CULC/CBUC Think Tank on Recovery and Reimagined Library Services Post COVID-19

Think Tank Members

Mark Asberg, CEO, Calgary Public Library
Lita Barrie, CEO, Burlington Public Library
Christina de Castell, Chief Librarian, Vancouver Public Library
Teresa Johnson, Director of Research and Planning, New Brunswick Public Library Service
Åsa Kachen, CEO, Halifax Public Libraries – CULC/CBUC Exec Rep
Kitty Pope, CEO, Windsor Public Library
Maureen Sawa, CEO, Greater Victoria Public Library
Leslie Weir, National Librarian – LAC Rep


Full return to pre-COVID-19 conditions is not expected until after development and implementation of a
vaccine for the virus – up to 12 to 18 months from now. (Justin Trudeau’s address on April 10, 2020)
Timing of public libraries’ recovery will be dependent on many factors, including health orders and
restrictions mandated by provinces and municipalities

Recovery of public library operations and service delivery will be an opportunity to reimagine service
delivery with the conditions of continued physical distancing measures and more stringent disinfectant
and sanitization processes.

Terms of Reference

  1. A think tank consisting of eight CULC/CBUC members, a representative from LAC and potentially other stakeholders will convene to brainstorm and document factors, considerations, risks and opportunities that need to be applied in the post-Covid-19 world.
  2. The think tank group will:
    1. Conduct an environmental scan to inform recommendations.
    2. A representative of this think tank group may also liaise with ULC to benefit from their exploration and investigation into this issue and incorporate any ideas into the report developed.
    3. Potentially convene sub-groups to support research and report writing of the think tank.
    4. Develop a report with recommendations to support public libraries in their efforts to
      develop recovery plans and redesigned service delivery post Covid-19.
  3. Timelines will be mid-April to May 21 and include presenting a draft report to CULC/CBUC Executive, and the final report to the CULC/CBUC membership for May 21 (Proposed date of CULC/CBUC AGM).

Team Operations

  1. A call for members will be solicited on the CULC/CBUC listserv. Names submitted by Friday, April 18th @ noon. Please submit name to and respond to the following survey to indicate availability.
  2. Time Commitment. Given quick turnaround in order to meet the needs of CULC/CBUC members in planning for their recovery, the group will plan to have two Calls/Conferences per week starting next week. Members will work on best times once appointed. Between meetings, it is anticipated that members will be conducting research, and writing the report, so time commitment is expected to be quite high.
  3. The CULC/CBUC Executive will finalize the membership of this ad hoc think tank group and select a chair from those who put their names forward. All will be involved through sub-groups as the work develops.
  4. The ad hoc think tank team will report to the CULC/CBUC Executive and provide biweekly updates on the team’s progress. Åsa Kachan, Halifax Public Libraries, will serve as Executive Liaison.

⚠️ Safety is a top priority for Canadian public libraries. The CULC/CBUC Safety and Security Toolkit provides a menu of options to help manage and respond to security incidents more effectively. Visit to enhance your library's safety plan! 📚

Just released — OVERDUE: The Case for Canada’s Public Libraries is the product of three years of CUI’s engagement with Canada’s urban public libraries alongside @culc_cbuc.
Read the report at:

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