Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urba

CULC in The News

Press Release: Statement on Ebook Equity

North American Elected Officials Send Message to E-Book Publishers: Price Gouging Public Libraries Is Unacceptable

Mayors from major urban jurisdictions sign statement urging e-book publishers to institute equitable and transparent pricing for public libraries.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 6, 2019

TORONTO and WASHINGTON – Seventy-nine elected officials from North American cities and counties have signed the joint Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada and Urban Libraries Council’s Statement on Equitable Public Access to E-Books, championing the urgent need for equitable e-book pricing and access for public libraries. The statement has been signed by mayors and county executives from some of the largest urban jurisdictions in North America – together, these leaders serve over 44 million citizens.

The statement has been issued in direct response to Macmillan Publisher’s embargo on e-book sales to libraries that went into effect on November 1. With this new policy, libraries cannot purchase more than a single copy of new e-book titles from Macmillan for the first two months after the book’s initial publication. The Macmillan embargo will prevent libraries from providing equitable access to digital learning opportunities, widening the digital divide, and creating even greater obstacles for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Multinational Publishers are price-gouging taxpayers and intensifying the gaps between the haves and have-nots in communities of all sizes with their restrictive licenses and excessively high prices. Most concerning is the new e-book embargo imposed by Macmillan Publishers, which results in an intentional erosion of digital equity by severely restricting e-book access for library patrons,” said CULC/CBUC Chair Pilar Martinez and ULC President & CEO Susan Benton. “By signing the Statement on Equitable Public Access to E-Books, North America’s mayors and county executives are sending a powerful message they will not stand for the extreme restrictions e-book publishers are placing on public libraries, which limit/jeopardize their essential role as engines for democracy.”

Developed by CULC/CBUC in partnership with ULC, the statement serves as a platform for city and county leaders to show their support for the vital role that libraries play in building educated communities, and to add their voices to the call for e-book publishers to eliminate discriminatory lending models for libraries. The statement reads as follows:

Major publishers have introduced severe restrictions to e-book and e-audiobook lending for public libraries, including embargoes on the sales of new titles and unreasonably high prices, which far exceed the prices offered for print books. As a result, libraries will be unable to fulfill their core functions in building educated, literate communities. These restrictions will be most harmful for populations who already face significant barriers to equitable knowledge and information access in our communities – including youth, people living with disabilities, and those with limited financial means.

Public libraries play an essential role in leveling the playing field and strengthening the foundation of our communities. As digital technologies become increasingly inseparable from the ways that people learn, work, and interact, the library’s unique ability to create onramps for information and knowledge access is more important than ever. There is significant, rising demand for e-books and e-audiobooks from public library users – overall, digital content circulation is increasing by 30% per year.

As elected public officials and trusted leaders in our communities, we are committed to protecting and supporting the capacity of public libraries to:

  • Provide equal access for individuals to gain knowledge and become proficient with digital tools, regardless of their income, physical abilities, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, citizenship status or religion.
  • Support lifelong learning and foster empathy, curiosity, civic engagement and a love of reading among community members.
  • Educate community members about the rights, responsibilities and implications of their lives online, including data privacy risks when accessing online learning resources and digital content.
  • Serve as valued partners to local government in advancing city/county outcomes for digital inclusion and as institutions that support informed citizens.

Our cities and counties are strongest when all individuals have the same opportunities to further their personal, educational and professional goals. Our democracy is non-negotiable. We stand with all who are urging e-book and e-audiobook publishers to institute fair, transparent, and flexible lending models for public libraries.

