Thursday, July 07, 2005

Inter-Library Loan At Risk

Courtesy of A. Ritchie

Just when the problem with the release of the 1911 census has been resolved, another seems to rearing its ugly head.

Canada Post is in the process of preparing its new budget to take effect March 1, 2006, One of the changes is that libraries will no longer have a special postal rate to ship materials by mail on inter-library loan. The example given to me was a 4" x 7" x 3/4" paperback book which can currently go out on inter-library loan at a cost of 87 cents, effective March 1, 2006 will cost $7.44.

There will be very few libraries that will be able to absorb this large increase. My local library has already decided that there will be no inter-library loan available once the new rate comes into effect. They cannot afford the extra cost.

Lack of inter-library loan will not only affect those of us doing genealogy but also students, researchers, and every person who simply wishes to read a book that is not available at their local library. This is supposed to be the information age, but not every library has all needed information, not everything is available on the internet and not every home as a personal computer. Everyone will be affected regardless of whether they live in a rural area or in a major city.

Once again it is necessary to email our members of parliament, the Prime Minister, Paul Martin, the minister responsible for Canada Post, John McCallum, the minister for Canadian Heritage, Liza Frulla and your local federal member of parliament. In this case, because most libraries also receive funding from the provinces and city and municipal governments, they should also be contacted.

Canada Post will finalize their budget on Sept. 1, 2005, so there is some urgency in showing how much opposition there is to this increase. They would probably be happier if this proposed change did not become public knowledge, until they can say it to late for them to do anything, so send your letters and e-mails as soon as possible. A letter to the editor of your local newspaper might also bring this to the attention of more people

Please pass this information on to any person or group you feel will be affected. Sometimes it takes a lot of voices to make them hear.

E-mail addresses for
Paul Martin: or
John McCallum:
Liza Frulla: or

The addresses for your other federal members of parliament can be found at: