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CULC/CBUC dismayed with decision to close Alberta Government Library

A letter has been sent to Minister Glubish

Dear Minister Glubish,

The Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada (CULC/CBUC) is concerned and dismayed by your decision to close the Alberta Government Library. Incorporated in 2008, CULC/CBUC facilitates collaboration and research to strengthen and promote the value of Canada’s urban public libraries as being integral to a vibrant democracy, strong economy, and thriving communities. CULC/CBUC members include the 48 largest public library systems in Canada, along with Library and Archives Canada and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Our members collectively serve more than 8 million active users who annually visit our 640 locations and virtual services. In 2019 we loaned over 200 million items, and had more than 560 million uses in person and online. More than 12,000 library workers are employed by CULC/CBUC member libraries.

More than 77% of all Canadians are served by a CULC/CBUC member library. The activity in CULC/CBUC libraries comprises more than 80% of Canada’s public library activity.

The Alberta Government Library (AGL) has provided access to fundamental and authoritative current and historical provincial government publications and information that is relied upon by government workers and elected officials, along with the citizens of Alberta. The services provided by the AGL not only include millions of journals, books and government, it also includes expert staff who provide select and curate and support users in accessing this information.

CULC/CBUC understands that the Alberta government is facing challenging economic times and that increasingly access to government publications and other resources is online. At the same time, it is imperative that the professional expertise and access to both physical and online government resources continue to be made available for various stakeholders. These documents comprise the historical record of the government and are essential for decision making, and creating and modifying legislation.
We look forward to understanding your plans for continuing to provide access to both physical and digital collections given your recent decision to eliminate the Alberta Government Library.

Sincerely,

Mary Chevreau
Chair, Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada