in to unmask]

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at
(613) 232-9625 ext. 306 or by email at [log in to unmask]

La traduction de cette lettre sera disponible aussi tôt que possible.

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