Encourage your local mayor and council to sign: CULC/CBUC & ULC Statement on Equitable Public Access to E-Books Signature

The following mayors and county executives (USA) have signed on to the above statement:


Jeff Lehman, Mayor
Barrie, ON

Andy Adams, Mayor
Campbell River, BC

Rhona Martin, District Board Chair
Columbia Shuswap Regional District, BC

George V. Harvie, Mayor
Delta, BC

Sylvia Pranger, Mayor
District of Kent, BC

Michelle Staples, Mayor
Duncan, BC

Don Iveson, Mayor
Edmonton, AB

Ron Oszust, Mayor
Golden, BC

Cam Guthrie, Mayor
Guelph, ON

Fred Eisenberger, Mayor
Hamilton, ON

Leo Facio, Mayor
Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Val van den Broek, Mayor
Langley, BC

Kevin Acton, Mayor
Village of Lumby, BC

Gordon Krantz, Mayor
Milton, ON

Bonnie Crombie, Mayor
Mississauga, ON

Leonard Krog, Mayor
Nanaimo, BC

Kevin Acton, Chair
Regional District of North Okanagan, BC

Rob Burton, Mayor
Oakville, ON

Dan Carter, Mayor
Oshawa, ON

Jim Watson, Mayor
Ottawa, ON

John Vassilaki, Mayor
Penticton, BC

Dennis Dugas, Mayor
Port Hardy, BC

David Formosa, Mayor
Powell River, BC

Gabriele Wickstrom, Mayor
Port McNeill, BC

Patrick Brabazon, Chair
qathet Regional District, BC

Kris Olsen, Mayor
Queen Charlotte, BC

Karla Kozakevich, District Board Chair
Okanagan-Similkameen Regional District, BC

John MacDonald, Mayor
Sayward, BC

Cliff McNeil-Smith, Mayor
Sidney, BC

Maja Tait, Mayor
Sooke, BC

Walter Sendzik, Mayor
St. Catharines, ON

Doug McCallum, Mayor
Surrey, BC

George Pirie, Mayor
Timmins, ON

John Tory, Mayor
Toronto, ON

Christine Fraser, Mayor
Township of Spallumcheen, BC

Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor
Vaughan, ON

Victor I. Cumming, Mayor
Vernon, BC

Dave Jaworsky, Mayor
Waterloo, ON

Gord Milsom, Mayor
West Kelowna, BC


Keith Carson, County Board of Supervisors Vice-President
Alameda County, CA

Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor
Anchorage, AK

Steuart Pittman, County Executive
Anne Arundel County, MD

Steve Adler, Mayor
Austin, TX

Bernard Young, Mayor
Baltimore, MD

John A. Olszewski Jr., County Executive
Baltimore County, MD

Nelson Wolff, County Judge
Bexar County, TX

Marc McGovern, Mayor
Cambridge, MA

Thomas Bernabei, Mayor
Canton, OH

Vi Lyles, Mayor
Charlotte, NC

Lori Lightfoot, Mayor
Chicago, IL

John Cranley, Mayor
Cincinnati, OH

Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor
Columbia, SC

John Gioia, County Board of Supervisors Chair
Contra Costa County, CA

T.C. Broadnax, City Manager
Dallas, TX

Nan Whaley, Mayor
Dayton, OH

Steve Schewel, Mayor
Durham, NC

Wendell Davis, County Manager
Durham County, NC

Drew Boyles, Mayor
El Segundo, CA

Mark C. Poloncarz, County Executive
Erie County, NY

Kathy Dahlkemper, County Executive
Erie County, PA

Bryan Hill, County Executive
Fairfax County, VA

David Parish, City Manager
Greensboro, NC

Nancy B. Vaughan, Mayor
Greensboro, NC

Denise Driehaus, County Commissioner
Hamilton County, OH

Luke A. Bronin, Mayor
Hartford, CT

Sylvester Turner, Mayor
Houston, TX

Calvin B. Ball III, County Executive
Howard County, MD

Eileen Weir, Mayor
Independence, MO

Frank White, County Executive
Jackson County, MO

Bobby Hopewell, Mayor
Kalamazoo, MI

Frank Scott Jr., Mayor
Little Rock, AR

Eric Garcetti, Mayor
Los Angeles, CA

Greg Fischer, Mayor
Louisville, KY

Tina Skeldon Wozniak, County Commissioner
Lucas County, OH

Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor
Madison, WI

Anthony Traficanti, County Commissioner
Mahoning County, OH

Dena Diorio, County Manager
Mecklenburg County, NC

Marc Elrich, County Executive
Montgomery County, MD

Nancy Navarro, County Council President
Montgomery County, MD

Deborah Kafoury, County Chair
Multnomah County, OR

John Cooper, Mayor
Nashville, TN

Toni Harp, Mayor
New Haven, CT

LaToya Cantrell, Mayor
New Oreleans, LA

Breea Clark, Mayor
Norman, OK

Jim Kenney, Mayor
Philadelphia, PA

Kate Gallego, Mayor
Phoenix, AZ

Chuck Huckelberry, County Administrator
Pima County, AZ

Bill Peduto, Mayor
Pittsburgh, PA

Paul Livingston, County Council Chair
Richland County, SC

Lovely Warren, Mayor
Rochester, NY

Melvin Carter, Mayor
Saint Paul, MN

Jenny Wilson, Mayor
Salt Lake County, UT

Ron Nirenberg, Mayor
San Antonio, TX

London N. Breed, Mayor
San Francisco, CA

Sam Liccardo, Mayor
San José, CA

Gleam Davis, Mayor
Santa Monica, CA

George Van Dusen, Mayor
Skokie, IL

Sam Page, County Executive
St. Louis County, MO

Richard Regula, County Commissioner
Stark County, OH

Wade Kapszukiewicz, Mayor
Toledo, OH

Muriel Bowser, Mayor
Washington, DC

Jamael Tito Brown, Mayor
Youngstown, OH

Visit for more information about the statement and the most up-to-date list of signatories.

About the Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada

The mission of the Canadian Urban Library Council/ Conseil des Bibliotheques Urbaines du Canada (CULC/CBUC) is to work collaboratively to build vibrant urban communities by strengthening the capacity of Canada’s urban libraries. For more than 25 years CULC/CBUC has worked to ensure better library service within this nation’s populated urban areas. To achieve the mission the organization is dedicated to the following: Research; Capacity Building; and Knowledge Transfer.

The members attend to the needs of over 7.5 million active users who on an annual basis make more than 380 million uses of our near 700 locations and virtual services. The membership employs more than 12,000 library workers, more than 70% of all Canadians are served by a CULC/CBUC member library and the associated activity comprises more than 80% of Canada’s public library activity. The mandate is ambitious and the reach significant.

About the Urban Libraries Council

The Urban Libraries Council is an innovation and impact tank of North America’s leading public library systems. ULC drives cutting-edge research and strategic partnerships to elevate the power of libraries as essential, transformative institutions for the 21st-century. More than 150 urban member libraries in the U.S. and Canada rely on ULC to identify significant challenges facing today’s communities and provide new tools and techniques to help libraries achieve stronger outcomes in education, digital inclusion, workforce and economic development, and race and social equity.

Encourage your local mayor and council to sign: CULC/CBUC & ULC Statement on Equitable Public Access to E-Books Signature

CULC/CBUC Press Contact
Jefferson Gilbert, Executive Director

CDN Press Release CULC/CBUC Statement on Ebook Equity


2019 Governor General Literary Awards Announced

Ottawa, Ontario, October 29, 2019 – Today, the Canada Council for the Arts revealed the 2019 winners of the prestigious Governor General's Literary Awards (GGBooks).

Further to a rigorous process, the peer assessment committees selected the best Canadian books in seven categories, in both French and English.

“I am delighted by the fact that so many writers, illustrators and translators who are women have distinguished themselves through their excellent work this year. Never in the history of these awards have we had so many women as winners. I salute their talent and their significant thought-provoking contributions.”

- Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts

Mark your calendars

  • December 12: Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will host a ceremony to celebrate the winners at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa.
  • December 11 and 12: The general public is invited to meet with the GGBooks winners at public readings in Ottawa.
  • About the GGBooks

    • Founded in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Awards are one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary award programs, with a total annual prize value of $450,000.
    • The Canada Council for the Arts has funded, administered and promoted the awards since 1959.
    • The winners are selected by the members of peer assessment committees in each of the seven categories in both official languages. The committees assessed eligible books published between September 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, for English-language books and between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, for French-language books.
    • Each winner receives $25,000, with the publisher receiving $3,000 for promotional activities around the winning book.

    2019 English-language winners (seven categories)


    Five Wives – Joan Thomas (Winnipeg, Man.)
    Harper Avenue/HarperCollins Publishers


    Holy Wild – Gwen Benaway (Toronto, Ont.)


    Other Side of the Game – Amanda Parris (Toronto, Ont.)
    Playwrights Canada Press


    To the River: Losing My Brother – Don Gillmor (Toronto, Ont.)
    Random House Canada/Penguin Random House Canada

    Young People’s Literature – Text:

    Stand on the Sky – Erin Bow (Kitchener, Ont.)
    Scholastic Canada

    Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books:

    Small in the City – Sydney Smith (Halifax, N.S.)
    Groundwood Books

    Translation (from French to English):

    Birds of a Kind – Translated by Linda Gaboriau (Montréal, Que.)
    Playwrights Canada Press; translation of Tous des oiseaux by Wajdi Mouawad, Leméac/Actes Sud-Papiers

    2019 French-language winners (seven categories)


    Le drap blanc – Céline Huyghebaert (Montréal, Que.)
    Le Quartanier


    Le tendon et l'os – Anne-Marie Desmeules (Lévis, Que.)
    L'Hexagone, Groupe Ville-Marie Littérature


    Havre – Mishka Lavigne (Gatineau, Que.)
    Les Éditions L'Interligne


    Le droit du plus fort : nos dommages, leurs intérêts – Anne-Marie Voisard (Montréal, Que.)
    Les Éditions Écosociété

    Young People’s Literature – Text:

    L'albatros et la mésange – Dominique Demers (Montréal, Que.)
    Éditions Québec Amérique

    Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books:

    Jack et le temps perdu – Stéphanie Lapointe and Delphie Côté-Lacroix (Montréal, Que.)
    Quai no 5, Les Éditions XYZ

    Translation (from English to French):

    Nous qui n'étions rien – Translated by Catherine Leroux (Montréal, Que.)
    Editions Alto; translation of Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien, Knopf Canada

    Composition of the 2019 English-language peer assessment committees:

    • Fiction: Aislinn Hunter, Wayne Johnston and Saleema Nawaz
    • Poetry: Lesley Belleau, Méira Cook and Allan Cooper
    • Drama: Maja Ardal, Megan Gail Coles and Curtis Peeteetuce
    • Non-fiction: Ross King, Rachel Lebowitz and Marina Nemat
    • Young People’s Literature – Text: Kagiso Lesego Molope, Kenneth Oppel and Ellen Schwartz
    • Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Shauntay Grant, Jon Klassen and Kathryn Shoemaker
    • Translation (from French to English): Nicola Danby, Wayne Grady and Maureen Labonté

    Composition of the 2019 French-language peer assessment committees:

    • Fiction: Hervé Bouchard, Blaise Ndala and Élise Turcotte
    • Poetry: Nora Atalla, Maggie Roussel and Christian Roy
    • Drama: Normand Canac-Marquis, Miriam Cusson and Talia Hallmona
    • Non-fiction: Louis Hamelin, Rachida M’Faddel and Paul Savoie
    • Young People’s Literature – Text: Marie-Célie Agnant, Jocelyn Boisvert and Karen Olsen
    • Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books: Nahid Kazemi, Diane Carmel Léger and François Thisdale
    • Translation (from English to French): Myriam Legault, Hélène Rioux and Michel Saint-Germain

    About the Canada Council for the Arts

    The Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder, with a mandate to foster and promote the study and enjoyment of, and the production of works in, the arts. The Council champions and invests in artistic excellence through a broad range of grants, services, prizes and payments to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations. Its work ensures that excellent, vibrant and diverse art and literature engages Canadians, enriches their communities and reaches markets around the world. The Council also raises public awareness and appreciation of the arts through its communications, research and arts promotion activities.

    It is responsible for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which promotes the values and programs of UNESCO in Canada to contribute to a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable future. The Public Lending Right (PLR) Program sends yearly payments to authors whose works are in Canada’s public libraries. The Canada Council Art Bank operates art rental programs and helps further public engagement with contemporary arts.

    Media contacts

    To book interviews with the winners:
    Charlene Coy, C2C Communications

    Canada Council for the Arts
    Joly-Anne Ricard
    Communications Advisor
    1-800-263-5588 (extension 4166)
    343-998-2627 (cellphone)

    Rideau Hall contact:
    Josephine Laframboise
    Rideau Hall Press Office
    613-668-1929 (cellphone)

    Promotional material for English and French nominees and winners is available in the member section.


Digital Working Group Teleconference – September 25

On September 25, the CULC/CBUC Digital Collections Working Group hosted a teleconference about the current #eContentforAll initiatives happening in Canada and the new partnership with ULC in the US.

Here are the slides from the presentation: Digital Collections Working Group Teleconference PDF

The presentation also included a link for participants to sign up for future updates and campaign information about Digital content:
Collection Leaders: Digital Collections Working Group – Future Contacts List

You can also volunteer to work on the CULC/CBUC subcommittee for the next eOne Read Campaign.

Visit the CULC/CBUC eContent website for more information about the eContent campaigns and the work by the CULC/CBUC Digital Collections Working Group.


CELA Appoints Rina Hadziev as Executive Director

On behalf of the Board of Directors I am delighted to announce that Rina Hadziev has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA). 

Rina brings over 15 years of experience in public library leadership, most recently as Collections & Technical Services Coordinator at Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) in Victoria, British Columbia to her new role as CELA’s Executive Director. Rina was a member of the CELA board from 2016-2019, and played a key role advocating for improved access to ebooks and digital audiobooks for libraries and their patrons through her participation with the Canadian Urban Libraries Council Digital Content Working Group. In her role with Greater Victoria Public Library, Rina spearheaded the integration of new technologies, e-resources and digital collections to better serve library patrons. 

Rina will join CELA effective October 7, 2019, succeeding Michael Ciccone who left CELA in late August to become CEO of London Public Library. Like Michael, Rina is passionate about the vital role of public libraries in ensuring and facilitating equitable access for their patrons with print disabilities. Under Rina’s leadership, CELA will continue tobuild on its existing relationships, and her collaborative style will help CELA develop new partnerships which are essential for the continued improvement of accessible library services and collections. 

The CELA board and staff are excited to welcome Rina and we look forward to the new opportunities her leadership will create for CELA. 


Catherine Biss

Chair, CELA Board of Directors 



Au nom des membres du conseil d’administration, j’ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que Rina Hadziev a accepté le poste de directrice générale du Centre d’accès équitable aux bibliothèques (CAÉB). 

En sa qualité de directrice générale du CAÉB, Rina nous fera profiter de plus d’une quinzaine d’années de leadership au sein de bibliothèques publiques, notamment dans ses récentes fonctions de coordonnatrice des Collections et des Services techniques à la Bibliothèque publique du Grand Victoria (GVPL) en Colombie-Britannique. Membre du conseil d’administration du CAÉB de 2016 à 2019, Rina a joué un rôle essentiel dans la promotion d’un meilleur accès des bibliothèques et de leurs clients aux livres électroniques et aux livres audio numériques, en participant au groupe de travail sur les contenus numériques du Conseil des bibliothèques urbaines du Canada. Dans ses fonctions à la Bibliothèque publique du Grand Victoria, elle a été le fer de lance d’initiatives d’intégration des nouvelles technologies, des ressources en ligne et des collections numériques destinées à mieux répondre aux besoins des clients de cette bibliothèque. 

Rina se joindra au CAÉB à compter du 7 octobre 2019 et succédera à Michael Ciccone, qui a quitté le CAÉB en août dernier pour accepter le poste de directeur général de la Bibliothèque publique de London. Tout comme Michael, Rina est passionnée par le rôle crucial que jouent les bibliothèques publiques pour garantir et faciliter l’accès équitable de leurs clients incapables de lire les imprimés. Sous la houlette de Rina, le CAÉBentend continuer d’enrichir ses relations. Son approche collaborative aidera le CAÉBà créer de nouveaux partenariats, essentiels à l’amélioration constante des services et des collections accessibles desbibliothèques.

Lesmembres du CA et les employés duCAÉBsont ravis d’accueillir Rina, et sont impatients de tirer parti des possibilités nouvelles que sonleadership permettra de créer au CAÉB. 

Salutations cordiales, 

Catherine Biss

Présidente du conseil d’administration du CAÉB 



New CEO of London Public Library Announced

The London Public Library Board is pleased to announce that Michael J. Ciccone has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of London Public Library (LPL). Mr. Ciccone will assume this role at the end of August, when Susanna Hubbard Krimmer retires after 29 years at LPL, 11 years as CEO& Chief Librarian.

With his experience building relationships on a national level and success as an advocate for public library services, the London Public Library Board is confident in their selection of Mr. Ciccone as LPL’s next CEO. “We are very excited to find a candidate who so clearly values inclusion, diversity and accessibility and has leveraged these values to lead a significant organization from the start-up phase to international recognition”, says Mariam Hamou, Chair of the London Public Library Board. “Michael is a collaborative, professional leader that will be able to build upon the existing strengths and achievements of LPL to meet the future opportunities of library service head on.”

Mr. Ciccone is a champion of equitable library service and has extensive leadership experience in public libraries in the United States and Canada. Most recently, Mr. Ciccone served as the Executive Director of the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), a national non-profit organization that supports public libraries in the provision of accessible collections to Canadians with print disabilities in the formats of their choice, including audio, braille, and electronic text. CELA launched in 2014, and, under Mr. Ciccone’s leadership, has become internationally recognized. There are now more than 600 public library systems in Canada who are members of CELA, and their patrons have access to more than 650,000 items in accessible formats.

Mr. Ciccone has held management and administrative roles at Hamilton Public Library and the New York Public Library. He is one of the founders of Loan Stars, a readers’ advisory tool for Canadian library staff. He also serves on the board of eBound Canada, the digital arm of the Association of Canadian Publishers, acting as an ambassador between the Canadian publishing industry and public libraries.

Mr. Ciccone is looking forward to immersing himself in the London community, meeting key stakeholders and getting to know the staff, Board members and patrons of LPL. “I want to thank the London Public Library Board for providing this incredible opportunity and entrusting me with this responsibility” says Mr. Ciccone. “I’m assuming leadership of an organization that currently has a wonderful reputation and my plan is to build on that foundation and provide Londoners with the best possible public library experience available. I believe that public libraries provide their communities the ultimate public good and my approach to service delivery is based on that principle.”

Catherine Biss, Board Chair for the Centre for Equitable Library Access and CEO, Markham Public Library thinks this new role will be a good fit for Mr. Ciccone, LPL, and the library profession. “Michael brought a unique blend of skills and experiences when he came to CELA almost 5 years ago. His library knowledge combined with his network of colleagues has supported the achievement of CELA’s Strategic Plans”, Ms. Biss says. “I look forward to continuing to work with Michael as a fellow Ontario library CEO on the challenges and opportunities that face public Libraries. It is good to know we will have an expert on the accessibility file within our leadership group.”

The London Public Library Board looks forward to working with Mr. Ciccone to build upon the success and contributions of Susanna Hubbard Krimmer, who announced her plans to retire to the Library Board and staff in late 2018. The Board worked with Prime Management Group Inc. to conduct the search for Ms. Hubbard Krimmer’s successor as CEO.